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Popular science fiction writer Frederik Pohl, who was well respected for his unique insight into the future and the cost of technology, has died at age 93.
The Guardian, which referred to the New York-born writer as a grandmaster of the genre, reports that Pohl’s death was announced on Twitter by his granddaughter, Emily Pohl-Weary. “Rest in peace to my beloved grandfather Frederik Pohl, who showed me by example how to be an author. 1919-2013,” she wrote.
According to the New York Times, his agent, Mitchell Waters, said that he had been hospitalized for acute respiratory distress and died at the hospital near his Palatine, Illinois home.
Pohl started his career in the literary business as a teen, representing his friends, who also wrote science fiction. He edited magazines and books, but eventually made a name for himself as a writer. His first published work was a 1937 poem Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna, published in Amazing Stories.
He often wrote about the dangers of technology and suggested that the future was not destined to be a utopia. In the 1950s, he wrote one of his most famous works, The Space Merchants, with Cyril M. Kornbluth. That story focuses on advertising executives who control consumers by providing a never-ending cycle of addictive products.
Pohl’s best known work was 1977’s Gateway, about an abandoned space station in an asteroid built by aliens. Humans learn to use the technology over time. The novel won several awards and is still considered a major science fiction work.
Pohl never stopped writing and even blogged. On Friday, he wrote a post called “When You Give It Away,” noting, “Every knows that the principal thing lacking in the poor is the same all over the world. Its name is Money.”