Gateway Paperback – Oct 12 2004
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About the Author
Frederick Pohl has been a SF writer and editor for almost 50 years. He grew up in New York, but now lives near Chicago. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Robinette Broadhead becomes a Gateway prospector as one of the few avenues of advancement open to a poor person on Earth. This book tells of his trips interspersed with his conversations with a computerized therapist.
The setting is interesting, and the story is very effective. I would recommend this book highly.
This is the opener of a series which suffers from what might be called the "Dune" Effect: a terrific first book, with diminishing returns in subsequent volumes. Pohl ultimately does resolve the mystery of the Heechees, along with other questions not introduced in this book; unfortunately the answers are less interesting than the questions, and the story loses momentum well before the end of the series. I would recommend the sequel, "Beyond the Blue Event Horizon", but the final two volumes aren't up to snuff.
The story is told as a series of therapy sessions between Bob and an artificial intelligence therapy program, alternating with flashbacks to Bob's earlier life and his three prospecting missions. The therapy discussions are sometimes painful and "Sigfrid" the therapist is both persistent and subtle. Even though his presence in therapy makes it clear that Bob survived all three missions, there are still surprises, puzzles, and interpersonal tensions. Although this is a complete story on its own, Bob's life story continues in Beyond the Blue Event Horizon, Heechee Rendezvous, and The Annals of the Heechee.
This is an enjoyable story and worthy of its good reputation as a science fiction classic. It has an early Heinlein feel to it. Some of this comes from the institutional setting of the Gatway asteroid and the corporation that runs it. Some comes from Bob's difficulties understanding women. At least Bob--unlike a number of Heinlein characters-- knows that he has issues and looks for help to deal with them.
It's a good read. And a good listen as an audio book. Enjoy!
Once upon a time, Earth explorers reach Venus and discover tunnels beneath the planet's surface, vestiges of an alien technology and presence. No aliens, just those tunnels and some artifacts. One explorer finds a spaceship and manages to operate it, not realizing that it is automatically programmed to go to a specific destiny. That destiny turns out to be an asteroid in the Oort cloud and it is riddled with more tunnels and in fact is a space port made by aliens they are calling the Heechees. Hundreds of spaceships are waiting in the abandoned asteroid world of the Heechee. What to do?
An Earth consortium called the Gateway Corporation is formed and anybody wanting to pay a large fee and be trained are sent out on any one of the ships to see what happens. It's a big interstellar lottery because the ships, though they always automatically return to the Gateway station, don't always succeed and the interstellar "prospectors" sometimes perish or go crazy. Yet the rewards, if something is found to be of use (alien technology and artifacts, new worlds, new resources) are tremendous. Such is the world of Gateway, for starters.
One of these prospectors is Robinette Broadhead. He makes three voyages and survives, but apparently at a great mental cost. The novel cuts between the outward voyages and the station and Bob's psychological sessions with a computer counsellor.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Just finished Gateway and I must admit that I sailed through the last 60-70 pages when I realized how lame this story was. Read morePublished on June 22 2012 by peppe51
I had read about this novel on many "best of" lists, and had looked for it in bookstores for a long time. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2010 by R. J. H.
Frederik Pohl has always been one of my favourite SF authors. As a double Hugo/Nebula winner for 1997's best novel, that makes it (at least nominally) one of the best of the... Read morePublished on April 16 2004 by RansomOttawa
I'm always reluctant to start a new series of Sci-fi novels because of the usual let-down that ensues after a fine beginning novel. Read morePublished on April 14 2004 by D. Knouse
I expected much better from a book that's touted as an SF classic. The background in which Gateway is set is brilliant, and the only reason why my rating's not... Read more
This book has some merits. Pohl paints a convincing miners' world by giving us a sense of its grit and stench. The lives of the miners are also handled well. Read morePublished on June 20 2003 by Barry C. Chow
Gateway evokes the fascination and terror of the unknown universe better than any other science fiction book I know. Read morePublished on April 23 2003 by Richard S. Ellis
Let's see what I can remember...
There were a lot of good things about this book. The narrator, Robinette Broadhead, was fun to read about. Read more