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American sci fi writer (1919- )

You can't really predict the future. All you can do is invent it.

FREDERIK POHL, "Science Fiction's Hidden Hero"

That's what life is, just one learning experience after another, and when you're through with all the learning experiences you graduate and what you get for a diploma is, you die.


The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction. You look at the world around you, and you take it apart into all its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens. That's the method: restructure the world we live in in some way, then see what happens.

FREDERIK POHL, Locus Magazine, Oct. 2000

The greatest challenge facing the human race is learning restraint. We can do tremendous things to this world we live in, and we’ve doing them for hundreds of thousands of years, since the first farmers learned ways of reshaping the earth, first in small ways and then in huge ones, to increase their crops. The current result is that our activities are turning important parts of our planet into territories that no longer generously support life. Our American Sun Belt states, for instance, from Texas to Southern California, are risking becoming pure desert, very like the Sahara. We know precisely what causes this. It is increasing amounts of such gases as carbon dioxide and methane, slowly—and now, not so slowly—warming the Earth’s atmosphere. But have you heard a single one of our would-be candidates for President even mention this problem, much less undertake to try to do something about it?

FREDERIK POHL, LitStack interview

When I sit down to the feast of life ... I'm so busy planning on how to pick up the check, and wondering what the other people think of me for paying it, and wondering if I have enough money in my pocket to pay the bill, that I don't get around to eating.


That's really what SF is all about, you know: the big reality that pervades the real world we live in: the reality of change. Science fiction is the very literature of change. In fact, it is the only such literature we have.

FREDERIK POHL, attributed, Science Fiction Authors: A Research Guide

You can’t always account for why something didn’t work out.

FREDERIK POHL, "Science Fiction's Hidden Hero"

I was ten years old when I discovered SF. Some visitor to our house left a magazine that was new to me, Wonder Stories Quarterly. I don't remember what any of the stories were, but the cover was a giant scaly monster knocking the top off one of the big gas tanks they used to have around the outskirts of the city. I had never seen anything like it, so I read every page (understanding a large fraction of them) and wished I had more, though I had no idea that there was any more.

FREDERIK POHL, Locus Online, Jan. 28, 2009

Nothing is fun when you don't have a choice.


You can't trust reason. We threw it out of the ad profession long ago and have never missed it.

FREDERIK POHL, The Space Merchants

There are people who never pass a certain point in their emotional development. They cannot live a normal free-and-easy, give-and-take life with a sexual partner for more than a short time. Something inside them will not tolerate happiness. The better it gets, the more they have to destroy it.



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