RIP Jerry Pournelle
Jerry Pournelle, one of the giants of science fiction literature, passed away on Friday. He was best known for his frequent, genre-defining writing collaborations alongside fellow luminary Larry Niven, including The Mote in God's Eye, Lucifer's Hammer and Footfall. He was an unparalleled creator of worlds in his own right, responsible for series like Janissaries and the CoDominium setting, which has become an expansive shared universe that continues to expand today. Mr. Pournelle was equally respected in the tech world, where his early advocacy for personal computing took the form of a famed BYTE column, Chaos Manor, that ran in some form or another until his death.
Wing Commander fans will remember Mr. Pournelle as one of our own, a true fan of the series and an advocate for our favorite universe. In fact, it was through his computing column that I first discovered the series, his passion for the series causing my father to take note and suggest it to me. When Baen started developing Wing Commander books, Jerry Pournelle was an early choice for the third slot in the package. The initial plan was to have him outline a story for Ellen Guon (which would have involved the destruction of the Tiger's Claw.) Alas, contract issues blocked the project and the book assignment went to William Forstchen's Fleet Action instead. Some years later, he expressed an interest in telling more stories in the Privateer setting, which unfortunately also did not materialize.
You can access years of correspondence and columns through his A View from Chaos Manor website.