RIP Frederik Pohl
Pete K
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Frederik Pohl, one of the great American science fiction writers and editors, died at 93 on Monday. This geeklist is made as a tribute to some of his many contributions to the genre. Please add any entries about your favorite Pohl novels or stories.

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1. Board Game: Merchant of Venus [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:789]
Pete K
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Maybe his most significant novel was actually a collaboration with the brilliant Cyril Kornbluth, the 1953 novel "The Space Merchants." This was about a future ruled by corporate entities whose power derived from unfettered marketing of chemically addictive products. This was first published well before the 1964 Surgeon General's Warning on tobacco products. Tobacco executives were lining up before Congress to swear their ignorance of nicotine addiction as late as 1994.

The Space Merchants is one of the standards of 1950's science fiction. With the ongoing decriminalization, and seemingly inevitable corporatization, of marijuana production, it appears we still have things to learn from it.
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2. Board Game: Gateway to the Stars [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:14045]
Pete K
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His most famous solo novel is likely the 1977 book "Gateway," a brilliant space exploration epic that goes (unbelievably, IMO) largely unmentioned on this website. Prospectors and scrappy entrepreneurs plunge through a alien gateway, sometimes finding valuable artifacts but disappearing just as often. It's a great read and one of my entry points into science fiction.
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3. Board Game: Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1401]
Pete K
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Pohl also published a large amount of short stories throughout his long career (from the late 1930's through the 1990's, with extended breaks when he was an important editor and literary agent), and much of it featured sharp humor and satire that remains relevant today.

Frederik Pohl will be missed.
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4. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1126]
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Before Pohl won the Nebula award for "Gateway" in 1977, we won the same award for "Man Plus" in 1976. This is a story about a man selected for an important space mission, to ensure the human life can exist on Mars. Rather than gloss over the medical procedures and sacrifices, Pohl instead dwells on them, making "Man Plus" more of direct successor to Shelley's "Frankenstein" than to the go-go space novels of the 1940's and 1950's. This was a celebrated novel that managed to incorporate much of the progressive thinking of the "New Wave" of science fiction without falling into its excesses.
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5. Board Game: Beware of the Wolf! [Average Rating:5.21 Unranked]
Bill Allen
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My first Pohl, and I have read a few, was Wolfbane which he wrote with Kornbluth (like the Space Merchants).

I read in back in ... thinks deeply ... 1996. As such, I won't say too much other than it was a book with two distinct halves, and not quite like any other books I have read ... and I loved it.

It then lead me to read the Gateway series, Man and Mars Plus, the Space Merchants, the Eschaton trilogy and O Pioneer.

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