SFWA Grand Master Pohl's latest is a pure delight, miraculously combining wry adventure and compassionate satire. Since it began with the novel Gateway (1977), Pohl's Heechee series has been among the most consistently daring of SF's continuing enterprises, and this first book in 15 years does its best to wake readers up. Pohl's characters have a lot to think about, too. As humans spread through space—allying themselves with the alien Heechee and realizing that they now have the option of having their personalities preserved forever electronically in the company of dazzlingly accomplished AIs—they must decide what to keep and what to give up. A young man and woman begin, tentatively and convincingly, to explore the possibilities of their relationship in this complicated universe. At the same time, though, selfish and super-rich Wan Enrique Santos-Smith refuses to surrender any of his childish anger and sets out to take revenge on all the adults who've frustrated his desires. Pohl flips nimbly from character to character, star to star, inside and outside the black hole where the Heechee and many humans are learning to live maturely together. Surprises abound, but readers will feel that they could have seen them coming if they'd been a little more ready to trust their imaginations. Pohl believes we can learn to live with extraordinary challenges; his tempered, hard-won faith in humanity makes this book especially satisfying.
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Pohl returns to his Gateway Universe and his most famous creation, the Heechee. A couple of youngsters with no future on earth make it to the galactic core where live the Heechee, both the quick and the dead in body, the latter of whose active minds are stored electronically. Many humans of both kinds also live there. But the core is threatened by another alien species, the Kugel, and by an insane organic human who so hates the Heechee that he is plotting their destruction without regard for consequences. Shifting narrative perspective between the youngsters and their mentors, Pohl brings them all to the right place in the nick of time to save the core. It has been 14 years since The Gateway Trip, the last previous novel of the Heechee, so bear in mind that readers may wish to refresh their memories with Gateway (1977), Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980), Heechee Rendezvous (1984), and Annals of the Heechee (1987), too, to ensure full enjoyment of this book. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.