Platinum Pohl: The Collected Best Stories

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The Fall of Gondolin

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The Black Beast of Ipswich: Sherlock Holmes & Carnacki

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Frederik Pohl, the bestselling author of The Boy Who Would Live Forever, is famous for his novels, but first and foremost, he is a master of the science fiction short story.

For more than fifty years he has been writing incisive, entertaining SF stories, several hundred in all. Even while writing his bestselling triple-crown (Hugo, Nebula, Campbell Award) novel Gateway and the other Heechee Saga novels, he has always written short fiction.

Now, for the first time, he has gathered together the best of his many stories in Platinum Pohl. Spanning the decades, these tales are in their way a living history of science fiction. Because Frederik Pohl has been on the frontlines of the field since the halcyon days of the late 1930s, and has written short stories in every decade since. And because he has always been a keen observer of the human condition and the world that is shaped by it, his stories reflect the currents of political movements, social trends, major events that have shaken the world . . .

Yet at their core, all his stories are most acutely concerned with people. All sorts of people. Some are people you’ll love, some you’ll hate. But you will need to find out what happens to the people who inhabit these stories. Because Frederik Pohl imbues his characters with a depth and individuality that makes them as real as people you see every day. Of course, he also employs a mind-boggling variety of scientific ideas and science fictional tropes with which his characters must interact. And he does it all with seemingly no effort at all. That’s some trick. Not everyone can do that . . . but that’s why he was named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by his peers in the Science Fiction Writers of America.

Here are his two Hugo Award winning stories, “Fermi and Frost” and “The Meeting” (with C. M. Kornbluth), along with such classic novellas as the powerful “The Gold at the Starbow’s End” and “The Greening of Bed-Stuy,” and stories such as “Servant of the People,” “Shaffery Among the Immortals,” and “Growing Up in Edge City,” all finalists for major awards. And dozens of other wonderful tales, like “The Mayor of Mare Tranq” and the provocative “The Day the Martians Landed” and many others.

Altogether, a grand collection of thought-provoking, entertaining science fiction by one of the all-time greats!

Gateway (Heechee Saga)

WINNER OF THE HUGO AND NEBULA AWARDS • Frederik Pohl stands shoulder to shoulder with Philip K. Dick, Larry Niven, Robert Heinlein, and Ray Bradbury as one of the brilliant vision-aries in the science fiction stratosphere. Gateway is a modern masterpiece that defines—and transcends—its genre.

Seeded among the stars are troves of valuable artifacts left behind by the enigmatic, long-vanished alien racecalled the Heechee. For the right price, anyone can climb aboard one of the abandoned Heechee spaceships, castoff on an autopilot voyage to parts unknown, and takea chance on finding wealth . . . or facing death.

Robinette Broadhead took that chance and walked awaya winner. But at what cost? Despite living a millionaire’s life of material luxury, he’s haunted by crippling despair—and the dark secrets buried deep in his psyche. With the help of his computerized psychiatrist, the truth about whathappened “out there” could set Broadhead free. But only after a personal journey more terrifying and, ultimately, more devastating than his last fateful trip into space.

Praise for Gateway

“When an author of the stature of Frederik Pohl says that . . . Gateway is the best thing he has ever written, it deserves careful attention. . . . Get this one.”Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

Lest Darkness Fall & Timeless Tales Written in Tribute

Rarely do books have such a great influence on a genre as Lest Darkness Fall has had on science fiction. Frequently quoted as one of the favorite books of many of the masters in this genre, this book by L. Sprague de Camp helped establish alternate-history as solid sub-genre of science fiction.

An indication of the influence and longevity of the book is by the number of best-selling writers who have written stories in direct response to, or influenced by, Lest Darkness Fall. The original tribute volume (titled Lest Darkness Fall and Related Stories, reprinted three such stories by Frederik Pohl, David Drake and S. M. Stirling written over a period of forty-three years―a testament to the timelessness of the book.

The 2021 edition (Lest Darkness Fall and Timeless Tales Told in Tribute) includes two brand new stories by Harry Turtledove and David Weber.

Similar, thematically, to Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, the book tells the tale of Martin Padway who, as he is walking around in modern Rome, is suddenly transported though time to 6th Century Rome.

Once in ancient Rome, Padway (now Martinus Paduei Quastor) embarks on an ambitious project of single-handedly changing history.

L. Sprague de Camp was a student of history (and the author of a number of popular works on the subject). In Lest Darkness Fall he combines his extensive knowledge of the workings of ancient Rome with his extraordinary imagination to create one of the best books of time travel ever written.

This volume also includes an afterword by Alexei and Cory Panshin, adapted from their Hugo-winning book on science fiction, The World Beyond the Hill.