The Boy Who Would Live Forever

THE BOY WHO WOULD LIVE FOREVER
By Frederik Pohl
A Tor Hardcover
0-765-31049-X
$25.95/​400 pages


Time and plotlines get complicated when dealing with black holes—and different species and modes of existence—but it's close enough to say that The Boy Who Would Live Forever takes up where Frederik Pohl left the Heechee Saga with Annals of the Heechee (1987), bringing back Gelle-Klara Moynlin, Juan ("Wan") Santos-Smith, the Assassins ("the Foe," "the Kugelblitz"), and the program Sigfrid von Shrink, as a stand-alone subroutine of the AI program Albert Einstein.


At the narrative core of The Boy Who … is a pair of love stories against a background of disasters and potential disasters that threaten entire sun-systems. The final threat, however, is not the usually faceless, immensely powerful, and thoroughly alien Foe, but human possessiveness and hatred.

On a galaxy-wide scale, Pohl tells his intricately-linked stories of humans and Heechee (both living and organically dead), the australopithecine "Old Ones," machine intelligences (both once organic and pure AI), the once—and future?—Foe, now the "Kugels," and others. And within these stories Pohl runs futuristic science-fictional thought experiments on the enduring themes of love and war; economic justice and the proper uses of wealth; the flesh and, and versus, the "spirit."

In a novel narrated to a significant extent by Marc Antony as a "Stovemind," an AI who is both a galaxy-class chef and occasional general; in a novel featuring an AI named Hypatia of Alexandria, who for excellent reasons favors machine-intelligence over flesh—these thought experiments will be nuanced and fascinating.

—RDE

Selected Works

Collaborative Fiction
THE LAST THEOREM grew from 100 pages of notes Arthur C. Clarke gave to Frederik Pohl. [...] With the help of Elizabeth Anne Hull, Pohl completed a story of mathematics, political intrigue, and a threat to the survival of Earth.
Fiction
Latest novel in the Heechee series (New York: Tor, 2004).
"Pohl at the top of his form"
--Poul Anderson

"Another mind-boggling saga."
--David Brin
A brilliant handling of the SF themes of first contact, planetary disaster, and future politics.

The making of a cyborg, with added twists in the human/machine relationship.
--Ingram