We're losing them one after the other. Time and age are claiming them and soon none of them will be left. I'm referring to the Grandmasters of Science Fiction, those authors whose indelible imprints are forever etched into a field that once struggled for validity.
Now Frederik Pohl has died. He was different from the other greats of SF for one main reason: I knew him. More accurately, I spent two weeks with him and his wife Betty, along with a host of other aspiring writers, twice during the Nineties.
He was a kind and encouraging man with a rapier wit whose opinions were never condescending or cruel. He seemed to take a genuine liking to me, especially during my second trip when I'd learned to stop taking myself so seriously. His sharp prose became an enormous influence while I was finding my voice and his flawless melding of science and fiction into stories about real people struggling to understand and survive the universe into which they'd been thrust cannot be over-stated.
At the age of 93, Frederik Pohl has departed us. We are a colder, darker place because of it~