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Pórtico (Heechee Saga #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  28,734 Ratings  ·  925 Reviews
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 a ...more
Paperback, Primera Edición, 293 pages
Published December 1987 by Ultramar Editores, S.A. (first published 1977)
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Can you like a book when you kind of hate the main character? Especially when that character is the first-person narrator? The answer, for me, for this book anyway, is apparently "not all that much."

Gateway is one of those sci-fi classics that I am supposed to have absorbed if I want to consider myself well read in the genre. It's one of the rare Hugo/Nebula double winners (not to mention the Locus and Campbell awards, which pretty much covers all of them)! It is by one of the stalwarts of geek
Apr 08, 2015 Evgeny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Before I began writing the review I searched for images of Gateway. This was the first one in the results:
I really have no clue about the relevance. When I think about a gateway I think about something like this:
gateway arch
or something like the following which resonates better with any serious reader:
gateway for books

If you have even passing interest in science fiction you have most definitely heard about this novel. This one is a classic of genre with a lot of awards to prove it. Imagine somebody found a habitable astero
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2012 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this when I was 15 or so, I did not like it. I have no recollection of why I did not like it. Now it is years later and I am at the age of (view spoiler), having just re-read the book I can tell you why I did not like it then and why I do like it now. Like my 15 year old self I went in expect a Big Dumb Object fun times, something along the line of Rendezvous With Rama, what I ended up reading turn out to be a fairly slow moving characte ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: sciencefiction
"Gateway" by Frederik Pohl has long been considered a classic of Science Fiction and deservedly so. It's earned its status honestly and is one of the best books I have ever read.

What separates this from the myriad other science fiction and fantasy offerings out there?

It's the characters.

The Plot

Gateway is an asteroid in our Solar System that was hollowed out and made into a base of operations by the mysterious ancient alien race known as the "Heechee". They abandoned it long before mankind sto
Apr 05, 2012 Ania rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Ania by: goodreads, because I read "Ender's game", "Speaker for the dead" and "the left hand of darkness"
At first I was so excited about this book. I mean think about it: a long gone race of super intelligent beings leave us with an inheritance of a gateway to 1000 locations where unspeakable riches, both financial and scientific, await their rediscovery. The premise sounds great, right? I mean who wouldn't wanna go on an adventure in outer space? To discover just what it is that we've inherited? (And we did, I mean the Heechees left everything in pristine condition, just waiting for us.)

So there I
Mar 14, 2016 Jokoloyo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A warning: this novel's main plot is not about Big Dumb Object (BDO) or space opera. This novel is about psychological issue of the main protagonist. The protagonist get the psych problem due to the science-fiction setting.

This novel offers an idea of a psychological/mental problem that haven't happened to human in real-life yet. At final revelation, the author deliver the situation so well, I could imagine the psych (huge) impact to the protagonist. That's all I can say without spoiling anythin
Apr 16, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks
So I have ventured back to the Science Fiction Masterworks series of classic famous and influential science fiction. Now Before I comment on the book I will have to admit that I would love to learn more about the selection process for this series as it seems to pick up titles from across all the ages and styles (but of course following the SF theme) I guess it will be the publishers but still its am impressive mix of titles and if you ever way to wander through Science Fiction but never sure whe ...more
4.0 stars. I just re-read this story on May 13, 2010 after having first read it back in 1998. The downgrade from 4.5 stars to 4.0 stars has less to do with the quality of this book (which I still think is excellent) and more to do with the quality of other books I have read since my first reading of Gateway which have caused me to rasie the bar somewhat.

This is still a "classic SF story" that is worthy of the title and one that I recommend to any fan of science fiction. It is not as dated as ma
Apr 16, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gateway by Frederik Pohl is good science fiction, I can see why it won the Hugo.

Essentially the story is about a time in the distant future where overpopulation and over consumption of resources have left humans in a regrettable state, but not without some promise. Oil and minerals are mined and then somehow synthetically turned into food. Also interplanetary colonization has spread the burden out some, but life on (or rather in Venus) and Mars is no picnic.

One way out is to become a prospecto
Apr 28, 2015 Sub_zero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2015
Civilizaciones extraterrestres desaparecidas, expediciones suicidas, inteligencias artificiales diseñadas para el psicoanálisis, sexo intergaláctico... Aunque todos los elementos de la historia que encontramos en Pórtico resultan bastante atractivos de por sí, lo que convierte el clásico de Pohl en una novela tan sobresaliente es sin duda su trepidante ritmo narrativo, la inteligencia con que están hiladas las diferentes tramas y el certero perfil psicológico que hace Frederik Pohl de su persona ...more
Aug 09, 2007 Abe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I read this book in 2006 — 30 years after it was first published — and it immediately shot up to my top 10 list of science fiction books. It is highly original, entertaining and thought provoking. It loses none of it's wow! even 30 years after it was written.
Sep 17, 2014 Banner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, alien, reread
It just goes to prove that timing has a lot to do with one's enjoyment of a book. I read this several years ago and was not impressed. I think I was being generous when I gave it a three. After getting the audio version on sale I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book.

Mankind is in desperate shape when we discover the alien space station long ago abandoned. Through the ships left in dock we can explore the far reaches of the galaxies, the only problem is we don't know how to operate the s
Dregus Ilies
Aug 25, 2016 Dregus Ilies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-review
So the ending and the last ~100 pages really saved up this otherwise disastrous thing that promised a lot of awesomeness and actually dealt only a few cynical perspectives and insignificant actions around humanity's greatest discovery. I am really looking up for the sequels, hoping they'll prove any better.
Michael Fennelly
Mar 19, 2007 Michael Fennelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
It's not often that a science fiction novel transcends the genre. Sci-fi authors tend to be singularly focused on their techy premises, more often than not. Human interaction within the genre is often stilted and corny, like the under-developed social skills of a geeky computer science prof. This book is a wonderful exception to the rule. Besides the get-rich-quick plot and the heady scenerio of a black hole and time-stands-still event horizon, the book is funny, sad and thought provoking. It's ...more
Feb 06, 2016 Alina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Space opera combined with Freudian psychology, set in two parallel timelines. Even if the main character, Rob (Robinette) was not a likeable person, he was definitely interesting, and I totally loved 'Sigfrid' (kind of an advanced ELIZA).

Almost forgot, this comparison marked me (even though men aren't like wolves, they don't stop when seeing submission):
"It isn't a matter of what's rational or justified, it is a matter of signals. It was the wrong signal to give me. The reason wolves don't kill
Jun 19, 2015 Jeraviz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Cuando un libro consigue que te sumerjas en un estado de ánimo concreto quiere decir que ha logrado su objetivo. Y con Pórtico desde la primera página te zambulles en una atmósfera de desesperación pero, a su vez, también de esperanza.
De desesperación porque la Humanidad se está quedando sin recursos y está lanzándose al espacio con los ojos cerrados y cruzando los dedos para no encontrarse con la muerte. Pero esperanza porque a pesar de tenerlo todo en contra, algo hace que los seres humanos si
Tenía pendiente desde hace tiempo la lectura de este clásico reciente de la ciencia ficción, la única novela hasta la fecha en alzarse con tres de los grandes premios del género: Hugo, Nebula y John W. Campbell Memorial. Y reconozco que he disfrutado mucho leyéndola.

La historia está protagonizada y narrada en primera persona por Robinette Broadhead, del que en principio sólo sabemos de sus charlas con Sigfrid, su psicólogo, que es una máquina, una inteligencia artificial. En capítulos alternos a
Leave My
Jul 01, 2011 Leave My rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I wanted to like this book but ended up annoyed and slightly disgusted. I was hopeful at first because the sci-fi elements were interesting and seems to have potential (the Heechee ships, Gateway, the food mines etc). I'd also recently finished his enjoyable capitalist-dystopian novels The Space Merchants and sequel The Merchants' War.

Sadly there is nothing to like about Pohl's protagonist in this novel, in fact Bob is a despicable human being on all accounts (and not in an intentionally anti-h
Apr 11, 2008 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Frederik Pohl is a very good writer, reminiscent of Robert Silverberg - Silverberg is better with characterization and his literary skills are a half-step above, but Pohl's ability to manipulate large amounts of plot arc at a surgical level is incredible and they both create vivid, realistic seeming worlds with real, living characters, none of the Azimov cardboard men, and both develop their themes subtly through plot and characterization, rather than through preachy dialog and other cheap mecha ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Belcebon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pesar de que el protagonista es muy desagradable hasta casi el final, me ha parecido una novela muy interesante. Es muy revelador como va intercalando capítulos del pasado, con las sesiones con su psiquiatra virtual. Y la forma en la que la humanidad moteniza el descubrimiento de pórtico es muy entretenida. Se plantean muchas incógnitas que espero se vayan resolviendo en los siguientes volúmenes. He tardado demasiado tiempo en leer este clásico.
Nutshell: Boy named Sue wins lottery twice, whines about it to AI psychiatrist.

Two narrative strands drive inexorably toward the crisis point, an encounter with a quantum singularity. First strand is prospective account of things said & done by narrator from his birth to the black hole, whereas second strand is sessions with robot therapist, retrospective, peeling back narrator's defects in order to arrive again at the black hole. Third strand escapes the pull of the singularity through rand
Nov 22, 2013 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks, sf
Mankind has discovered an ancient alien artefact in our solar system; a gateway that contains thousands of spaceships that people can ride in only they can't control where they go or how long they'll be gone. It might take them to untold riches if they discover useful alien remains or it might deposit them dangerously close to a neutron star or it might simply take then on a journey far longer than their life support system will hold out for.

Our protagonist Bob gets a lucky break from his life i
Jan 14, 2011 Kane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: robot psychiatrists and their patients
The fact that I cannot give Gateway a higher rating is almost certainly a consequence of my expectations. From the description, I thought this was going to be some hard(ish) sci-fi, perhaps with some space opera overtones revolving around the risk of space travel by unknown means to unknown destinations. Some of these expectations were met, but this is not such a novel.

Gateway centers on space-prospector Robinette Broadhead (yes, that's right) and the mysterious starships left behind by an appar
Althea Ann
Picked this up because it's one of those 'classics' of SF that I'd never got around to reading, even though I've seen it around on bookshelves for practically my whole life. (Just went to check, it was published in 1977.)
The writing style is very typical of the 70's, and also, was not really what I was expecting. For some reason, I was thinking the book would be space opera/adventure - possibly because I was aware that it had several sequels, and the phrase "The Heechee Saga" just sounds kind of
Jan 31, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is one I'd been meaning to read forever. Gateway has a great premise, one which leads to great anticipation of wonders and mystery. Gateway is a docking station, left behind by an alien species,
the Heechee. It's like a giant asteroid, stocked with ships programmed to travel to destinations light-years away and then return.
Bob Broadhead has won the lottery, his ticket off an overpopulated
and bleak Earth to Gateway, where missions on these ships bring either death or just have t
Mar 21, 2011 Jakob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Gateway is an interesting mix of Freudian psychology and Scifi. Basically you have the main character recalling the main story through his sessions with his machine brain analyst. Despite hating his Dr. Freud machine and liberally telling it so, our main character Robinette finds the sessions helpful to deal with his pain. He doesn't really know where the pain stems from since he's repressed parts of his memories. Besides dealing with this we get the occasional comments about Oedipal feelings an ...more
It took me a while to get into the rhythm of this book: one chapter of Robinette with his robot psychiatrist, the next reliving the past as a prospector using alien technology to search the universe. In many ways, I thought Rob was the sane one--absolutely terrified to get into a vehicle that he really didn't understand to take a journey to goddess knows where. That, to me, seemed sensible. And I don't know if there's anything to the astrology references Pohl built into Rob's relationship with h ...more
Sarah Sammis
Dec 03, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At a time of food shortages, a crashing world economy and recently expensive fuel, Gateway by Frederik Pohl is relevant and contemporary. Told in flashback through a series of conversations between a patient and his psychiatrist, Gateway, is an account of Robinette Broadhead's time on Gateway, an alien outpost.

Gateway captures the feeling of adventure of the classic frontier stories bringing to mind the works of Daniel Defoe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London and Jules Verne. Gateway is both a
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Frederik George Pohl, Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine IF winning the Hugo for IF three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.
More about Frederik Pohl...

Other Books in the Series

Heechee Saga (6 books)
  • Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (Heechee Saga, #2)
  • Heechee Rendezvous (Heechee Saga, #3)
  • The Annals of the Heechee (Heechee Saga, #4)
  • The Gateway Trip (Heechee Saga, #5)
  • The Boy Who Would Live Forever: A Novel of Gateway (Heechee Saga, #6)

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“They were two lovely choices. One of them meant giving up every chance of a decent life forever...and the other one scared me out of my mind.” 52 likes
“Anyway, that's what life is, just one learning experience after another, and when you're through with all the learning experiences you graduate and what you get for a diploma is, you die.” 6 likes
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