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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

on 24 September 2001
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon is a sequel to Fred Pohl's book Gateway. Like many readers I read Gateway thinking that it had a fantastic concept from which you would expect a fantastic story to be spun. Dissapointingly Gateway focuses on the neuroses of one man Rob Broadhead and never really goes anywhere with the asteroid full of scoutships. Well in this book he does! This is the book that takes all the ideas and finally flies with them. A multi-layered complex plot with some complex character interactions. If you've read Gateway, read this you've already done the hard part. Would this book work without the prequel? Well, possibly, but it does refer back to the first book quite a bit, often without much explanation. The series then continues in Heechee Rendezvous and Annals of the Heechee, both also excellent books and the series as a whole would score 4 stars.
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on 26 November 2004
This is the second book in the classic "Heechee" series of novels by Frederick Pohl. These books are greatly underestimated, under-read and by rights should have found their place in the pantheon of sci-fi true greats. Gateway, the first novel, was highly acclaimed when published and won multiple awards. It remains an era defining novel. In "Gateway" the neurotic anti-hero Rob(inette) Broadhead was spawned. Rob is a guilt wracked man who despite his best efforts has become wealthy, famous and succesful. Robbie is the antithesis of sci-fi heroes: he is a wimp, a bounder and an emotional wreck. With this background, only Mr Pohl could create a lovable hero chronicled over four books. The main component of Robbie's guilt trip, apart from a lousy childhood, is that he left his lover, Klara, behind in a spaceship to be swallowed up by a black hole. He becomes the sole survivor of this "exploratory" mission following a nervous breakdown induced by complete funk. He refused to join the others in the ship destined to escape. They were (he thinks) left behind to their doom, he returned, heart broken and alone to be persecuted by guilt. In "beyond the blue event horizon" we find out how Rob purges his guilt and sets up a mission to rescue Klara. The mission is the usual larger than life Pohl extravaganza and the continuity from Gateway with further development of the characters making up the original cast is superb. Rob remains incorrigibly naive, love lorn, unrealistic, neurotic and still needs his therapy. Of course when he finally gets his girl the reality of his lovesick quest is dramatically thrown in his face. Without revealing too much of the superb plot his perception of Klara as his soul mate and her perception of him don't quite meet. The writing and characterisation is superb. The new ideas, the development of the Heechee technology and their story is at its best for the series during this book. In fact the third and fourth books although excellent with great new themes and plots lack the sharpness and originality of beyond the blue event horizon. The development of this magnificent fantasy tableau is at its magical and frenetic best in this volume. This is a must read after you have read Gateway and sadly nobody is re-printing this or the whole series at this time.... Any publishers out there!!!
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on 15 February 2009
This novel is full of mystery and sense of wonder,and like Gateway, full of psychological insight. Here we follow Janine and her family totge deiscover of the Heechee Food Factory in ther OOrt Cloud (was this nove written today, it would have been the Kuiper Belt), meet with the mysterious Wan, and go to the Heechee Heaven. A splendid istalment of the Heechee Saga!
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on 5 April 2014
good read - the whole of the series is a good read. Bit blasting on big science but good fun.
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on 12 January 2002
I was hoping to find some Pohl/Kornbluth as recommended by the likes of Michael Moorcock and Kingsley Amis -- the material they were doing in the 50s which was a direct resistance to the right-wing McCarthyist atmosphere dominating America remains pretty relevant today. Pohl and his collabortor anticipated the corporate international world better than anyone -- and they knew what they were talking about. Michael Moorcock has acknowledged the huge social prescience these American socialists had and the
remarkable influence they had on 'literary' fiction. This is smoother stuff and has lots of great ideas, but if you want the full, angry engagement of Pohl when he was a real, and very clever, rebel, look for books like The Space Merchants, The Syndic and half-a-dozen others which don't seem to make it any more to the SF
history books. Pohl is a very underestimated writer, perhaps because Amis over-estimated him in New Maps of Hell.
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on 14 March 2016
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