Support Jerry Pournelle

| March 15, 2008

I just found out (via Instapundit) that Jerry Pournelle is currently undergoing radiation therapy for some kind of brain tumor or growth.

Jerry is a well-known science fiction author; he was also for many years one of the most influential (if not the most influential) columnists in the personal computing field.  I met Jerry after I started writing for BYTE Magazine back in 1984 and had the privilege of visiting him and his lovely wife Roberta in their famous home, Chaos Manor, on several occasions. Jerry has one of the most wonderful, extensive and diverse personal libraries that I’ve ever seen — and I would swear that he’s not only read every single book in that library, but that he can quote at will from any of them. That’s not surprising, however, given his educational background (which includes two PhDs).

True story: Jerry and Roberta would come down to San Diego on a regular basis just to get out of LA for a few days. One such trip, they came over to our house in Rancho Penasquitos to visit. At that time, there was a naked-eye-visible comet up in the sky. Jerry excused himself to step out into our backyard to take another look at it. Several seconds later, we heard a loud splash from the backyard, and we ran out to see what had happened. Jerry, his eyes focused on the comet, had unsuspectingly stepped into our swimming pool. Sandra and I were horrified that we hadn’t said anything about the pool when Jerry went out back, but he took it all in good humor and often told the story on himself for some time thereafter.

Anyway, Jerry at this point (in his mid-70s) supports himself entirely from his own writings and web site.  Radiation therapy is not cheap. So consider going over to his website and subscribing  or just contribute to him directly using Paypal via this e-mail address. And send him your best wishes while you’re at it. Jerry is truly sui generis, and we will not see his like again.  ..bruce..

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Category: Information Technology, Journalism, Main, Personal

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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