Award-winning science fiction author Poul Anderson dies at 74 08/02/2001
SAN FRANCISCO - Master science fiction writer Poul Anderson, author of futuristic tales of human courage, died of complications related to prostate cancer. He was 74.
Anderson died Tuesday at his home in Orinda, about 15 miles east of San Francisco.
Anderson was a former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and a winner of three Nebula Awards and seven Hugo Awards.
In 1997, the writers group named him a Grandmaster, and last year he was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
Just last month, his novel "Genesis" won the John W. Campbell Award for the best science fiction novel of the year for 2000.
Other noted works include "Tau Zero," "Midsummer Tempest," "The Boat of a Million Years" and "The Enemy Stars."
Anderson, whose first name is pronounced "pole," grew up in Minnesota and Texas. He published his first story in 1947 while attending the University of Minnesota. After his marriage in 1953, he and his wife, Karen, moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where he lived for the rest of his life.
On Thursday, Karen Anderson remembered her husband as a writer who took the simplest observations and expanded on them in his books about imaginary lands and beings. Anderson's stories exemplified the bravery the writer saw around him and throughout history, she said.
"They showed the importance of honor and courage, the wonder of the universe and knowing about it through science," Ms. Anderson said. "Many scientists have told him they got their start by reading not just science fiction, but his science fiction."
"The Boat of A Million Years" was an epic novel spanning past and future evolutions of humanity wherein some people naturally evolve to become immortal, only to find themselves ostracized by society.
In "Three Hearts and Three Lions" Anderson wrote of a modern-day engineer caught in a fantastical world of dragons and witches.
Though he wrote of technologically advanced civilizations, Anderson himself preferred the basics when constructing his stories.
"He used a typewriter up until last fall, always being too busy on the next story to learn how to use computers," his wife said.
Fellow science fiction greats Sir Arthur Clarke and Harlan Ellison each sent their condolences to the Anderson family.
Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter; a brother; and two grandchildren. A memorial gathering was planned for Saturday at the First Unitarian Church in Oakland.