ActuSF : What's your greatest achievement as If and Galaxy's editor in chief ?
Frederik Pohl : I was able to bring a fair number of good new writers into the field, probably the most famous of whom was Larry Niven.
ActuSF : You were an agent, an editor, a publisher and, of course, an author. How do you consider the publishing business of today ? Does it change a lot in the past decades ?
Frederik Pohl : The publishing business---like all businesses---of today is stressed out of recognition because of the ignorant recklessness of George W. Bush and the shamefully culpable greed of leading bankers and other businessmen. I can't see any farther into the future than a slow (but, I hope, coming) recovery. The shape of it will largely be determined by what entities manage to survive.
ActuSF : There's always some ironical distance in all of your books. Do you think that SciFi is too much serious today ?
Frederik Pohl : No. I think there's always a good mix among the best writers, who do their own thing, and what does it matter what the others do?
ActuSF : If you still were editor for Galaxy or If today, what kind of SciFi would you like to promote ? Is there some authors you would love to work with ?
Frederik Pohl : What I tried to do in Galaxy was give high-quality examples of all kinds of sf some space, which I guess is pretty much what I'd do again, and yes there are many authors I'd love to work with---Paolo Bacigalupi. Robert Sawyer, Greg Benford and quite a few others, for example. But it isn't going to happen because I'm never going to be an editor again. Too much work.
ActuSF : What is the basis of your lifelong love affair with science-ficion ? Do yous still love it ?
Frederik Pohl : Sf taught us kids that the world could be different and, if we didn't screw it up, better. I still think that, and find support in sf.
ActuSF : You have been an author, an editor, the winner of numerous literary prizes, What is your outlook on science-fiction today ?
Frederik Pohl : Sf has its ups and downs and I fear it's sort of down right now, but I think an up is waiting in the wings.
ActuSF : On your blog, you write a lot about your meetings with Science-fiction authors. Which were the most beautiful acquaintances, and the best moments of your career ?
Frederik Pohl : All of them. Read the blog and see for yourself. Personally I find it quite enjoyable.
ActuSF : Which book are you the most proud of ?
Frederik Pohl : Two: The Space Merchants (with Cyril) and Gateway.
ActuSF : Will we get the chance to read new books from you ?
Frederik Pohl : I certainly hope so. I'm finishing one right now, and have plans for another, which I think might be my best book ever. Working title for the first is Underneath the Mountain, which I'm going to change as soon as the right title reveals itself to me, and for the second Sweet Home, which probably will get changed too.
The word of his wife, Betty :
I'll add that I am editing an anthology to appear in June from Tor, a tribute volume titled Gateways. It is comprised of 18 original stories by some of the authors Fred mentions above, like Larry Niven and Greg Benford, and some other "hot" writers like Joe Haldeman, Neil Gaiman, David Brin, and Cory Doctorow, each with an afterword about the writer's relationship to Fred, plus tributes from eight other writers who couldn't fit in a story due to their crowded writing schedules, like Rob Sawyer, Connie Willis, and Robert Silverberg, all of whom were influenced by Fred as an editor, agent, and/or friend and role model. It was conceived as a festschrift in honor of Fred's 90th year, and it's an amazing collection, in my own opinion. I hope you'll let everyone you know know about it.