The science fiction and technology worlds are poorer off this weekend, as author Jerry Pournelle has died at 84 after a sudden illness. He was best-known for collaborating with Larry Niven on classic novels like The Mote in God's Eye, but he's equally known as a strong advocate for technology and spaceflight. Significantly, he's widely credited as the first major author to write a published novel entirely on a computer. He bought an extremely expensive ($12,000 in 1977 dollars) machine anticipating that it would let him edit and correct mistakes far more quickly than with a typewriter. While it's virtually a given that authors will write with computers these days, Pournelle spurred many of his peers to buy PCs and ultimately usher in an era of digital writing.