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Author Focus:

Frederik Pohl

Fiction: Science Fiction

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Frederik Pohl
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Titles to Look Out For:
[in ascending order of date of publication (year) with each entry dated to earliest edition. Each listing includes later editions and printings]
1960. Drunkard's Walk
1963. The Expert Dreamers: Science Fiction Stories by Scientists
1976. Man Plus
1977. Gateway
1979. Jem
1980. The Early Pohl
1980. The Cool War
1980. Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (Sequel to Gateway)
1990. The World at the End of Time

On Amazon:
Pohl, Frederik. 'Drunkard's Walk', published in 1978 in Great Britain in paperback by Panther Science Fiction (Granada Publishing), 133pp, ISBN 0586047638. Condition: Good++ condition, well looked-after with a very slight touch of rubbing to the cover edges and a tiny crease to the bottom right corner of the front cover. The internal pages are mildly tanned (browning effect from ageing). Price: £1.99, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas buyers)
1978, Pan Panther Science Fiction (Granada Publishing), pbk
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  • Drunkard's Walk [top]
    First published in 1961 in Great Britain in hardback by Victor Gollancz
    Published in 1978 in Great Britain in paperback by Panther Science Fiction (Granada Publishing), 133pp, ISBN 0586047638

Storyline: You can only die, drunken molecule, you can die, you cannot stop... . Master Cornut was a marked man. Ten times in seven weeks he had tried to commit suicide - for not the slightest reason and without even seriously maiming himself. Yet as absurd as it seemed, Master Cornut felt sure that some strange and sinister telepathic power was compelling him to die...Then came the small-pox epidemic, devastating the lives of millions of people. But why - centuries after the preventive had been discovered - was there no known antidote available? Someone or Something had been tampering with civilization to catastrophic effect and Master Cornut's suicide syndrome was just the key to the most nightmarish conspiracy planet Earth has ever experienced

 
Pohl, Frederik. 'The Expert Dreamers. Science Fiction Stories By Scientists', published in 1966 in Great Britain in paperback by Pan Books, 220pp, No ISBN. Condition: It's fully intact, but heavily worn and the spine edges are rubbed and dirty; the cover has come off and is tatty at the bottom of the spine and the covers and internal pages are tanned (browning effect from ageing). There are creases to the cover corners. Price: £1.25, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1966, Pan Books, pbk
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Contents:
Introduction by Frederik Pohl
A Feast of Demons by William Morrison (Joseph Samachson)
On the Feasability of Coal-Driven Power Stations by O.R. Frisch
The Heart on the Other Side by George Gamow
Lenny by Isaac Asimov
The Singers by W. Grey Walter
The Invasion by Robert Willey; (Willy Ley)
To Explain Mrs Thompson by Philip Latham (R. S. Richardson)
Adrift on the Policy Level by Chandler Davis
The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle
Chain Reaction by Boyd Ellanby (Lyle and William C. Boyd)
The Miracle of the Broom Closet by W. Norbert (Norbert Wiener)
HeavyPlanet by Lee Gregor (Milton A. Rothman)
The Test Stand by Lee Correy (G. Harry Stine)
Amateur in Chancery by George O. Smith
The Mark Gable Foundation by Leo Szilard

Pohl, Frederik. 'Man Plus', published in 1977 by the Readers Union, hbk, 218pp. No ISBN. Well looked-after with dustjacket (good condition, lightly tanned on spine with a couple of tiny rips to the top & bottom edges on the front). Price: £3.25, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.75 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1977, Readers Union, hbk
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  • Man Plus [top]
    First published in 1976 in Great Britain by Victor Gollancz
    Republished 1977 by Readers Union, hardcover, 218 pages

Storyline: Set in the near future, Man Plus describes a world in which international tensions have reached such a pitch that mankind's only hope for survival may be to colonise another planet before exterminating itself on Earth. The Man Plus programme is designed to establish a human colony on Mars, and since man cannot survive unprotected on Mars he must be adapted. Roger Torraway is the first successful product of the Man Plus Programme. True, he no longer looks very much like a man, wit his rhinoceros-hide skin, his multi-faceted eyes, and his huge bat wings, but he still feels very much human, and one of the project's biggest problems is to get him to Mars before he goes insane on Earth

Pohl, Frederik. 'Gateway', published in January 1978 in Great Britain in paperback by Del Rey (Ballantine Books), 313pp, ISBN 0345253787. Condition: The back cover has a crease to the bottom corner on the opening edge and there is a tiny tiny strip of the bottom edge of the back cover missing near the spine (looks like a printing error) - this does not affect the text or the readability of the book. The internal pages are slightly tanned with age (browning effect from ageing). Price: £1.99, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1978, Del Ray (Ballantine Books), pbk
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Storyline: Rich Man, Dead Man. Those were the choices Gateway offered - the same for women, too of course. Gateway opened on all the wealth of the universe...and on reaches of unimaginable horror. The humans who rode the alien Heechee spacecraft stored on the planetoid couldn't know whether the trip would make them millionaires or corpses. When Bob Broadhead came out to Gateway, he thought his problem was simple - wait till the mission felt right, then ship out. but watching returned prospectors scraped from the insides of their ships, falling in love, feeling his nerve dwindle - all these things changed him. Then, years later, Robinette Broadhead, a three-mission veteran, famous and permanently rich, has to face just what happened to him and what he is...in a journey into himself as perilous and even more horrifying than the nightmare trip through the interstellar void he finally drove himself to take!

 
Pohl, Frederik. 'Jem: The Making of A Utopia', published in 1980 in Great Britain in paperback by Panther Books (Granada), 300pp, ISBN 0586050787. Condition: good condition, with mild tanning to internal pages (browning effect from ageing) and slight wear to the cover edges (rubbing). Also, the back cover has a vertical line - an indentation mark on the bottom half of the cover near the spine. Price: £2.50, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers and more for overseas customers)
1980, Panther Science Fiction, pbk
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  • Jem: The Making of a Utopia [top]
    First published in 1979 in the United States by St. Martin's Press, in hardback, ISBN 031244155x
    First published in 1979 in the United Kingdom by Victor Gollancz (Yellow Jacket), in hardback, 300pp, ISBN 0575025662
    Published in 1980 in the United Kingdom by Panther Science Fiction (Granada Publishing), in paperback, 300pp, ISBN 0586050787

Storyline: The 21st Century facts of life are simple. The Greasies produce oil. The Fats produce food. The Peeps produce people. And that's how it must stay. Three massive blocs, each dependent on the other two, all surviving in uneasy nuclear peace. Until Jem. Jem is a whole new possibility, the first habitable and inhabited planet yet discovered, and the race is on to get there

When Jem was written, the world was still very much in the throes of a cold war - West vs. East. This of course saw the two dominant super-powers: America and the Soviet Union pitted against each other in covert operations and subterfuge. The Soviets attacked Afghanistan in 1979, and the China was growing in stature economically and politically.

Against this background, Frederik Pohl wrote a future novel where the world has consolidated into the three blocks mentioned above. Each block is rich in one resource, but poor in others. Earth politics are dominated by cold, calculating co-operation made by shadowy individuals with games of cloak and dagger.

The novel opens with a scientist's desire to travel to another world. This should not in itself be unusual because space travel is a relatively common occurrence. But the scientist choses a world where colonisation is a possibility, a new idea. As the story unfolds, the competition between the blocs to colonise this distant planet becomes a race and the politics, manipulation and cost necessary for the mission to go ahead are very visible to the reader.

On the target planet the reader discovers that there are three sentient species of life forms. As each bloc arrives, they each form a relationship to a native species, and the delicate balance of the planet in terms of the political balance and the ecology becomes upset as the colonists put their ambitions and desires first.

In terms of space exploration and colonisation and the effects on the target planets by those events makes this book an interesting read. Is it really the making of a Utopia?

 
Pohl, Frederik. 'The Early Pohl' published in 1980 by Dobson Books, 192pp, ISBN 0234721987. Good condition hardcover 1st UK Edition with very good, clean dustjacket (price-clipped). Internal pages and dj have very light tanning to them (browning effect from ageing). Price:£4.99, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.75 for UK buyers and more for overseas customers)
1980, Dobson Books
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This book contains eight great stories that weave themselves into magnificent tales of wonder and intrigue.
Together with the stories and one poem (all of which appeared during the period 1940-1944) is Frederik Pohl's delightful commentary on each of them-as well as revealing anecdotes about his fandom associates, his friends and his enemies. The collection includes:
Elegy to a Dead Planet:Luna

The Dweller in the Ice

The King's Eye, in which a local tribe of Venutians develop an allergy to Earthmen

It's a Young World
, the epic drama of one young hunter's exposure to a culture more advanced than his own

Daughters of Eternity
Earth, Farewell
!, the poignant story of one man's attempt to save an entire planet

Conspiracy on Callisto
Double Cross
, in which a nervous band of conspirators plot to bomb a spaceship

 

Pohl, Frederik. 'The Cool War', published in 1982 by The Science Fiction Book Club, Volume 3, Issue 9, hbk with dustjacket. Has some slight tanning to internal pages (browning effect from ageing), overall a nice copy. Price: £3.99, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.75 for UK buyers and more for overseas customers)
1982, SFBC (Readers Union)
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  • The Cool War [top]
    1st published in the UK in 1980 by Victor Gollancz
    Reprinted in 1982 by the Science Fiction Book Club, Volume 3, Issue 9, hardcover with very good dustjacket, 284 pages

"There are two ways to win a race, Hake. One is to beat your opponent by sheer force. The other is to trip him up."

Thus the Reverend H. Hornswell Hake learns the rules of the war he has just been drafted into-a war that he, like most people, had been unaware was taking place. It is a few years in the future, and conventional warfare has gone out of fashion after a few final spasms. Nation is ostensibly at peace with nation, but the world is still falling apart at the seams because of the combatants in the cool war-men and women whose objective is to create as much havoc as possible in rival countries without leaving any evidence that their nation was responsible. Their methods include spreading disease, pushing dangerous drugs, blighting crops and any other mayhem that can be caused without detection.

Hake, a Unitarian minister revelling in the aftermath of an operation which has freed hime from a lifetime in a wheel-chair, is called into active service because of his Middle-East background. His first mission is to accompany a party of schoolchildren innocently presenting marmosets to their brother and sisters in Europe...



Pohl, Frederik. 'Beyond The Blue Event Horizon', published in 1982 in Great Britain published by Orbit (Futura), 327pp, ISBN 0708880886. Condition: good condition, quite well looked. Has some mild fading (sunning) to the covers and some mild sunning to the spine. Price: £4.45, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers and more for overseas customers)
1980, Orbit, Futura (Macdonald & Co), pbk
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Storyline: In this book, which is the sequel to the award-winning Gateway, the alien mysteries of the Heechee are slowly revealed. In a novel which convincingly portrays the power of human curiosity and the strengths, Frederik Pohl has once again asserted his mastery of the science-fiction genre

Contents:
1. Wan
2. On the Way to the Oort Cloud
3. Wan in Love
4. Robin Broadhead, Inc
5. Janine
6. After the Fever
7. Heechee Heaven
8. Schwarze Peter
9. Brasilia
10. The Oldest One
11. S. Ya. Lavorovna
12. Sixty Billion Gigabits
13. At the Halfway Point
14. The Long Night of the Dreams
15. Older than the Oldest One
16. The Richest Person There Is
17. The Place Where the Heechee Went

 
Pohl, Frederik. 'The World at the End of Time' published in 1992 by Grafton (HarperCollins), in Great Britain, 407pp, ISBN 0586212752. Condition: Very good, but slightly worn in places on the cover edges and with some very light tanning to internal pages (browning effect from ageing). Price: £3.20, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas buyers)
1992, Grafton, pbk
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  • The World at the End of Time [top]
    1st published in 1990 in the United States by Del Rey / Ballantine Books in hardback, 393pp, 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. 393 pp, ISBN 0345339762
    Published in 1992 in Great Britain by Grafton, Harper Collins, in paperback, 407pp, ISBN 0586212752. Cover illustration by Tony Roberts

Storyline: "The Desire to Create...Wan-To is the oldest, most powerful intelligence in the universe. A massive entity that plays with star systems as children play with marbles. Matter occupies so tiny a part of his awareness that humans are utterly beneath his notice. But even Wan-To can experience loneliness, so he creates versions of himself for companionship. ...The Power to Destroy - Such offspring, however, are powerful and can turn dangerous. When this happens, he simply destroys the stars where they might be hiding... The colonists of the 'New Mayflower', recently landed on Newmanholme, are intent on creating a world to live in. They know nothing of such amorphous power. Until the planet's stars begin to shift and the climate starts to cool down, causing a desperate struggle to survive before the colony has even had a chance to develop. Viktor Sorricaine is determined to discover the force that is hurtling his world towards the ends of the universe. But the answer is beyond the scope of his understanding... .

 

 



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