Jerry Pournelle

in Shreveport, Louisiana, The United States
August 07, 1933

September 08, 2017



Dr Jerry Eugene Pournelle was an American science fiction writer, engineer, essayist, and journalist, who contributed for many years to the computer magazine Byte, and from 1998 until his death maintained his own website and blog.

From the beginning, Pournelle's work centered around strong military themes. Several books describe the fictional mercenary infantry force known as Falkenberg's Legion. There are strong parallels between these stories and the Childe Cycle mercenary stories by Gordon R. Dickson, as well as Heinlein's Starship Troopers, although Pournelle's work takes far fewer technological leaps than either of these.

Pournelle served as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1973.

Jerry Pournelle isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but he does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from his feed.


Well, moving weekend. My old ISP, which was operated by Greg Lincoln and
Brian Bilbrey, is closing down. We're moving to a different location, and
this is the weekend for most of the moves.

As a consequence we will be changing formats here. View and Mail will
remain, but just how they look and how they work will change. It will be a
WordPress operation, and a lot of the peculiarities...

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Published on June 25, 2011 21:27 • 366 views
Average rating: 3.95 · 160,996 ratings · 5,128 reviews · 175 distinct worksSimilar authors
Falkenberg's Legion (Falken...

4.15 avg rating — 1,989 ratings — published 1990 — 2 editions
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Janissaries (Janissaries, #1)

3.79 avg rating — 1,505 ratings — published 1979 — 16 editions
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Prince of Mercenaries (Falk...

4.11 avg rating — 1,207 ratings — published 1989 — 4 editions
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King David's Spaceship

3.83 avg rating — 1,834 ratings — published 1973 — 13 editions
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West Of Honor

4.03 avg rating — 1,098 ratings — published 1976 — 14 editions
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Go Tell the Spartans (Falke...

4.04 avg rating — 913 ratings — published 1991 — 5 editions
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Prince of Sparta (Falkenber...

4.10 avg rating — 899 ratings — published 1993 — 3 editions
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The Mercenary

3.98 avg rating — 793 ratings — published 1977 — 12 editions
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The Prince (Falkenberg's Le...

4.19 avg rating — 623 ratings — published 2002
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3.80 avg rating — 597 ratings — published 1998
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More books by Jerry Pournelle…
“One of your most ancient writers, a historian named Herodotus, tells of a thief who was to be executed. As he was taken away he made a bargain with the king: in one year he would teach the king's favorite horse to sing hymns. The other prisoners watched the thief singing to the horse and laughed. "You will not succeed," they told him. "No one can." To which the thief replied, "I have a year, and who knows what might happen in that time. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die. And perhaps the horse will learn to sing.”
Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

“In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control, and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.[Pournelle's law of Bureaucracy]”
Jerry Pournelle

“We juggle priceless eggs in variable gravity. I am afraid. I will taste fear until I die.”
Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye


Science Fiction Madness Round 1 Match B

  34 votes 58.6%

  24 votes 41.4%

58 total votes

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