Science fiction writer Frederik Pohl dies at 93

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 03, 2013 2:47 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Frederik Pohl, a prolific American science fiction author who published scores of stories including the acclaimed 1977 novel "Gateway" and collaborated with some of the genre's leading figures, has died, according to his literary agent. He was 93.

Pohl died on Monday at a hospital near his home in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb northwest of Chicago, his agent Mitchell Waters said.

"We're saddened to tell his friends and readers that Fred went to the hospital in respiratory distress this morning and died this afternoon," according to a statement posted late on Monday on the author's website.

Pohl, who also published poetry and served as a literary editor, is best known for his 1977 novel "Gateway," which told the story of a space station hidden in an asteroid. The novel won four top science fiction awards, including the Hugo Award, and was later adapted into a computer game.

Pohl, who was born in 1919 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, won the U.S. National Book Award for science fiction for his novel "Jem" in 1980, the only year an award was handed out for science fiction.

Pohl co-authored 1991's "Our Angry Earth," a polemical essay against humankind's environmental destruction, with fellow American science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. Early in his career, Pohl collaborated with another American science fiction luminary, Cyril M. Kornbluth.

British literary critic Kingsley Amis wrote in an essay during the 1950s that Pohl was "the most consistently able writer science fiction, in its modern form, has yet produced."

Several of Pohl's works and ideas were adapted for television, including "The Clone Master" for NBC in 1981 and the novella "The Midas Plague" in Germany.

Pohl, whose first published work was a poem in 1937, also served in World War Two.

Pohl's granddaughter is Canadian author Emily Pohl-Weary.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Will Dunham)