Saturday, September 9, 2017

R.I.P. Jerry Pournelle

I've gained a lot of readers since this blog's first post in which I explain the source of the name.  That's still part of this blog's description, which I haven't changed since I created it six-and-one-half years ago.*  One of the co-authors of "The Mote in God's Eye," where Crazy Eddie comes from, at least in science fiction, was Jerry Pournelle.**  He died yesterday at  the age of 84.
Former SFWA President Jerry Pournelle (b.1933) died on September 8.
Pournelle had a PhD in political science and worked with politicians throughout his various careers. He worked in the aerospace industry and consulted with various politicians on space related technology. While working towards his PhD, Pournelle published science fiction using the pseudonym Wade Curtis. In 1973, Pournelle served as the President of SFWA.

In the 1970s, Pournelle began publishing under his own name, starting with A Spaceship for the King. This began his long running military science fiction series. He collaborated with Larry Niven on The Mote in God’s Eye, Inferno, Lucifer’s Hammer, and other novels. While Niven was his most frequent collaborator, the two also collaborated at times with Steven Barnes and Michael Flynn. Pournelle also collaborated with Dean Ing, Roland J. Green, Charles Sheffield, and S.M. Stirling.

In addition to his solo novels and collaborations, Pournelle edited several anthology series including There Will Be War, Imperial Stars, and War WorldHe co-edited Nebula Award Stories Sixteen with John F. Carr.
I preferred Niven to Pournelle; the latter's politics were too right-wing for my taste.  Just the same, he was a brilliant man and a great writer.  I might have more to say except that I'm not feeling up to it.***  Instead, I'll let someone more in tune with his politics talk for me.  Take it away, Jeffrey McArthur!

I honestly couldn't have said it better.  R.I.P.

*Although I've been tempted.  One of the ideas, which shows up on the blog's Facebook page, is "A blog about sustainability with a science fiction slant and a Detroit perspective."  It certainly is still about science fiction and sustainability, but I'm writing for more of a national audience, so the Detroit perspective, while still there, isn't as strong.

**The real source was "Crazy Eddie" Antar, the infamous electronics retailer in New York, which the legendary figure was named after.  I once tweeted something about being a Crazy Eddie.  Antar's nephew liked it, thus completing the circle.

***I am in the hospital for diabetes and Grave's disease, which is why I didn't post yesterday.


  1. I didn't know much about Pournelle, but I'm sorry to hear this. Inferno was a very unusual work, and The Mote in God's Eye certainly ranks among the all-time greats of science fiction.

    I hope you feel better and get out of the hospital soon.

    1. "Inferno" is as much fantasy as science fiction, which is why it was published in Galaxy instead of Analog. Still, it was enough science fiction that it was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

      Thank you, I do, too.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I can get my follower the old-fashioned way, by writing good content and promoting it myself. Deleted.