Although he was less avid a writer than most of the rest of the Futurians, Jack Robins (or Rubinson) once wrote a play: “The Ivory Power,” now unfortunately long lost. It wasn’t a normal “story” play. It was more like one of those WPA docudramas that had become popular in the early ’30s, only it didn’t concern sharecroppers. It was actually about us Futurians and it was a sort of idealization of what we might have been doing in a political sense if we had done anything more than talk.
Looked at in one way, it was actually a kind of a reproach to all of us. Looked at in another it showed what real feelings we had, and might yet give voice to. It was actually quite moving.
Jack earned a doctorate and went on to a long and successful career as a research chemist. Only one other of those clever, fast-talking Futurians attained the Ph.D., Isaac Asimov. Jack’s was a much more explosive career, though: He spent 25 years working in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, for the Atlas Powder Co. — makers of TNT.
Jack is one of the three surviving Futurians, the others being David A. Kyle and your host, Frederik Pohl. Regard nothing as settled, though. We’re all ridiculously old, and one or all of us could go any drafty Thursday.