We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Gateway | [Frederik Pohl]

Gateway

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!
Regular Price:$21.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

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!

BONUS AUDIO: In an exclusive introduction, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer explains why Gateway is one of science fiction's all-time greatest novels.

PLEASE NOTE: Some changes were made to the original text with the permission of the author.

©1977 Frederik Pohl; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1978
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1978
  • John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Best Novel, 1978

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1025 )
5 star
 (417)
4 star
 (355)
3 star
 (183)
2 star
 (47)
1 star
 (23)
Overall
4.1 (795 )
5 star
 (355)
4 star
 (242)
3 star
 (137)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (28)
Story
4.3 (789 )
5 star
 (397)
4 star
 (265)
3 star
 (113)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 12-05-13
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 12-05-13 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2050
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    340
    275
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    491
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A human-focused SF classic"

    Gateway is a book I’ve read several times since I was a kid, and an old favorite. At eleven, I was more interested in the science fiction aspects (somehow, most of the sex and drug use went over my head), but with repeated readings, I’ve come to appreciate the human elements of the story a lot more.

    To be fair, the setup is one of the coolest in science fiction. Humanity has discovered an ancient alien space station near Venus, called Gateway, which is filled with small starships. Nobody knows what happened to the Heechee or why they abandoned their base, but many of the ships are in working order and will travel by autopilot to other star systems and the planets orbiting them.

    Too bad there's a catch. Not all of the ships still work perfectly after half a million years, and some of the destinations are lethal. A once temperate star might have supernova-d since the time of Heechee civilization. Nobody has a clue how Heechee technology works. So, the Gateway Corporation recruits "prospectors" willing to risk a fairly high chance of death to take images of different parts of the galaxy and bring back artifacts that the Corporation might study.

    People volunteer for this mission because life on an overcrowded Earth has become pretty miserable for most, with quality medical care available only to the wealthy few (sound familiar?). One such volunteer is Robinette Broadhead, a former miner of oil shale (now used for growing foodstuffs -- yum), who wins the lottery.

    Bob, as he’s called, is a pretty flawed character, a self-centered, sex-chasing man who’s also somewhat of a coward. But he’s easy to relate to, not really being a bad guy at heart, and his fear is understandable, given the horrible deaths that await many prospectors. His story unfolds in two parts, one of which follows his life and relationships from Earth to Gateway and beyond, and the other of which has the older and now fantastically rich Mr. Broadhead in sessions with an AI psychiatrist, trying to get to the root of a deep trauma that both threads will eventually converge on. (And it is a pretty terrible one.)

    Some readers aren’t fans of the sessions between Robinette and the computer psychiatrist, Sigfrid von Shrink, but I loved their relationship and think it’s integral to the story, in a subtle way. I found it fun watching Bob try to trick Sigfrid, only to find that the machine’s programming was nearly always a step ahead of him.

    This book isn’t really about the Heechee (see further entries in the series to learn more about them), but about the dirty, messy tension of human desires, fears, and guilt in a place that stands between life and death, known and unknown. Gateway’s a moving examination of the psychology of our existence, of how we, from the personal level up to the species level, neither want to place our hopes on a frightening gamble on the unknown, nor on the ugly, suffering-filled known, but sometimes must make a choice and face what comes.

    Still a classic.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin 09-17-09
    Benjamin 09-17-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    225
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "more heechee please"

    Great story and reading. If you like sci-fi, don't hesitate to buy Gateway. Still fresh after 30 years. Interesting premise of space exploration via trial and error with alien technology. Hope to see more of the Pohl's Heechee books and Oliver Wyman's readings.

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Paget London 09-13-09
    C. Paget London 09-13-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    128
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "At last!"

    Superb is the only word that suits. I've been hoping for this book to appeat in audio for years now, and happily this recording does not disappoint. One of the best Science Fiction (as opposed to the usual "sci-fi" trivia) books ever, and well narrated too. Hopefully this will sell like hot cakes and encourage Audible to continue with Beyond the Blue Event Horizon and the rest of the series.
    Well done Audible.

    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jorden DrontenNetherlands 10-14-09
    Jorden DrontenNetherlands 10-14-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    "Sci Fi masterpiece"

    One of the best sci fi I've read so far.I was deeply moved at the end of the book. The characters are amazing, and the story focuses much more on their development than on meaningless technological details you see so much in other sci fi works.

    I can recommend this to any reader, your credit will be well spent!

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard FOXBORO, MA, United States 05-02-13
    Richard FOXBORO, MA, United States 05-02-13 Member Since 2012

    A good way to get through the work day.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    125
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Whoa! Inventive and thought provoking."

    Gateway wasn't the most action packed book, but somehow still kept my attention. Great story that really makes the listener think. Not another book i can compare this too which makes it very different but still a great book. The main character isn't the most likeable person but this adds to the realism of the characters and the story. Hoping the the next book has a little more action. Could end up being a great series.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Toronto, ON, Canada 07-24-13
    David Toronto, ON, Canada 07-24-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story and naration!"
    Would you listen to Gateway again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen to Gateway again. I liked this book very much. It is a good combination of human complexity and compelling story line with a smattering of actual science. The story is presented in a matter-of-fact way and never seems forced. Since it was written in the 77 there are the usual anachronisms, but that's the way it is with sci fi. Overall, the story holds up well and it is easy to see why it won so many awards.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gateway?

    The whole concept of how they get around in space.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The joining of the two story threads.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Hard to put down.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Frank D. Christopherson Mercer Island, WA USA 05-07-11
    Dr. Frank D. Christopherson Mercer Island, WA USA 05-07-11 Listener Since 2006

    Dr. Xenon

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "One of the Finest SF; superlative narration!"

    This title was recommended to us as a Hugo & Nebula Award winner in the Audible intro to A.C. Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama". Compelling, annoying, fascinating, and loaded with heartache and that "being there" sensation (verisimilitude), this was our best science fiction listen to date. We could hardly wait until our next listening session to see what would happen next, and how it would happen. Even though the protagonist is a bit of a jerk we have total empathy with him.

    We only wish the remaining three books of Pohl's "Heechee" series were available on audio!!!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-08-11
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-08-11 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2142
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    757
    730
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    162
    26
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Classic"

    I first read this over 30 years ago. At that time I was amazed by the whole thought of an ancient race leaving behind a space station with ships included. The thought that humans would risk there lives getting into a ship, that they knew not where it was going or how long it would be gone. I still think that this an interesting concept as other must have since it won the Hugo and the Nebula. This time when I read it I got caught up in the characters and the cast of Blacks, Brazilians, gays, Bi's, strong women, Russians, handicapped etc. This belongs in any collection of great science fiction. The main character is a man with weaknesses and personal problems, but anyone who has every read any FP novels know that all his novels are filled with characters who are less then heroic. People who have problems, you know, kind of like yourself. If you insist that your novels have heroic swashbuckling characters with no flaws, then you will not enjoy this or any FP novel.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 10-05-14
    Paul 10-05-14

    A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    70
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't shrink away from this one."

    This is a classic novel that I recommend to SF fans. The plot is a bit simple by today's standards, but probably not for when it was written in the late 70s. It is well written with good scene and character descriptions, and good dialogue. One thing that stood out to me halfway through the book was the influence of the 60s and 70s, namely easy sex with scores of women, pot, and psychotherapy. I was highly entertained with Bob/Rob/Robbie's sessions with Sigfrid. Alternating between the sessions and the past was well done. While I considered Bob to be a total loser, I found myself wanting to know his story, and why he had a nervous breakdown. I wish there was more science and alien discovery in the novel, and that what is there were more accurate - - a common comment and criticism I have of SF novels, both new and old.

    Narration: Oliver Wyman is excellent. I think I enjoyed the novel more because of him than I would have otherwise.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Sherwood, OR, United States 08-13-14
    Kevin Sherwood, OR, United States 08-13-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heechee Saga is well written and worth the listen"

    Mr. Pohls examination of humanity in the form of Robin Broadhead wrapped up in a Sci Fi classic from the 70's is as home today in our computer tablet and smart phone world as it was back in 1977 when it was first released in print. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this Hugo and Nebula award winning book and it re reminded me of why I took up sci fi reading all those years ago. Gateway was one of my favorite books from my teens and now as an adult and with the help of audible and Oliver Wymans expert reading of the voice of Sigmund, Robinette and all the others gives real vision to an already excellently written story. I had forgotten the subtle emotional and psychological nuances between all of his characters. Years before sophisticated computer programs Mr. Pohls artistic telling of the story of Gateway and it's computer generated and real life flawed personalities will make you smile and is a story you will not want to put down nor soon forget. I digested each of the Heechee saga books in turn and actually parceled out bits and pieces of it as to not get done with it too quickly. You must savor this trilogy like a fine wine.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mark Pack
    London, UK
    4/27/11
    Overall
    "Great book, shame it's not genuinely unabridged"

    The book is deservedly known as a science fiction classic, but watch out for this audio version as it is heavily abridged. Although it's title 'unabridged', in fact all the side bars in the text have been removed.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.