Jerry Pournelle

The Terran Knowledge Bank
Jump to: navigation, search

Jerry Pournelle is an American science-fiction author and Korean War veteran. He is perhaps best known for co-writing with Larry Niven the 1973 novel The Mote in God's Eye, and for his Falkenberg's Legion and Co-Dominion series.

Pournelle's involvement with Wing Commander stems from a 1990 article he wrote for the computer magazine Byte. Several years later, when Privateer was released, he wrote of a novel concept for the game he had.

Early on there was a spinoff game called Privateer which used the original Wing Commander engine and some of the original ships, but had a free form universe you could explore until you stumbled across the story line. That was followed by an ad-on scenario called "Righteous Fire" that was the single most enjoyable action game I have ever played. I loved Privateer and Righteous Fire... I still wish they’d simply publish the specs for writing ad on scenarios to the original Privateer, though. If they want to improve the graphics levels, fine, but in fact that was about good enough; and it sure was fun. I can think of a number of stories I could write in that universe.

It was rumored, after End Run, that Pournelle would author the third Wing Commander novel with Ellen Guon. In a letter to the CIC, he responded:

I don't remember how that news got out. I much admired Ellen's novel, but I certainly never had a contract to do a Wing Commander novel. Lost in the mists of time, I guess. I liked the Wing Commander game series a lot, and Privateer is certainly among my top five favorite games ever.

In 1999, Pournelle reviewed the Wing Commander movie:

I've just seen Wing Commander, Now this is one movie you will either love or hate. I doubt there is much in between. If you liked that game, you will love the movie. If you can do willing suspension of belief enough to like Star Wars, you should love this. It has at least as good a story line, and the characters are believable, at least to me. And Maniac is no longer an idiot. Impulsive, yes, hot pilot with a high regard for his own abilities, but not a dope at all. I liked it a lot. I truly did. The effects were quite good. Now you have to go in there with the view that you are going to suspend your analytical faculties, but that's true of a lot of good movies, and certainly so for Star Trek and Star Wars. If you can do that, you will love this movie. I did.

Origin designer John Guentzel would honor Pournelle by naming one of the star systems in the Enigma Sector after him, on the map that came with Wing Commander: Prophecy in 1997.