From the blog team:

Gateways, original stories inspired by Frederik Pohl, edited by Elizabeth Anne Hull

Good news, Pohl fans! Goodreads is giving away some copies of Gateways, the just-released anthology of original new stories influenced by Frederik Pohl written by some of the top sf writers in the field and edited by Fred’s wife, Elizabeth Anne Hull. The deadline for entering the contest is July 31, so sign up soon!

Meanwhile, Betty wrote about the book for the Tor/Forge newsletter:

To celebrate my husband’s 90th orbit of the sun, I’m proud to have persuaded eighteen of the top writers in science fiction to contribute a story, and then to write an afterword, for this special anthology. Moreover, there are nine other appreciations of Fred, and these non-fiction pieces are exciting for me and for any serious fan who wants to know more about how we got where we are today in this literary movement Trufans call SF. For example, the memoirs by Bob Silverberg, Jim Gunn, Gardner Dozois, and Harry Harrison — themselves highly influential people who helped make the genre more respectable around the world — tell as much about the field and the way it was cultivated as they do about Fred and the way he encouraged each of them personally.

Elizabeth Anne Hull. Photo by Barb Knoff.

Elizabeth Anne Hull. Photo by Barb Knoff.

The main event here, of course, is the science fiction. Joe Haldeman, Mike Resnick, Frank Robinson, Harry Harrison, and Jody Lynn Nye each wrote a superb new tale. Many of the stories are inspired, either directly or indirectly, by Fred’s own fiction, most commonly by Fred’s favorite tale — the one he claims he is willing to have engraved on his monument when he dies — “Day Million.” I was delighted to realize that Gene Wolfe wrote that kind of singularity story, set in a world in an unspecified time — presumably our future — when humans had changed so much that their very nature has to be explained, or in Gene’s case, demonstrated by his first-person narrator.

The title of Cory Doctorow’s novella leaves no doubt that he was influenced by The Space Merchants, but what he has done with the concept is entirely fresh and original, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that fifty years from now “Chicken Little” will have become a classic in its own right.

In Jim Gunn’s remarkable four first-person narratives of intelligent alien races, he lets the aliens reveal themselves by what they say and how they say it, and by what they each choose to tell us about themselves. I believe Jim was influenced not only by Fred’s many novels and stories in which he created original alien species but also by the many summers he and Fred spent critiquing young writers in the workshops at the University of Kansas.

Then there are some stories that are … well, Fred Pohl-ish stories, like Vernor Vinge’s piece. I was tickled to see Vernor write a story that I think Fred would be proud to have written himself.

Sometimes Fred’s influence was as an editor, when he put a writer’s work before the public. I believe Sheri Tepper’s satiric gifts were encouraged by Fred, and Ben Bova shows in his story that he understands that the sense of humor is just as important as the “sensawunda.”

This project has been a labor of love, not just for me, but also, judging from the fact that all the super-busy contributors found time to send their new works — Neil Gaiman’s coming all the way from China! — for everyone involved.

Oh, and one other thing I must mention: Fred has been nominated for a Hugo for Best Fan Writer — for Be sure to check it out. The Master is still happily writing every day, and is currently putting some finishing touches on his newest novel, All the Lives He Led, scheduled for next spring from Tor.

This also seems a good time to remind you that the deadline for voting on the Hugo Awards is July 31 as well!


  1. Kam-Yung Soh says:


    Please make it clear (at the top of the article) that the contest is only open to US residents. Otherwise Pohl fans from the rest of the world may get too exited and be disappointed by the contest.


  2. leslie devries says:

    This is super–constantly creating and inspiring as a team, and I thank you for that. (now off to vote!)

  3. Shakatany says:

    “To celebrate my husband’s 90th orbit of the sun.” What a lovely way to put it.

  4. Stefan Jones says:

    Thanks for the give-away, but I plan on buying a copy to support sales!

    Years ago, I went to the CONTACT worldbuilder’s conference. Someone asked guest speaker Larry Niven whom he would recommend to a presidential panel assembled to deal with imminent contact with aliens. Larry’s reply, from memory: “Well, the first pick would be Fred Pohl.”

    That’s the only name he mentioned. I find that especially remarkable given that they come from vastly different places, politically.

  5. andrewc says:

    Hey this contest is limited to the US, not fair .. excluding Canadians.

  6. John Boland says:

    Not relevant to the Gateways, but I hope Fred finds time to describe some more of what it was like editing If and Galaxy. I suppose the answer to the question has to be “lots of different things,” but I’ve often wondered what it was like when the first Riverworld story arrived, or “The Star Pit” or “Driftglass.” Did Farmer just ship it in, without overture? Did Delany drop around with a ms. and a “Don’t know if you’ll like this”? Or the Puppeteer stories? It must have been satisfying to be an editor and have stories like those arrive. They’ve certainly stayed with this reader a long time, for which I’m grateful.

  7. Blake Bolinger says:

    So far, it’s been a wonderful read. I’m about a third of the way through, after having downloaded the Kindle iPad version (perfect format for those of us with poor vision). This is great stuff.

  8. Tom says:

    Got excited! US only. Got disappointed. Feeling excluded. Will buy it anyway (paperback edition).