Gateway

Monday, April 7, 2014


Gateway
Frederick Pohl, 1976

Hugo winner - 1978

Premise: Ever since humanity found ships left behind by the mysterious Heechee, people have been taking them out for the chance at a fortune, despite a much larger chance of death. Robbie Broadhead tries to be one of those prospectors, but he doesn't get what he expects.

I have seriously mixed feelings about this book. The ending was actually pretty effective. Getting there, however, was somewhat of a slog. I found the first third or so incredibly slow.

The story flips back and forth between Broadhead's experiences as a prospector and his sessions with an artificial therapist years later. It's supposed to be a mystery how he became rich and so screwed up, but the character is rather unlikable, and I wasn't able to muster much interest in his story.

However, I do think that there is some really interesting writing in this regarding unreliable narration and self delusion. The ending, as I said, is emotionally effective. It might be really interesting on a re-read.
But I just kept putting the book down and not wanting to pick it back up. Not a style that gripped me, I guess I might say.

Overall it clearly has merits, but I personally can't recommend it.

2 Stars - An Okay Book

List of Hugo Winners

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