Some SF writers have astonishingly long productive careers. Frederik Pohl started in 1940 and with Cyril Kornbluth co-wrote such classic 1950s satires as The Space Merchants
. He won Hugo and Nebula awards for the 1977 Gateway
, a major novel combining classic SF excitement with psychological depth and now reissued in Millennium SF Masterworks. The compelling central idea is Gateway itself, an asteroid base stuffed with abandoned interstellar ships built by the mysterious, elusive alien "Heechee". These tiny vessels can travel on autopilot to countless unknown destinations. Some human passengers return with fabulous technologies and scientific insights, others empty-handed. Many more die from incomprehensible hazards at journey's end, or from lack of food or air in overlong round-trips. So the atmosphere of the human community at Gateway is uniquely edgy, halfway between a gold-rush town and Death Row. Pohl's unheroic hero Broadhead has both good and bad luck in Heechee craft, emerging with riches and terrible loss. We learn the shattering story of what happened in successive flashbacks, while the engaging, scene-stealing AI psychology software called Sigfrid patiently tries to put Broadhead together again. Gateway
is witty and humane, full of clever insights, ingenious asides and claustrophobic drama. Its sequels are less impressive. --David Langford
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of the very best must-read SF novels of all time