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Its a loss. He was a very interesting thinker, if more than occasionally wrong. I believe he was still holding out against the, "Big Bang".

You should read some of his stuff -- maybe, "October the first is too late". If you take a dive into that, maybe you can finally explain it to me. ;-) I'm currently rereading, "A is for Andromeda".

Ken Houghton

Pohl was many things, but "great science fiction writer" is not one of them.

Which I don't at all means as an insult--he was quite capable, and when he got passionate about something, he could deservedly win Hugos and Nebulas. He had a nice run in the mid-1970s--his best solo period.

Where he shined, as Tom Dupree noted,* was as an agent and, especially, an editor. He was brilliant about writers in a way that few are. (He made the deal with Silverberg: "you write it, I will publish it," just when the rest of the world was wondering if AgBob's early years had damaged him forever; Silverberg's most memorable novels and stories were almost all published in Pohl's magazines. And he pushed Dhalgren as a Force Whose Time Had Come.

Not to mention that The Way The Future Was is a rollick good time of a memoir.

SF history has a decent list of people who were (are) excellent editors and generally basically-serviceable writers. (Again, not that there is anything wrong with that; the world needs serviceable writers as much if not more than serviceable carpenters, plumbers, and professional sports players.) Pohl closely resembles John W. Campbell in that respect; maybe a mirror-Campbell, since his peak writings really frame his editorial career.

It was a great life, and a great writer's life, but not the life of a great writer. And I suspect Pohl was happy that way. What more could you want?

*Tom and I think with the same brain: his, I suspect, since most of the time I think of something in sf/literature/music, he's there first and better.

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