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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
3,976852,240 (3.95)127
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 (76)  Castellà (2)  Italià (2)  Danès (2)  Hebreu (1)  Finès (1)  Francès (1)  Totes les llengües (85)
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Hmmm...interesting premise, meandering plot, good (although highly unlikable) characters, and a terrible ending. ( )
  jplumey | Feb 24, 2021 |
I'd consider this book "great", but not because it's better than good in terms of being interesting.

What makes the book great: what seems like a solid/interesting premise (ships left by an ancient civilization which take people to unknown destinations, the corporate infrastructure built around that); an interesting (if somewhat painful) narrative structure (psychoanalysis sessions of the main character years after the action, interleaved with the actions which led to his psychiatric distress), and some pretty solid character development.

I hated the main character (Robinette); slightly-neurotic, weak, douchey characters are bad, but when they're the main character and narrator, it's constantly grating. This kept it from being actually fun. It was kind of amusing how shitty 1970s "self help"/psychoanalysis crap like Est was included in the book, though. I'm glad I essentially missed the 1970s. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
It must be understood that Gateway depicts and is narrated by a severely mentally unwell man. Keep this in mind and you have a clever and engaging story set among the stars that is really about people and the different ways we break.

The Gateway is an artifact left by a long-gone race of aliens orbiting somewhere in the inner solar system perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic. On it are countless ships that humans know very little about beyond how to press the "go" button.

Our main character Robinette "Bob" Broadhead is one of those who are lucky or sorry enough to be a prospector on these ships and to chart out to unknown places to face unknown dangers and reap unknown rewards. Gateway’s pervasive and self-aware absurdity should be familiar to anybody who's read anything by Kurt Vonnegut.

The story is comprised of alternating chapters out in space and down on Earth in a phsychiatrist's office. Interspersed throughout are what I thought of as illustrations: clippings from newspapers and instruction manuals, snippets from lectures and drinking songs that do a fantastic job of adding color and filling in the blanks left by our sloppy and unreliable narrator. In the Gateway classifieds section:
HOW DO you know you're not a Unitarian? Gateway fellowship now forming. 87-539.
BILITIS WANTED for Sappho and Lesbia, joint trips till we make it, then happily ever after in Northern Ireland. Permanent trimarriage only. 87-033 or 87-034.
STORE YOUR effects. Save rent, avoid Corporation seizure while out. Fee includes disposal instructions if nonreturn. 88-125.


If most prospectors have some screws loose when they ship out, one, two, five prospecting trips don’t help the situation. Our protagonist is certainly worse for wear afterwards and we spend half of the book watching him dodge the elephant in the room in his therapist's office. The trope of the shrink has become all too common in recent decades but I have to imagine it was fresh when this novel landed in 1977, years before Hannibal Lecter was first published and decades before Tony Soprano graced the TV screen.

Let's get this straight: therapy or not, Bob is supremely unlikeable. A generous take would be to say that he's irritating in his actions and self-centered in his narration. His recount of his time as a prospector is just off-kilter enough to make you wonder if it's intentional or not and in this way, it's a convincing depiction of a high-functioning but deeply broken man. Thankfully the novel is not quite long enough for this to get tiresome.

Pohl manages to introduce many interesting concepts while keeping the tech grounded in what most would consider to be scientific reality. Gateway is not "hard" scifi by any means but it leans in that direction rather than a more Star-Trek-like one. Without divulging too much detail, the finale uses a cosmic phenomenon to wrap up the main emotional rollercoaster in what I would consider to be one of the best uses of the make-believe in scifi as a literary device to amplify and augment a human story.

The parts of this book that have aged are not the important ones. Gateway is a classic deserving of its Hugo and of a read by every science fiction fan and any normal person not afraid to see past some spaceships and dead aliens and find a brilliant novel. ( )
1 vota gordonhart | Dec 13, 2020 |
Broadhead journey through fear and uncertainty is certainly worthwhile. A very relatable character with lots of questionable but understandable choices. The books excels in containing minimum internal monologue while still retaining the deep connection with the main antagonist. I must keep on reading the rest of this saga. ( )
  sami7 | Aug 3, 2020 |
Bob Broadhead was a coward playing Russian roulette. He and the other prospectors on Gateway searched for exotic treasure using alien starships whose controls they don’t know how to use. Some people end up rich; some people end up dead. Bob comes back rich, but traumatized. To deal with his PTSD he undergoes psychoanalysis. He calls his psychoanalyst “Sigfrid von Shrink, although that isn’t his name; he hasn’t got a name, being a machine.” The analyst is an AI visible as a hologram that looks like Sigmund Freud. As Bob tells his story to Sigfrid the reader learns about the abandoned alien base hidden in the asteroid Gateway and the cause of Bob’s trauma. ( )
  MaowangVater | Jul 10, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
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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