Jerry Pournelle

Jerry Pournelle

Dr. Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017) led an adventurous life and wrote an immense quantity of science fact and fiction for over 50 years --including the NY Times bestsellers Lucifer’s Hammer, Oath of Fealty and Footfall (with Larry Niven). Gizmodo described Jerry as "a tireless ambassador for the future". His predictions and persuasive essays may have changed the course of American history but his view on life and growing up influenced thousands of lives. It's not just bookworm material: Jerry's stories are fast-paced and rollicking, often with a deeper level for the careful reader. He worked well with Larry Niven and Steve Barnes as a co-author combining mystery, science, well-paced drama and outlandish predictions of the future. Look for funny and scary aliens as antagonists and sometimes protagonists: Motie watchmakers rewiring the coffee makers, Sauron supermen, marauding cannibals and the comet-surfing Gil character in Lucifers Hammer; intelligent water creatures like the Starswarm saving the day, even elephant conquerors like the Fipth surrendering to humans in Footfall, or the deadly-fast Grendels known as the supercreatures from Legacy of Heorot. Within Jerry’s stories his themes ranged from politics to military Science Fiction, artificial intelligence to individual acts of courage that save the world. In 1980, Jerry predicted that by the year 2000 anyone in Western Civilization would be able to get the answer to any question that can be answered; that happened a bit faster than anyone thought it would. His Co-Dominium universe (The Mote in Gods Eye, Gripping Hand) predicted the fall of the USSR as well as the invention of the iPad. His Langston Field and faster-than-light travel via the Alderson Drive may prove correct as well. Jerry's column in BYTE was the longest running column in the computer industry. It began in 1980 and continued past the turn of the Century on one of the world’s first blogs, ChaosManor™. Starting on ARPANET, Jerry engaged fans one-on-one to create thought-leading communities. The work continues today with nearly 300 Chaos Volunteers and a subject matter expert advisor available on almost any matter from astrophysics to astronomy. Jerry was a full time writer of technology, science fact and fiction. He was President of the Science Fiction Writers of America and active in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His essays on future prediction and adventurous tales of fiction appeared in Galaxy Magazine (A Step Farther Out), Analog (A Spaceship for the King), Soldier of Fortune, Twin Circle, and The Atlantic. Pournelle was known for his paleo-conservative political views, which were sometimes expressed in his fiction. He was one of the founders of the Citizens' Advisory Council on National Space Policy, which developed some of the Reagan Administration's space initiatives, including the earliest versions of what would become the Strategic Defense Initiative. Prior to college, Jerry was a signalman in the Korean War at age 16, leaving West Point early to run a New York City playhouse. In 1953–54, Pournelle attended the University of Iowa and later obtaining two advanced degrees at University of Washington (GO HUSKIES!). His seminal work began as an Aerospace Psychologist for the Human Factors Laboratory at Boeing in Seattle; then a Boeing systems analyst. After completing a second PHD in Political Science he worked in systems analysis and operations research at Aerospace Corporation in Southern California. Since that time, he was a political science professor at Pepperdine University; managed political campaigns; acted as a Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles; consulted to the California Board of Regents; and Science Correspondent for the National Catholic Press, which led to being a full time writer. Mostly Jerry tells stories of clear good guys with difficult decisions and magical engineering solutions to complex problems. His four sons and daughter have recently launched the ChaosManor™ imprint to support Jerry's widow, Roberta. The mission is to help smart kids find their path and achieve their purpose. Look for new eLEGACY editions throughout 2020 that update the classics to include fan art, liner notes and secrets to unlocking what drove this prolific writer and dreamer.

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