Jonah's Reviews > Gateway

Gateway by Frederik Pohl
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Jul 29, 10

Read in July, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I read this one solely on the recommendation of a friend.

I think the premise of the gateway as a crap-shoot for winning various technological boons for an ailing human race has some potential as the back story in a successful SF novel. This, in my opinion, is not that novel.

This novel is about the dreary self-absorbed life of a detestable "prospector", who does almost nothing except dish out abuse to a computer psychiatrist, avoid anything dangerous, whine, obsess about his finances, have sex (which he somehow makes really uninteresting) and any other activity that might disinterest me, as a reader.

There is so much psychiatry, psychobabble and self-obsession in this novel that I suspected the author was probably a neurotic New Yorker who had some bad relationships with women and psychiatry in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and decided to write a book about it. The setting was completely incidental to the story.

I consider the author's choice to show an impoverished, ailing humanity to be noteworthy. That fact, combined with the scavenger hunt aspect to the Gateway network, could make the other books in the series potentially far more interesting if they contain protagonists who are interesting enough to make me want more for them than death in the vacuum of space.

If I do start book two and see any psychiatry, I am dropping it like a hot potato.

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