Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dr. Pournelle health report

From Jerry's blog:
    “Jerry had a small stroke. He is recovering well at a local hospital. Prognosis is good, though they’re running more tests and he’s expected to stay at least another day or two.

    “He felt well enough to call Mom [Mrs. Pournelle] from the hospital.

    “Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. More updates when we have them.”
They are permitting well-wishers to post comments, in case you would like to do so.

I can't say I know Dr. Pournelle well, but after working with him over the last two weeks to get "His Truth Goes Marching On" and "Simulating the Art of War" into RIDING THE RED HORSE, I found myself marveling at how sharp he is despite being 81 years old. Of course, it probably helps when you're starting with a mind that is around +4SD.

We did talk a little about the SFWA purge in passing; he was curious about my perspective on it. He was mildly appalled to hear what really happened, as you might expect, and thought the Board's action was both ridiculous and short-sighted. But he also saw the humor in the incident, and laughed out loud when I explained the actual nature of the technical violation.

It's such a pleasure to discover that a giant of one's youth is also a genuinely good man. Here is to his speedy recovery.

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Blogger Myles December 17, 2014 4:38 AM  

All the best to him and his. Hopefully he comes out the other side alright, strokes can be terribly damaging.

Blogger Rantor December 17, 2014 5:59 AM  

I met and talked with him some 30 years ago, I will always appreciate the time he took to talk to a fan, not about his stories, but about life and serving in the military. Praying for Jerry.

Blogger James Dixon December 17, 2014 7:23 AM  

Wishes for a speedy recovery sent and prayers offered.

Blogger Manach December 17, 2014 7:29 AM  

Given the time of year, I'd pray that he is soon reunited with his family at home.

Anonymous Ridip December 17, 2014 7:48 AM  

I briefly met Jerry at a COMDEX 20 years ago. It was interesting to see the lord of Chaos Manor sneaking in, notepads in hand, to checkout what was new in tech. He was very gracious and kind to my friend who was acting like a tween-age girl meeting a pop singer.

Funny thing was we were both there for a Microsoft programming competition and got to meet and spend time with Bill Gates, While I was excited to meet Bill and just trying not to bother Dr. Pournelle, I was struck by the difference between the two men. Both geniuses in their own right. The one surrounded by handlers and obviously suffering greatly from Aspberger's, the other keen witted, clear minded, traveling solo, among the throngs of humanity.

Get well soon, Dr. Pournelle and grace and peace to the missus.

Blogger Tim December 17, 2014 9:09 AM  

As a regular reader of his blog since the beginning, I remember when he began suffering from the brain tumor, and his recovery from same, and how you could see the disjointed nature of his thoughts beginning, bottoming out, and then recovering to almost the same level as before. I am glad he is doing well, and hope he recovers enough to resume his blogging and writing activities.
He has been one of my favorites for 40 years or more.

Anonymous Bobby Trosclair December 17, 2014 9:18 AM  

Best wishes to Dr. Pournelle. He was kind enough to take the time to recently send my son (a fan of his writing) a handwritten note to congratulate him on an achievement. Although not an overtly theological writer, his Catholic faith informs his writing with a clear-cut perspective on the nature of good and evil and a celebration of the wonders of God's universe. A good man and an amazing author. My prayers for his speedy recovery.

Anonymous Mike M. December 17, 2014 9:29 AM  

God send that he recovers quickly. Dr. Pournelle may be best known as a SF writer, but his work as a strategist has had far greater influence. "The Strategy of Technology" is probably the most important work of the Cold War.

Anonymous Quartermaster December 17, 2014 9:47 AM  

Been reading his blog since the beginning. Before they were known as blogs. Good man, good writer. Hope he recovers completely and is home for Christmas.

Met Bill Gates, and I was not impressed.

Anonymous Harsh December 17, 2014 11:51 AM  

Well wishes and a prayer for a speedy recovery to Dr. Pournelle. Janissaries and The Mote in God's Eye were two of my favorite books growing up, and the latter is one of the finest works of pure SF ever in my opinion.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 17, 2014 12:03 PM  

I agree with Harsh about Mote, and everyone else on the speedy recovery. If I recall, Dr. Pournelle has stayed fairly active, a good sign and a good example.

Met Bill Gates, and I was not impressed.

Perhaps you have to have met other people in his position in order to be impressed.

Anonymous Quartermaster December 17, 2014 1:13 PM  

Jack, I have. I do get around some, even if not as much as I used to.

In CP/M days, we used to call Microsoft "The Bellevue Bandits." They've "published" a fair amount of vaporware, as we used to call it. We geeks were not amused, or impressed.

Blogger Steve December 17, 2014 6:04 PM  

"Met" him in the pages of Byte Magazine so many years ago. Guess I need to get familiar with his other literary works (SF). Any recommendations for a first flight?

Best wishes and prayers for him and his family.


P.S. He also introduced me to a writer who had some credible words against the doctrines of modern science. Wish I could remember that writer's name, too.

Blogger papabear December 17, 2014 7:34 PM  

Kyrie eleison.

Blogger SWW December 17, 2014 8:09 PM  

Yes, I was a fan of his Byte mag, Chaos Manor column years ago. May he recover quickly.

Blogger MidKnight December 17, 2014 11:44 PM  

I hope for all the best for the good doc. The man taught me a love of history despite my school teachers.

Blogger CarpeOro December 18, 2014 3:10 PM  

@Steve - If you like science in your fiction, some combat, and a decent sized book, pick up "Lucifer's Hammer". Good read.

Blogger Kirk Parker December 20, 2014 2:07 AM  

One of the best things about the long-departed was getting to interact with Jerry Pournelle (among others.)

In addition to the works already mentioned, his coauthorship of The Stragegy of Technology puts him very high on my list.

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