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Gateway by Frederik Pohl
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3,556752,195 (3.95)121

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I'm torn between a three and a half and a four star -- I'm going for four because for 1977 [Gateway] is a big step forward. He may call men "men" and women "girls" but at least the girls are there and working closely with everyone else as equals. A space explorer discovers, on Venus, tunnels and rockets from an alien culture and is taken to an asteroid (Gateway) filled with more spaceships. Problem is the alien technology is impenetrable to the humans, but the ships can be taken out to preprogrammed sites where treasures can be found and fortunes can be made if you don't die in the process, which many do. Enter Robinette Broadhead, regular dude, from Earth, seeking to make his fortune. He makes that fortune but at a price which, back on Earth he explores with a machine therapist. So much here, the alien treasure meme, still fresh, the machine intelligence, a strong move toward gender equality and neutrality about sexual preferences -- one disturbing episode of violence toward a woman mars the overall experience, when Broadhead, jealous of another man, beats up his girlfriend "because that's what guys do, they can't help it." Uh, impulse control? Should you get to have your fingers on the atom bomb, fellas? Just asking. Then to make things worse, she comes back to him. Bad and worse. Sorry if that is the kind of spoiler that will ruin the book for you -- it stood out as weird against the rest of it.. I will continue the series eventually but not right this minute. ***1/2 (Should be a **** but for the bad biz toward the end.) ( )
1 vote sibyx | Jan 20, 2019 |
Es fácil comprender la situación del protagonista y de los otros pilotos a medida que avanza la trama. El por qué embarcan en esas misiones a veces suicidas y qué esperan hallar en ellas. Porque “Pórtico” no es solo una novela de naves espaciales; trata de una manera muy interesante la psique humana y la reacción a situaciones límite a través del miedo, la depresión, el amor, la culpa o la esperanza.

Reseña completa: https://cafedetinta.com/2018/09/27/portico-de-frederik-pohl/ ( )
  Carla_Plumed | Dec 3, 2018 |
Despite certain sections showing their age this story of the excitement and terror of space exploration was very enjoyable. ( )
  brakketh | Oct 25, 2018 |

The Freudian stuff is dated and a bit goofy at times, yet Gateway remains an engaging read. That is quite an accomplishment actually, as about a third of the book are those therapy sessions. The strange part is I can’t really put my finger on why this book still works. I guess there’s enough of everything: enough mystery, enough character depth, enough space gadgetry, enough inward voyage, enough spaceship claustrophobia, enough dystopian social critique that’s still relevant today – it might not be intricate or complex, but it is all solid.


Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig ( )
  bormgans | May 27, 2018 |
I think this may have been my first book by Pohl, and I’m not sure whether there’s any point in my trying to continue the series.

The concept behind the book was interesting. Humans discovered an alien space station (rock) with a lot of ships with pre-programmed courses and they blindly set out on missions in these ships to try to discover Heechee alien artifacts. Sounds cool, right? But then the book seems to just go on and on and on, and nothing seems to be happening because the main character, Bob Broadhead, is too scared to actually go on any of the missions. He does eventually go but by that point I was already tired of him and his whining. Meanwhile we keep bouncing between the past at Gateway and the present in Bob’s computer-psychiatrist’s office who apparently puts great stock in dreams. Yawn. Did I mention that he blames his girlfriend for triggering her beating by hitting him? [Aside: I’m not defending her hitting him but he beat her very badly and justifies it to himself that way.] And I was already tired of him before this point.

Classic science fiction and I are not a very good match, apparently, and this book was only published in 1977.
( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
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My name is Robinette Broadhead, in spite of which I am male.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345475836, Paperback)

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!

From the Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The Heechee gateways, remnants of an ancient civilization, provide instantaneous passage to the far reaches of the universe but do not ensure destination, return, wealth, or survival.

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