clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pioneering sci-fi author Frederik Pohl dies at the age of 93

New, 3 comments
Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl

Frederik Pohl, an acclaimed science fiction author and editor who had a career spanning over 75 years, has died at the age of 93. According to his official website, where Pohl continued to write through the final weeks of his life, Pohl died of respiratory failure on the afternoon of September 2nd. io9 has published a comprehensive look back at Pohl's life work as a pioneer of the science fiction genre — at a time when the genre was "embracing its pulpiest tendencies," Pohl envisioned a world in which science fiction was seen as a category worth of literary praise.

The Space Merchants, one of Pohl's best-known novels, made good on that promise. It's a futuristic send-up of the advertising world that Pohl cut his teeth in; businesses have replaced governments and consumerism is taken to its extreme — despite the fact that the world Pohl imagined is incredibly short on some basic elements of life, like water. Pohl said it was a book that no one would want to publish, but it helped take his career to the next level and establish him as one of the most influential futurist authors of the century. For more on his influence and career, check out io9's profile as well as the wealth of content on his official blog. It sounds like that blog will continue on, despite Pohl's passing — the site says it has a "thick file" of posts he wanted to share, so we haven't heard the last of Pohl quite yet.

Five of Pohl's stories are available to read online at Project Gutenberg: Pythias, The Hated, The Day of the Boomer Dukes, The Knights of Arthur, The Tunnel Under The World.