[Read pdf] GatewayAuthor Frederik Pohl – Wildlives.co
Before I began writing the review I searched for images of Gateway This was the first one in the results I really have no clue about the relevance When I think about a gateway I think about something like this or something like the following which resonates better with any serious reader If you have even passing interest in science fiction you have most definitely heard about this novel This one is a classic of genre with a lot of awards to prove it Imagine somebody found a habitable asteroid which had served as a parking lot for a bunch of alien spaceships There is no sign of the owners who supposedly disappeared around one million years ago, but the ships are still functional The humanity has no clue how they work, or even which type of fuel they use the ships are a classical example of a black box Nonetheless if you poke into navigation controls you might stumble upon a good course and you can actually go there Unfortunately a million years is a very long time, even by the cosmic scale You might end up too close to a new star, a red dwarf, or even black hole good luck getting out of there So if your luck holds your remains will be delivered back by reliable alien flying engineering marvels If you are especially extraordinary lucky though you might stumble upon alien artifacts and sell them for a real nice chunk of money The future depicted in the book is nice Capitalistic dystopia where people sell their own body parts to support their families, so having money is important enough for people to play Russian roulette with exploring the unknown Robinette Rob Broadhead made it big He also has lots of issues I mean look at his full first name this is probably where it all started He also has some kind of PTSD from his last expedition So the book consists of two alternative plotlines one is about Rob getting therapy sessions from a robot psychiatrist and another one is about his stay on the Gateway that parking lot I mentioned above I have never been so torn about whether I want to continue reading the series On one hand the Gateway part can be qualified as great space opera I was always fascinated with the stories about the exploration of the unknown and human reaction of coming to the contact with that unknown On the other hand Rob Broadhead as a character is fairly repulsive and the therapy parts that obviously revolve around his emotions and mental problems are boring How bad is Rob as a character Let us just say when it comes to whining he can give Thomas Covenant a good run for his money, but the latter would still beat the crap out of everybody when it comes to whining At least the former is not a rapist He did knock out his girlfriend tooth after she hit him in a shoulder though Please do not get me wrong I completely understand why this book received so many literary awards and if I had been a member of one of the award committee I would have given one unconditionally It does not diminish the fact that therapy parts are boring but necessary for the book If I am still not sure about whether to proceed with reading the series, the rating is easy 3 stars with some space opera parts climbing as high as perfect 5. 4,5 5Dos d as me ha durado, y por que no ten a tiempo para leer Pero es una novela que invita a leerla del tir n, que no te suelta, que te entretiene, y que probablemente es diferente de lo que esperaba.Pohl nos cuenta la historia de un pionero espacial que se hace millonario Robinette Broadhead, m s conocido como Rob, habla con una IA que ejerce como su psic logo All habla de la culpa, del dolor o los remordimientos que lo reconcomen por dentro desde su infancia hasta su vida adulta pero que no deja salir A lo largo del libro se intercalan estas consultas con los flashbacks sobre los acontecimientos que condujeron a Rob a su estado actual Gracias a ellos conoceremos P rtico, un asteroide reconvertido en un puerto interestelar explotado por una Corporaci n multimillonaria All habitaron los Heechee, unos extraterrestres de los que poco se sabe, pero que dejaron sus naves interestelares Exploraremos con ello su funcionamiento, su tecnolog a, sus viajes y, seguiremos de cerca la inc gnita de donde estar n y que ser n los Heechee.Publicada en 1976 por Frederik Pohl, la novela fue la primera que obtuvo de forma conjunta los premios Hugo, N bula y Jhon W Campbell memorial, lo tres m s importantes dentro de la ciencia ficci n Y no es para menos Fuera quedan la aventura o una novela nicamente de naves espaciales Pohl nos mete en una novela innovadora, con una estructura particular para su poca y una ciencia ficci n que nunca llega a ser hard Esta es sencilla, coherente y explicada, pero sin profundizar en jerga cient fica ni nada por el estilo Es mas por ello una novela que deja ideas, pero que su inter s radica en otro apartado.P rtico es todo un estudio sobre la psicolog a humana ante situaciones extremas, y sus consecuencias Sobre la interacci n entre hombre y m quina, y nuestra necesidad de control Una cr tica sobre la sociedad extremadamente capitalista Pero por encima de todo es un estudio sobre la culpa, sus consecuencias y las pesadas cargas que pone en nosotros mismos como seres humanos No es que Pohl deje de lado el ritmo de la novela para esto Es a trav s de di logos plagados de matices, de mon logos internos o de las simples acciones a trav s de las que nos dibuja el perfil de Rob Nunca se siente que el resto es un mero escenario para ello, si no que conjuga de forma perfecta ambas partes, sin dejar coja ninguna de las dos.Encontrarse con P rtico ha resultado una experiencia similar a Hyperion el a o pasado Piensas que es una novela de 1976 y casi no te lo crees, excepto por la aparici n de cassettes El resto, tanto la tecnolog a como los temas que llega a tratar son peculiarmente extrapolables a cualquier momento Por eso creo que P rtico es un cl sico, y uno de los que va a perdurar en el tiempo Nunca llegar a chirriar como otras novelas de CF con jerga cient fica que ya ha sido sobrepasada Es su aparente sencillez lo que le da el benepl cito para el lector Aparte de sus inserciones de texto informes, conferencias y lo mejor, bizarros anuncios que son maravillosas Ojal Nova siga reeditando cl sicos en este formato para que los novatos como yo nos sigamos acercando a estos cl sicos.Rese a m s extensa Gateway by Frederik Pohl is good science fiction, I can see why it won the Hugo Essentially the story is about a time in the distant future where overpopulation and over consumption of resources have left humans in a regrettable state, but not without some promise Oil and minerals are mined and then somehow synthetically turned into food Also interplanetary colonization has spread the burden out some, but life on or rather in Venus and Mars is no picnic One way out is to become a prospector on Gateway Gateway and Gateway two is an ancient alien spaceport, complete with a fleet of ancient spaceships that are pre programmed to go places The trouble is that scientists cannot figure out the big picture on how or why the ships go where they go and whether or not they will come back The prospecting comes from taking a ship out and seeing what they can find, the alien artifacts could be worth millions if they are useful for science, or a prospector could go out and come back with nothing, or they could not come back All this by itself would make a good sci fi story but Pohl adds a psychological twist that makes it even better Finally, science fiction writers often make the best visionary prophets and though he has done an admirable job with overpopulation and Malthusian ideas about food, Pohl has in a book written in 1977 enunciated our society s apprehension about health care as well Good read. Frederik Pohl is still alive Wow And won a Hugo as recently as last year, for his blog That I will have to check out This is a guy who has been around science fiction for a long time, as a writer and as an editor And Gateway was my first introduction to his work Let me just go add him to the list of authors I want to read of That s not rhetorical it s on a Sticky on my desktop I will want to be reading of his work.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook I remember reading this when I was 15 or so, I did not like it I have no recollection of why I did not like it Now it is years later and I am at the age of view spoiler none of your bidness P hide spoiler I have a theory, based on nothing than a dirty mind and my own propensity for making silly bets, that Pohl wrote Gateway to win a bet he d made while drunk He and his friends have been talking about sex scenes in SF novels a notoriously sensitive topic , and Pohl is criticizing them on the grounds that they aren t necessary to the plot Oh yeah asks someone And just how would a sex scene be necessary to the plot Well, says Pohl There could be any number of reasons Sure says the other guy I bet you a bottle of single malt that you can t write a story featuring an oral sex scene which categorically and undeniably is necessary to the plot There ain t no such animal Done says Pohl He s had an idea, you see The hero has pushed the love of his life into a black hole, but the memory is so traumatic that he s blocked it Years later, he s talking about having sex with his current girlfriend, and he says she goes down really well And then it all comes back to him Goes down into a black hole you see OK, it s than a little contrived but anyway, that s what happens in this book Are you telling me he came up with it sober At first I was so excited about this book I mean think about it a long gone race of super intelligent beings leave us with an inheritance of a gateway to 1000 locations where unspeakable riches, both financial and scientific, await their rediscovery The premise sounds great, right I mean who wouldn t wanna go on an adventure in outer space To discover just what it is that we ve inherited And we did, I mean the Heechees left everything in pristine condition, just waiting for us So there I was all excited and quickly found out that at least half the book is all about psychotherapy of some guy who s been traumatized Hmmm ok ok no biggie, I thought to myself I ll just, you know spend half the book discovering the secrets of a forgotten race, and spend the other half with some old guy on the couch reliving his life s regrets, but perhaps, he ll have a meaningful epiphany Perhaps it all will not be useless psychobable How wrong I was.The book started off as a 4 stars for me, but about half way through it quickly regressed to a 1 star novel What I wanted was an adventure of discovery, where, perhaps, some universal meaning is found, so universal that both the Heechee and humans would better understand their place in the cosmos Hmmm All I got is a washed up copy of Charlie Sheen A guy so messed up that even all the Freudian pop culture the author read up on could not help him view spoiler yep, you get about a dozen or so Freudian slips , an anal fixation, supressed homosexual arousal, wanting sex with own s mother etc.etc and his robot Shrink is called FREUD Oh the surprise I cannot contain myself S hide spoiler Gateway Opened On All The Wealth Of The Universe And On Reaches Of Unimaginable Horror When Prospector Robinette 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, Rob Broadhead Has To Face What Happened To Him And What He Has Become In A Journey Into Himself As Perilous And Even Horrifying Than The Nightmare Trip Through The Interstellar Void That He Drove Himself To Take Gateway by Frederik Pohl has long been considered a classic of Science Fiction and deservedly so It s earned its status honestly and is one of the best books I have ever read.What separates this from the myriad other science fiction and fantasy offerings out there It s the characters The Plot Gateway is an asteroid in our Solar System that was hollowed out and made into a base of operations by the mysterious ancient alien race known as the Heechee They abandoned it long before mankind stopped throwing their feces at each other and invented the wheel The only thing left on Gateway are the Heechee ships These ships can be programmed via 5 movable dials to automatically go to a destination and return A huge multinational corporation pays intrepid prospectors to get aboard these ships, go to a destination, and then come back with any new discoveries The prospectors then get paid a sum relative to any new discoveries they make If they come back with nothing, they get nothing.However, these missions have a very high failure rate Sometimes the missions never return Other times, the ships return on automatic with all hands lost due to an accident or some disaster met on the other end Still others take too long and the crew dies of starvation due to their rations running out Therefore the chances of hitting it big are rather remote When the book begins, we meet Robinette Broadhead a man who has hit it big on Gateway and is living the life of luxury on Earth He is also in voluntary therapy and on the edge of a massive mental breakdown.The action switches in between Broadhead s past story of how he came to Gateway and struck it big and Broadhead s present therapy sessions Also interspersed throughout the book are little snippets of Gateway trivia fun facts, interviews with Heechee scholars, classified ads from the local Gateway paper, and mission summaries from prospectors who struck it big and from those who didn t do so well The Good The plot itself is intriguing The Gateway station has a kind of 1849 Gold Rush San Francisco feel to it Everyone is there to strike it rich and improve their lot in life by taking the risk of a Gateway trip I couldn t help but feel admiration towards these people and wonder if I would have the stones to put my neck on the line for that kind of a reward.The characters in this book are what separates it from everything else Each character introduced in the novel was distinct enough to be memorable I never found myself reading a character s name and saying who is this A lot of times, in any literature, there s a memorable protagonist and maybe a memorable antagonist if you re lucky The rest of the characters just seem to meld into each other Gateway doesn t have this problem all the characters are memorable.Robinette Broadhead, the main character, is the most complex character in the book This becomes apparent as the reader experiences and of his therapy sessions Others here on GoodReads have been critical saying they didn t like Broadhead or they wanted to slap him I heartily agree However, I don t think pathos was Pohl s object in the way he wrote Broadhead Robinette Broadhead simply is who he is and the reader gets to understand why he is who he is throughout the course of the book I didn t like Broadhead, but I was definitely interested in him This book is all about Broadhead s private face his true face His public, outwardly going face may have been completely charming, but the reader doesn t see that face very much because that s not what this book is about I readily admit that I did not like Robinette Broadhead as a person but the fact that I felt enough about him as a person to not like him was marvelous.Another interesting character is Klara She s another prospector on Gateway and she has a pretty complex relationship with Robinette Broadhead A couple of incidents happen between her and Broadhead that made me question why she d want to be with him However, with two people in such a close context, these things were bound to happen You can t be around someone constantly without getting on each other s nerves eventually Also, the idea that a woman could desire a relationship with a man who s no good for her is, sadly, not unrealistic.Other characters presented in the book are also done well from the other prospectors on Gateway to Broadhead s computerized therapist on Earth The Not So Good I can t think of anything that really detracts significantly enough from this book to not give it the full 5 stars I didn t really like the name Heechee for an alien race it just sounds childish to me The book didn t explain why they were called Heechee I suspect someone dared the author to use that name during a pot infused booze soaked bull session.Being somewhat scientifically minded, I was very mildly annoyed that the book didn t explain how the Heechee ships were able to travel at massive speeds, yet no time dilation effect was observed That is, the Heechee ships were able to move at the speed of light and even faster, but one month of time passing on the ship meant one month of time passing on Gateway when, in reality, one month passing on the ship would mean many years of time passing on Gateway Admittedly, the book is narrated by a non scientist, so it would have been out of character for him to know the reason for this Also, the book itself states that the Heechee ship engine is a mystery because, whenever they try to disassemble it, it explodes with tremendous force.The women of the book seemed to fall into bed with Robinette Broadhead a little too readily This book was written in the 70s, so perhaps it has a little of that kind of sensibility to it Also, we don t really see Broadhead s public, outgoing face in the novel so perhaps he s really handsome and charming in social situations there are certainly hints to that effect interspersed throughout the novel Conclusion Gateway is rightfully considered a classic of Science Fiction If the premise sounds intriguing at all, please read it You ll like it. A warning this novel s main plot is not about Big Dumb Object BDO or space opera This novel is about psychological issue of the main protagonist The protagonist get the psych problem due to the science fiction setting.This novel offers an idea of a psychological mental problem that haven t happened to human in real life yet At final revelation, the author deliver the situation so well, I could imagine the psych huge impact to the protagonist That s all I can say without spoiling anything important If you are interested with the BDO and the setting after reading this novel, don t worry Gateway is the first novel of a series, Heechee Saga In my opinion, the characterization of main protagonist is perfect for this novel, if the author choose another characterization, the story could become less interesting.