The concept of the Heechee and the technology they left behind is fascinating. It is a solid science fiction concept that would have been really interesting to pursue. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t explore the Heechee and their technology nearly enough. It dwells on Rob Broadhead, a blue collar minor on Earth lucky enough to win a lottery and travel to Gateway an become an interstellar explorer /miner.
Instead of going out to risk life and limb to learn about the universe and possibly become a wealthy man, Rob spends his time fearing the risks and acting as a coward.
Pohl tells Rob’s story through his time with a psychiatrist (computer based) and his memories of the events as they happened. The story telling is reasonably clever but not new (even in the 1980.) What should be the setup for an adventure ends up being the entire story. The ending (I won’t ruin it for you) reveals why Rob has such issues with this wealth and fame and why he feels incredibly guilty for his good fortune.
For me it just wasn’t that clever. Rob is a coward who lacks a moral compass and is generally the architect of his own misery. He is not a character the reader really wants to get to know. I was quite repulsed by his actions and choices and generally felt sorry for him throughout the story.
Most of the other characters weren’t any better. I expect that was by design but it didn’t resonate with me. There was so much potential for a diverse cast. Instead all the characters were similarly sick and flawed.
The story that was there to be told didn’t ever happen. Instead we learn why Rob is even more screwed up than he was before he became a “success”. The story should have centered more on the Heechee. If I someday read any of the other books in the series I hope that race will be further explored.
I've read this book several times but wanted to listen to it anyway and it was a real pleasure. Well read/performed.
A unique look at a potential future, where the ability for space travel was not discovered through technological innovation, but rather accidently found.
Performance was outstanding. Enjoyed it more than when I originally read the book
This is classic SciFi but I could imagine that the story could be told as a horror/scary movie.
Fun easy listen
I haven't listen to either sawyer or wyman. I would love to hear more from them.
The characters in the book were enjoyable. It was such a pleasure to like the characters, have an interesting plot. It was so much fun listening to the therapy sessions and exciting to find out why the plot plays out the way it does. Please bring more of the series.
Exciting times in a battle to survive against a vicious race and a grizzly environment. Human persistence, intellect, courage, and sacrifice lead to a surprise ending.
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
This was an interesting piece of I think science fiction. The book is very bi-polar (I appoligize to those who know the clinical definition). The book chapter by chapter phases between a "current time" sessions with a psychoanalyzing computer, and a mans journey into space as a prospector. So, you get two books in one. A journey through a troubled mind, and a journey through space. I enjoyed space much better.
A lot of build up for not a lot of payoff. Like a fireworks show with no finale. It's the same scene, theme and descriptions over and over. But it's unique and creative. This reader is good in other books as well. Entertaining, but not stellar (no pun intended)
I read this story when I was very young, it made me look at the world differently.
The audio book made me feel nostalgic and newly exhilarated simultaneously.
This novel is more than just a sci fi story. It's a larger exploration of the protagonists character and mental approach to life in a future space going society. The most important things are not the technology surprises. A little slow at first but it picks up momentum.