Jerry Pournelle undergoes radiation therapy

Viktor Kuprin

Spaced Cadet
Jerry Pournelle, creator of Falkenberg's Legion, the CoDominium universe, and co-author (with Larry Niven) of The Mote in God's Eye, Inferno, Lucifer's Hammer, and Footfall, is undergoing radiation therapy as treatment for a brain tumor. Though I have never agreed with most of Jerry's politics, I have always loved reading both his fiction and non-fiction writing. And I've always considered The Mote to be the best first-contact novel ever written. I had just posted an overview of Jerry's There Will Be War book series on my Kosmosflot blog when I heard the bad news. Please join me in wishing him a speedy and full recovery.

From the Wiki:

Writing Career

Pournelle began fiction writing non-SF work under a pseudonym in 1965. His early SF was published as "Wade Curtis", in Analog and other magazines. Some SF novels under his own name (sometimes rendered as "J.E. Pournelle") include:

  • King David's Spaceship (1973)
  • West of Honor (1976)
  • The Endless Frontier (1979)
  • Janissaries (1979) (unfinished series)
  • Clan and Crown: Janissaries II (1982) (unfinished series)(with Roland Green)
  • Storms of Victory: Janissaries III (1987) (unfinished series)(with Roland Green)
  • Mamelukes: Janissaries IV (work in progress)
  • Prince of Mercenaries (1989)
  • Falkenberg's Legion (1990)
  • Go Tell the Spartans (1991)
  • Prince of Sparta (1993).

In the mid-1970s, Pournelle began a fruitful collaboration with Larry Niven:
  • The Mote in God's Eye (1974)
  • Inferno (1976)
  • Inferno II (novel) (work in progress)
  • Lucifer's Hammer (1977)
  • Oath of Fealty (1982)
  • Footfall (1985)
  • The Legacy of Heorot (1987), with Steven Barnes
  • The Gripping Hand (1991), the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye
  • Fallen Angels (1991) with 2003 Heinlein Award winner Michael Flynn
  • The Dragons of Heorot AKA Beowulf's Children (1995), with Steven Barnes; the sequel to The Legacy of Heorot
  • The Burning City (2000)
  • Burning Tower (2005).
  • Burning Mountain (in the planning stages).

In 1985, Footfall, in which Robert A. Heinlein was a thinly veiled minor character, reached the number one spot on The New York Times bestseller list. Another bestseller, Lucifer's Hammer (1977), reached number two. Fallen Angels won the Prometheus Award in 1992 for Best Novel and Japan's Seiun Award for Foreign Novel in 1998.


Pournelle wrote the "Chaos Manor" column in the print version of Byte, beginning in January 1982. In the column, Pournelle described his experiences with computer hardware and software, some purchased and some sent by vendors for his review. After the print version of Byte ended publication in the United States, Pournelle continued publishing the column for the online version and international print editions of Byte. In July 2006, Pournelle and Byte declined to renew their contract and Pournelle moved the column to his own web site, Chaos Manor Reviews.

In the 1980s, Pournelle was an editor and columnist for Survive, a survivalist magazine.

Since 1998, Pournelle has maintained a website with a daily online journal, "View from Chaos Manor", in effect a blog dating from before the use of that term. This is a continuation of his 1980s blog-like online journal on GEnie. He says he resists using blog because he considers the word ugly and because he maintains that his "View" is primarily a vehicle for writing rather than a collection of links.


Code Monkey
Staff member
His Chaos Manor articles were some of my favorite readings as a kid. They were, at face value, a computer review column but really they intertwined technology reviews with personal beliefs with reminiscing and told in a story manner that was sometimes straight to the the point and often at other times told in a meandering style that carried over several articles.