Science fiction author and Byte magazine columnist Jerry Pournelle has died

Science fiction author and Byte magazine columnist Jerry Pournelle has died according to a statement by his son Alex posted to Jerry's web site. A well-wishing page has been set up for visitor's to post their thoughts and memories of Mr. Pournelle.


  • Pournelle had the capacity within him to be a good person; there is no better example of that than the generosity with which he showered poor George Alec Effinger with help when Effinger was having devastating health problems and his house burned down, and Pournelle did this even though Effinger's politics were as different from his own as mine are.

    But Pournelle was mostly a horrible person who believed war was the natural and inevitable state of humanity, even though he had never actually participated in one himself, who had an inflated sense of his own expertise and self-importance despite being a relative nobody on policy matters and not knowing nearly as much as he thought he did about computers. He was an enthusiastic proponent of Ronald Reagan's Star Wars boondoggle even when people who actually knew what they were doing were warning us it couldn't ever possibly work. And don't even get me started on his racism.

    He wrote a couple of pretty good stories and probably kept Larry Niven's career alive a good decade beyond the point where Niven would have given it up for lack of new ideas. But he also thought Ed Teller was a visionary and that Martin Luther King and Gandhi were animals who should be put down. I will give the man his due for being generous to Effinger, but on the balance he was a terrible person we should not be thinking of kindly.


    and the winner for the most Virtuous Person on Parallax Forums for 2017 is.....


    Congratulations LocalRoger, such an impressive display of virtue, I hereby award the MVPPF award for 2017 a full 4 months in advance, because we know such an impressive display of virtue will never be equaled.
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