My Frederik Pohl Anecdote:
A number of years ago I was a Published Finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest and went to the workshop in San Diego. (Actually, it was Carlsbad, just north of there). One day, my roommate, Brian Rappatta and I were walking through the hotel lobby and saw Frederik Pohl sitting in the lounge area. We nodded politely and kept going.
I’m not sure who it was who said it, but we both agreed this was an opportunity to good to pass up. We turned around and plopped ourselves in chairs opposite him. He told us the maid was cleaning his room and he waiting for her to finish. Fortunately, I had just read Gateway and told him I thought it was a great book and the story and writing still holds up even now.
Pohl smiled, and said, “When I was younger I co-wrote a book called the Space Merchants. I wrote books after that and people would say that they were good, but not as good as Space Merchants. Then I wrote I wrote Gateway. Now everyone says my books are good, but not as good as Gateway. You know, I’m getting real sick of that.”
We all laughed then he said the maid should be done by now and left. I believe that was the last Writers of the Future event he was able to attend.