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Gateway (1977)

de Frederik Pohl

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: The Heechee Saga (1), The Heechee Saga: Story Order (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4,179922,318 (3.95)135
Gateway opened on all the wealth of the Universe...and on reaches of unimaginable horror. When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the Heechee spacecraft, he decided he would know which was the right mission to make him his fortune. Three missions later, now famous and permanently rich, Robinette Broadhead has to face what happened to him and what he is...in a journey into himself as perilous and even more horrifying than the nightmare trip through the interstellar void that he drove himself to take!THE HEECHEE SAGABook One: GATEWAYBook Two: BEYOND THE BLUE EVENT HORIZONBook Three: HEECHEE RENDEZVOUSBook Four: THE ANNALS OF THE HEECHEE "From the Paperback edition."… (més)
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Anglès (83)  Castellà (2)  Italià (2)  Danès (2)  Hebreu (1)  Finès (1)  Francès (1)  Totes les llengües (92)
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The only reason I read this book is that the dude lived on the same block as my Mom in Illinois. In retrospect I thought it was okay, not terrible, not great. His house had a sign in front that said "Gateway." I never sought out any more of his books because this was supposed to be his masterwork and I thought it was just average. He was an actual well known writer when I was into more science fiction, so I was impressed and sort of in awe. I should probably read something else by him so if you have any suggestions pass them on. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
review of
Frederik Pohl's Gateway
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - June 17, 2012

Yet another interesting Pohl bk & the 1st of The Heechee Saga. It's a classic writer's technique to alternate 2 inter-related themes from chapter to chapter. Gradually, the content of the 2 themes get closer & closer. Pohl uses that here w/ the addition of a 3rd sortof wild-card theme in the form of miscellany.

The odd-numbered chapters center on the protagonist's highly resistant interaction w/ a computer psychoanalyst who can create a variety of illusory environments intended to achieve different effects - a Sigmund Freud type in a classic analyst's office w/ couch, a mothering teddy-bear in a simulated kid's rm, etc..

The even-numbered chapters chronicle the protagonist's life before these therapeutic sessions - particularly as an explorer/prospector home-based on Gateway & during space travel looking for Heechee artifacts.

The miscellany are things like Classifieds aimed at Gateway residents, lectures regarding space travel, etc.. These are a particularly clever way of adding detail w/o having to otherwise work it into the narrative thread more directly related to the main character.

SF, by its nature, being ahead-of-its-time, it's always interesting to see what details were written in as of-the-time-depicted that didn't actually exist as of the time-of-writing that may exist now. I was delighted to find a casual description of a roll-up keyboard in this 1977 novel. I bought 2 of these recently very cheaply at CVS.

Gateway is an asteroid or a nucleus of a comet on wch faster-than-speed-of-light ships were discovered that enable humans to 'randomly' follow preset courses to unknown locations. Pursuing these locations has a high likelihood of death. Surviving may result in finding & bringing back artifacts from the culture that created these spaceships - or scientific data of value just from the trip itself. These, in turn, may make the explorer/prospector rich. As such, these prospectors tend to be somewhat desperate gamblers.

As w/ most or all works that hold my interest, Pohl manages to have many levels of content be compelling. The inter-relationship between the psychotherapy & the life-story that precedes it is made more fascinating by the chance that the therapy might actually help & then by watching this play out. While I personally think such therapy is generally of dubious value, Pohl carefully has his character recalcitrantly yield to its process. One of the things unearthed along the way is the latent bisexual nature of the main character & his conflicts over this.

Possibly one of the funnier details was having the astronauts SMOKE, both cigarettes & pot (or something pot-like), while space-traveling. All in all, this was a very satisfying, engaging, & entertaining read from an author who was, fortunately, so prolific that he'll keep me coming back for many yrs to come. ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
I do not read very much Science Fiction, so I turned to the recommendations of others to select this book. It appears on several "Best Sci-Fi" type lists, so I thought it would be a good choice. But, having read it, I fail to see why it is so well rated.
There were holes in the science (taking photographs while traveling beyond the speed of light, two hole in one idea), characters were not fully developed, and the first two or three chapters pretty much made the both ending of the storyline as well as the various "dangerous episodes" used to develop the plot obvious and predictable.
I don't really know the criteria for evaluating sci-fi as compared to regular fiction, but it seems to me that some of the measures of good fiction such as character development, credibility of plot and well drawn descriptions and settings ought to be parts of any fiction, and I did not feel that these existed in this book.
Just before reading this book, I had finished Asimov's Foundation and a collection of short stories, "Best American Sci-Fi and Fantasy of 2016," and I did find these elements in those writings. Additionally, Asimov's writing respected known scientific realities and developed new ideas (for the time when it was written) that became scientific realities revealed since the book was written. This novel did none of that.
Next time I get the urge to read sci-fi, I'll go back to Asimov, Bradbury and Clarke and hope to find someone who might be in their league. ( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
Loses a star for Freudian musings and a lame ending, but awesome otherwise. ( )
  wunder | Feb 3, 2022 |
Space scares me.

Scratch that.. When I am on the beach, I do not fear drowning in the ocean. It is not what happens to my body after I am dead that frightens me. I don’t really fear the numerous little nibbly biting things that will slowly devour my corpse until nothing remains.

Space is similar. I do not fear decompression. I don’t really fear the floating forever bit with no boundaries or edges, just an expanse of nothingness with no explanations or hope of understanding in my lifetime. There is an unknown number of little nibbly biting things who may or may not want to eat my corpse, but they will never have the opportunity due to lack of accessibility by proxy of statistical impossibility/unlikelihood.

With the ocean and space, both are wrought with the essential danger of asphyxiation. Decompression and lack of oxygen in space is not too far removed from increased pressure and lack of oxygen under water. They are all minor details when you get to that level.

What gets me sweating about the ocean/space is just the damnable expansive loneliness. On earth, the ocean represents a finite but tangible removal from all things I know. It is fear manifested. In space, it is the infinite and intangible removal from the same things. In both cases, the simplicity of the fear is nothing more than distance and nothingness. I can’t say it is manifest as there is NOTHING THERE.

Frederik Pohl’s Gateway is great science fiction. It’s focus is on Robinette, would be (nearly accidental) space explorer. Rob was living on the Gateway asteroid and pushing random buttons on alien space craft to see where they will go on autopilot. Each trip from Gateway to the unknown could mean instant death as he pops out of hyperspace into a sun going super nova, or could be safe, but 30 days longer round trip than his food supply will allow. It is a crap shoot.

Coming back to Gateway alive is not enough to earn you a living though. Just returning only pays enough for you to continue to breathe on the asteroid, air costs money, and those who can pay, can leave or be pushed out an airlock. In space, time matters more than on earth. every second it life that someone sold you. Survival is obviously fantastic, but coming back with scientific data that is new and useful is better, as it could earn you bonuses and make you a rich man or woman.

The Gateway novel takes some getting used to and is the only novel in the Gateway series formatted in the way it is. The book primarily flips between Rob Broadhead in his psychiatric sessions on earth (rich as a king) and his flashbacks to Gateway (poor and desperate). the book is filled with off-page notations, side conversations, and bulletin board posts in the asteroid. These can be distracting at times, but in the long view i believe help set the mood. All other books in the series are standard format, real-time, so if you want to read the series but are getting thrown off by the mixed in subtext just ignore these pages.

The last chapter of this book blew my mind and caused all of these space fear thoughts to be rehashed after years of successfully being ignored. It’s damned amazing and makes you rethink what torture truly could be, in relation to those you love. Sometimes the pain in your head is worse than anything you someone could do to you with a knife.

Highly recommended book for sci-fi aficionados.

--
xpost RawBlurb.com ( )
  Toast.x2 | Sep 23, 2021 |
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Frederik Pohlautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Reynolds, AlastairEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sleight, GrahamIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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My name is Robinette Broadhead, in spite of which I am male.
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Gateway opened on all the wealth of the Universe...and on reaches of unimaginable horror. When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the Heechee spacecraft, he decided he would know which was the right mission to make him his fortune. Three missions later, now famous and permanently rich, Robinette Broadhead has to face what happened to him and what he is...in a journey into himself as perilous and even more horrifying than the nightmare trip through the interstellar void that he drove himself to take!THE HEECHEE SAGABook One: GATEWAYBook Two: BEYOND THE BLUE EVENT HORIZONBook Three: HEECHEE RENDEZVOUSBook Four: THE ANNALS OF THE HEECHEE "From the Paperback edition."

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