Skip to content

September 11, 2017

Sci-fi author and tech advocate Jerry Pournelle dies

by John_A

The science fiction and technology worlds are poorer off this weekend, as author Jerry Pournelle has died at 84 after a sudden illness. He was best-known for collaborating with Larry Niven on classic novels like The Mote in God’s Eye, but he’s equally known as a strong advocate for technology and spaceflight. Significantly, he’s widely credited as the first major author to write a published novel entirely on a computer. He bought an extremely expensive ($12,000 in 1977 dollars) machine anticipating that it would let him edit and correct mistakes far more quickly than with a typewriter. While it’s virtually a given that authors will write with computers these days, Pournelle spurred many of his peers to buy PCs and ultimately usher in an era of digital writing.

His involvement wasn’t confined to the literary space, either. He was in charge of the Reagan administration’s Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy, and momentarily worked with Senator Newt Gingrich. In the last years of his life, he was also a frequent commentator on technology issues. He was a frequent guest on the TWiT network’s technology podcasts, for example.

Pournelle wasn’t without controversy. He was both praised and criticized for helping to spark the military sci-fi genre, rather than embracing a more hopeful view of the future. However, there’s little doubt that he played important roles in not only popularizing sci-fi, but linking that passion to real-world advocacy.

Via: File 770, The Verge

Source: JerryPournelle.com

Advertisements
Read more from News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: