Another giant is dead

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I became aware of science fiction sometime around 1950, when the “commercial club” in my tiny village–my dad, who managed the lumberyard, Butch Holdredge, who owned a grocery store, two saloon owners whose names I don’t recall, Mr. Hanenberger, who owned the hardware store, the Laudon brothers, who owned the grain elevator, and the village banker, Merle Comingore–arranged for free movies to be shown on a sheet hung on the side of the township building outdoors on summer Saturday nights. Typically, the itinerant projectionist, who drove up from Winona, showed a cartoon (Mighty Mouse was a favorite), a serial, always with a cliff-hanger, and a two-reel feature. One summer the serial was a Buck Rogers saga created 10 years earlier. I was entranced by it.

I remember seeing Destination Moon in a real theater in its first release in 1950 (admission 14 cents). I read the science fiction pulps–Amazing Stories, Astounding Science-Fiction–when I could find them. All that was part of the background that led me to work in aerospace years ago.

Now the last of the founding giants of modern science fiction, Frederick Pohl, has died. RIP.

6 Comments

Very sad. I just started rereading (for the nth time) the Gateway trilogy. He was one of those responsible for my current interest in math, science, and computers. All that I am as a computer professional I trace back inevitably to those great, inspiring stories of my youth. RIP indeed.

I had read the Gateway series and JEM probably several times. His science fiction was among my favorites. At 93, we can say his was a life well lived. Carry on, Mr. Pohl.

It is said that you fall in love with SF in your early teens, or not at all. I don’t know of the general truth of this, but it is true for me. And I remember “The Wizards of Pung’s Corners” as one of the ways into it.

Vale, Fred Pohl. He was a man and a mensch.

Indeed, those were the days. A pity all the thunder has been stolen - we are left with black holes that don’t seem to be of much use.

Funny now to think that when I first read Voyage of the Space Beagle I didn’t even have a clue about the original Beagle

Rolf said:

Funny now to think that when I first read Voyage of the Space Beagle I didn’t even have a clue about the original Beagle

Waitaminute - Voyage of the Space Beagle was by A. E. van Vogt, not Pohl.

We also lost Jack Vance, of a similar age, back in May. One of the greatest writers in the English language over the last century. How are the mighty now departed.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on September 7, 2013 1:36 PM.

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