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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dr. Jerry Pournelle wins 2016 Heinlein Memorial award

I am very pleased to see Dr. Pournelle recognized for his many contributions to Man's exploration and development of space. It has been one of the great privileges of my life to have the opportunity to work with such a brilliant man and he continues to be an inspiration to those of us who believe in the importance of Man and Western civilization. Congratulations, Dr. Pournelle! - Vox

The National Space Society takes great pleasure in announcing that its 2016 Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award has been won by acclaimed science fiction author Dr. Jerry Pournelle. This prestigious award selected by an international vote of NSS members will be presented to Dr. Jerry Pournelle at the 2016 International Space Development Conference (ISDC).The public is welcome to attend the conference and see the award presentation at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ISDC will run from May 18-22, 2016.

About Dr. Jerry Pournelle

This award recognizes Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s many years of support for space science, exploration, development and settlement and his close association with Robert Heinlein. He was active in the NSS predecessor, the L5 Society, during its early years. Jerry served as co-chair of the very first ISDC, NSS secretary, and as a Board member.

Jerry was also Chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Council on National Space Policy. This group was active during the 1980s and was one of the most effective groups promoting specific space related policy positions at that time. Robert Heinlein was also an active member of that group. The group’s early support of missile defense eventually led to the perceived need for an inexpensive launcher. The briefing that he and two others gave to then Vice President Quayle was instrumental in getting the approval of the DC-X program, overcoming widespread skepticism about the project. Jerry was present at White Sands on September 11, 1993 when the first large rocket, the DC-X vehicle, was reused.

Jerry has consistently supported the vision of self-sustaining human settlements in space and on planetary surfaces, and as part of a free, spacefaring civilization, which is at the very heart of the space movement. Jerry’s work as a science fiction author, focusing on science fiction with realistic physics, has contributed to a better understanding of the limitations and the abilities of human space operations. Few have made such a rich contribution to these fields.

About the Robert A. Heinlein Award

This award is presented once every two years for lifetime achievement in promoting the goal of a free, spacefaring civilization. The winner is decided by the vote of the entire NSS membership, not by the awards committee. The award consists of a miniature signal cannon, on a mahogany base with a black granite inlay and a brass plaque as shown. The award concept came from Robert Heinlein’s classic book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Some of the early award winners include Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan, Neil Armstrong and Elon Musk. More information about this award and the past winners is here.

52 Comments:

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr April 13, 2016 9:08 AM  

Ave! Well deserved!

Along with the Medal of Freedom, but that will have to wait until next year.

Blogger Zeke OF Confettii April 13, 2016 9:09 AM  

Well deserved.

Anonymous Quartermaster April 13, 2016 9:14 AM  

Well deserved indeed!

Anonymous Rolf April 13, 2016 9:15 AM  

Some awards make you roll your eyes. Others make your day.

This was the latter sort. Awesome, and well-deserved.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling April 13, 2016 9:37 AM  

Hmmm, not even a mention of his actual work in human space factors. He knows what decompression feels like, having done research back in the days when scientists would often try their stuff out on themselves as well as formal experimental subjects.

Indeed, a 100% deserved and deserving prize.

Anonymous Matt April 13, 2016 9:38 AM  

I like awards to, but I have to say: I think Jerry Pournelle is over rated as a writer.
I am not talking about his politics, just his writing: prose, character etc.
Just highly over-rated.

Blogger VD April 13, 2016 9:52 AM  

Always good to know the aspie in the room. Time and place, Matt. Time and place.

Blogger Franz April 13, 2016 9:53 AM  

Matt - Miesepeter! This is not the day so shut.

Gratz Dr. Pournelle!

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 13, 2016 9:57 AM  

Maybe in an a bit of irony the slide into Idiocracy will be halted when the American Empire that the man served well breaks up.

Now its basically the "New Cannibal Army" on the prowl

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 10:00 AM  

Deserved recognition. Excellent.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab April 13, 2016 10:19 AM  

He did it all from the actual work to the political that made the actual work possible. He deserves this many times over.

Congrats and well overdue.

Blogger Alexander April 13, 2016 10:23 AM  

I have to say, I am concerned that Dr. Pournelle has very little to say on the subject of trains.

But otherwise, congratulations!

Blogger kudzu bob April 13, 2016 10:46 AM  

Even since I read The Mote in God's Eye in the eighth grade I have admired Pournelle the writer and thinker, but it was during his battle with brain cancer, when he hardly missed a day working on his excellent Chaos Manor blog despite getting zapped with enough gamma rays to turn Bruce Banner into the Hulk, that I came to admire Pournelle the man. He is truly an example of what Hemingway had in mind when he said, "Courage is grace under pressure."

Anonymous Anonymous April 13, 2016 10:53 AM  

I have to reply to Matt: actually, Pournelle's voice in my head is one of the few that I find realistic and not annoying. I absolutely hate the idea that one day there will be no more new stories.

Anonymous Private Name April 13, 2016 10:56 AM  

I have to reply to Matt: Pournelle's voice in my head is one of the few that I don't find annoying. His characters always have an awareness of their context that I very much like.

Anonymous Beau April 13, 2016 11:26 AM  

Congratulations!

Blogger kurt9 April 13, 2016 11:27 AM  

The means that the Heinlein Memorial Award is a real award, unlike most Hugos and Nebulas not to mention all of the Nobel non-technical awards.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr April 13, 2016 11:35 AM  

The sad part is that Dr. Pournelle's most important work is the one the gets the least attention. "The Strategy of Technology" was the manual for How To Crush The Soviet Union. It led to a radical shift in American weapons procurement strategy, away from a qualitative to a quantitative advantage, leveraging our edge in computer technology...and we saw the results both in the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in the 1991 Gulf War.

Arguably the most influential work since Corbett's "Principles of Maritime Strategy."

His SF writing was merely a high-profit sideline.

Blogger bob k. mando April 13, 2016 11:48 AM  

6. Matt April 13, 2016 9:38 AM
I am not talking about his politics, just his writing: prose, character etc.
Just highly over-rated.



*facedesk*

Science Fiction is the fiction of ideas. and Dr. Pournelle has GREAT ideas.

IF you're going to critique SF on the basis of 'style',
THEN why don't you just read Somerset Maugham or something.

i suppose you think Asimov was totes magote awesomesauce with characterization?

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 11:51 AM  

Fantastic

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 11:57 AM  

Find the aspie is like find the vegan, you just have to make sure the cashier is dead.

Blogger Jack Aubrey April 13, 2016 12:16 PM  

This is great news. What will make it greater is if he attends the awards ceremony wearing a Hawaiian shirt in a scantily-clad-females motif.

Anonymous WaterBoy April 13, 2016 12:18 PM  

Congratulations to Dr. Pournelle.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 13, 2016 12:25 PM  

Congratulations indeed.

Wonder what it's like, getting an award named after someone you actually knew...

Anonymous Dave April 13, 2016 12:53 PM  

Very distinguished list of past winners; Dr.Pournelle's inclusion was long overdue.


The award consists of a miniature brass naval cannon...The barrel is inscribed with one of Heinlein's favorite acronyms “TANSTAAFL” (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). The award concept came from one of Heinlein's classic novels, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress...

Nowadays, taken literally, there's free phones, free housing, free healthcare, and yes, free lunches.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 13, 2016 12:56 PM  

Nowadays, taken literally, there's free phones, free housing, free healthcare, and yes, free lunches.

But you haven't understood Heinlein if you say that. There were "free" things when he wrote it too, y'know.

Blogger clk April 13, 2016 1:21 PM  

So when I looked up this award on wiki -- I am a bit confused -- there seems to be several awards generally called Heinlein awards --- one of which Dr Pournelle also won in 2006.

The person whom is way over due for recognition is G Harry Stine -- his non fiction books and model rocket books are sure to be found in the basement or bookshelf of all of that currently work in rockets/space and science...and his fiction and his work on Analog .. surely one of the greats...

Anonymous Mark McSherry April 13, 2016 1:34 PM  

The book is now an ebook, and expanded upon after ACC's death--- Neil McAleer's ARTHUR C. CLARKE: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY. One of the more interesting sections is the 1984 blow-up between ACC and Heinlein during a SDI meeting at Larry Niven's home. The author quotes quite a bit from Dr Pournelle in describing the incident.

Blogger ray April 13, 2016 2:00 PM  

In the mid-Eighties I attended my first (and last) Science Fiction Writers Conference, at some hoity toity spread . . . might have been Pasatiempo?

Anyway Pournelle and the gang were featured, don't recall much except a funny running battle concerning Hard Science and Soft Science value . . . that was considered internecine thirty years ago! times done changed. All in good humor then. As I recall Pournelle was a Hard Sciencer stalwart.

Wow, those were innocent times. Flush times, too.

Congrats to Pournelle on the Heinlein Award. But Elon Musk? lol

Blogger Ahazuerus April 13, 2016 2:46 PM  

Congrats to Dr Pournelle on the award.

This is certainly earned, merited, and overdue.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper April 13, 2016 2:46 PM  

Long overdo recognition for one of the greats.

Anonymous LastRedoubt April 13, 2016 2:52 PM  

Congratulations for a well deserved award.

One that his more vocal detractors will likely never earn.

Anonymous Dave April 13, 2016 2:53 PM  

@clk did you miss the link Vox posted?

http://www.nss.org/news/releases/NSS_Release_20160412_pournelle.html

Anonymous Dave April 13, 2016 3:12 PM  

But Elon Musk? lol

He was the last winner in 2014. Certainly a space society would be above currying favor with the billionaire owner of SpaceX?

Anonymous #8601 Jean Valjean April 13, 2016 3:25 PM  

I like small govt, but if the feds tripled the NASA budget, I'd be OK with it.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 13, 2016 3:27 PM  

clk wrote:I am a bit confused

So: situation normal?

Blogger tweell April 13, 2016 3:37 PM  

Congratulations, Dr. Pournelle! It is good to see recognition where it is due.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar April 13, 2016 3:45 PM  

Vox you sure do have a hard-on for Science Fiction Awards don't you? That fanboy side is showing. Jerry Pournelle is a system guy. He never leaves the Reservation. I'm sure he finds the Dark Ilk as horryifying as Orange Boy Boehner and the Nancy Boys. Has he told you that you need to be more civil yet? Pournelle and his career have obviously benefited from partnering with Larry Niven. Niven is the Last of the Old Sci-Fi guys. His Ringworld series actually starts with a feminist dying from wanting to be one of the boys. Even though he was so popular back in the day that the Kzinti became part of "STAR TREK" in the animated series, his old school patriarchal heroism and male dominated stories ensure none of the girlie men dare speak his name for fear of HYSTERIA outbreaks.

Blogger Ingot9455 April 13, 2016 3:46 PM  

Okay, I'll step in it:

"Kzinti are from Larry Niven."

Blogger kudzu bob April 13, 2016 4:44 PM  

@37

You obviously know nothing about Pournelle, so why are you running your mouth about him?

Blogger ray April 13, 2016 6:05 PM  

"Certainly a space society would be above currying favor with the billionaire owner of SpaceX?"


Heh. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for Existing While Black. Or whatever he is. So there you go.

Oughta call it the Mo-Bel Prize. Ishtar would be so proud!

Barry and Elon are buds. Toured Kennedy Center 'n everything, full VIP treatment. They want to go into outer space, but outer space doesn't want them.

Mr. Musk can't be trusted to leave some Space Award uncorrupted by vanity, but he can be trusted with God's galaxies? Probly not.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar April 13, 2016 6:11 PM  

Jerry is the safe choice for them. He's PC enough to not rock the boat and tell the puppies to play nice, and his Larry Niven Phase is old school enough to not brand him a Cuck. But great things do not come from those who do not rock the boat or challenge the system. Galileo had many contemporaries that held the line for Greek beliefs of the Earth as the center of the Universe. The old poops in Rome liked to be seen near the center of the action. Today Galileo is Lionised and the collaborators are forgotten. Cutting edge can not be done when you back the system. Aside from the black ops programs the system fights the last war with what they made to fight the former enemies. Many a good man has payed by price for their cowardly play it safe attitudes. Play it safe has little appeal for me. Go Big or go home.

Blogger kudzu bob April 13, 2016 6:23 PM  

@41

You already said that, but repeating it doesn't make you sound any less retarded.

Blogger Rusty Fife April 13, 2016 7:24 PM  

Joshua Sinistar wrote:Jerry is the safe choice for them. He's PC enough to not rock the boat and tell the puppies to play nice, and his Larry Niven Phase is old school enough to not brand him a Cuck. But great things do not come from those who do not rock the boat or challenge the system. Galileo had many contemporaries that held the line for Greek beliefs of the Earth as the center of the Universe. The old poops in Rome liked to be seen near the center of the action. Today Galileo is Lionised and the collaborators are forgotten. Cutting edge can not be done when you back the system. Aside from the black ops programs the system fights the last war with what they made to fight the former enemies. Many a good man has payed by price for their cowardly play it safe attitudes. Play it safe has little appeal for me. Go Big or go home.

Didn't your momma love you enough to raise you right?

Wait until you leave the awards ceremony to complain.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar April 13, 2016 8:47 PM  

Look fanboys. Jerry is not a puppy. Face the Truth already. He wants to keep playing in the sandbox and he won't take a position outside the box. Lionise him all you want to, but he's playing it safe in the SJW kitty litter.

Blogger kudzu bob April 13, 2016 9:34 PM  

@44

What a small-minded faggot you are.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar April 13, 2016 10:37 PM  

Namecalling isn't an argument Cult of Bob. Get that screeching under control or everyone will think you're a woman.

Blogger kudzu bob April 14, 2016 12:23 AM  

@46

The little faggot who's done nothing but make a series of attacks unsupported by a single specific example on a brilliant and accomplished man now whines about being called names.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar April 14, 2016 12:40 AM  

Oh, brilliant and accomplished. That certainly makes any criticism unnecessary. After joining the elites why should he have to do anything anymore right? Sure he disdains the Gamer Gate Uprising, and gives a pass to Dino Porn, but that's just OK because he's accomplished and brilliant. Well now that he got this award he can just put it up on his mantle and continue to tell everyone to be civil.
Just remember, we have always been at War with Eastasia. Big Brother is watching over you. OBEY.

THE COMPUTER IS YOUR FRIEND.

Blogger kudzu bob April 14, 2016 10:11 AM  

@48

The little faggot still can't grasp that it needs to back up his accusations with actual, specific examples instead of vague, inchoate claims like "disdains the Gamer Gate uprising" because its misshapen brain is so riddled with fungal lesions.

Anonymous Mike Brill April 30, 2016 9:05 PM  

Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Pournelle, one of the more important essayists from the '70's to the present, on winning this award. As for Sinistar and Kudzu, knock off the flame war and get a job.

THE COMPUTER IS YOUR FRIEND. THE COMPUTER WANTS YOU TO BE HAPPY. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY, THE COMPUTER WILL USE YOU FOR REACTOR SHIELDING.

Anonymous Mike Brill May 02, 2016 4:34 PM  

Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Pournelle, one of the most important essayists from the 1970s to the present, on winning this well-deserved award. As for Sinistar and Kudzu, knock off the flame war and get a job.
THE COMPUTER IS YOUR FRIEND. THE COMPUTER WANTS YOU TO BE HAPPY. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY, THE COMPUTER WILL USE YOU FOR REACTOR SHIELDING.

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