Jerry Pournelle

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Jerry Eugene Pournelle (born August 7, 1933) is an American science fiction writer, essayist and journalist who contributed for many years to the computer magazine Byte and has since 1998 been maintaining his own website/blog.

From the beginning, Pournelle's work has engaged strong military themes. Several books are centered on a fictional mercenary infantry force known as Falkenberg's Legion. There are strong parallels between these stories and the Childe Cycle mercenary stories by Gordon R. Dickson, as well as Heinlein's Starship Troopers, although Pournelle's work takes far fewer technological leaps than either of these.

Pournelle was one of the few close friends of H. Beam Piper and was granted by Piper the rights to produce stories set in Piper's Terro-Human Future History. This right has been recognized by the copyright owner of the Piper estate. Pournelle did work for some years on a sequel to Space Viking but seems to have abandoned this twenty years or so ago.

He served as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1973.[1]



Pournelle was born in Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish in northwestern Louisiana, and educated in Capleville, Tennessee.[2] He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Afterwards, he obtained advanced degrees: M.S. degrees in both experimental statistics and systems engineering, and Ph.D.'s in both psychology and political science, all from the University of Washington. His political science thesis was titled, "The American political continuum; an examination of the validity of the left-right model as an instrument for studying contemporary American political "isms," and is dated 1964.[3]

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