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The Boy Who Would Live Forever: A Novel of Gateway

(Heechee Saga #6)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  886 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In 1977 Frederik Pohl stunned the science fiction world with the publication of Gateway, one of the most brilliantly entertaining SF novels of all time. Gateway was a bestseller and won science fiction's triple crown: the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Memorial awards for best novel. Now, more than twenty-five years later, Pohl has completed a new novel set in the Gate ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Tor Books (first published 1990)
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3.56  · 
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 ·  886 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A collection of stories narrated by several old characters from previous novels as well as by new ones, apparently not related, but which will all converge in the end into the main plot. You'll find more details about Heechee, Assassins, humans, Stored Minds and their timeless lives in the Core. It is a sequel of the 4th novel, The Annals of the Heechee. A bit hard to digest due to the fact that some chapters are narrated in 3rd person and the others in 1st, but still a nice addition to the Heec ...more
Jon Norimann
The Boy Who Would Live Forever is a poor end to the Heechee series. It seems other reviewers saw this as a book of several different short tories to tie up loose ends in the series. I can't really see that. I see a broken up story, that vaguely, barely, comes together at the end. The whole book is poorly written with few or no new answers or insights. The SF takes the back seat to lingusitic nonsense and more mundane isses.

Only read this book if you read the first 5 in the series, just to get th
Sarah Sammis
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pc, read-in-2009
Since Thanksgiving I've been working my way through the Heechee Saga. A month ago I finished the original trilogy and now I've hit the first of the add on books. The first three covered the life, death and "re-birth" of a prospector turned billionaire. They were fun and full of the sort of adventures that California's early statehood history holds but set in space with alien technology and a planet in crisis due to over population and dwindling resources.

The Boy Who Would Live Forever tries to r
Apr 11, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy reading about AI programs cooking extravagant virtual meals for other AI programs, then this is the book for you! There are plenty of Heechee in this book, which is cool I guess. Weak on science fiction, strong on drama. Pohl is sex obsessed, which is embarrassing, and it takes the reader out of the story. The chief antagonist in the story is Wan, my least favorite character.
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hokey. Juvenile. Fantastical science fiction - maybe better described as "soft scifi" kind of like Star Trek. The story itself was a let down. Sorry I wasted my time on this one.
Marius Ungurean
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fitting end to a huge saga, from start to finish it hits you with everything that happened from the beginning of the first book until the last. I, personally, loved it from start to finish and i would recommend this series to anyone who is interested in both philosophical and hard science concepts.

Start reading it, now!
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
If you have read the five previous Gateway novels and this is tying up loose ends, it might be a good read, but as a standalone, it's a snorefest.
But the real weakness is that he is butting together an assortment of uberpowerful characters from previous titles in the series (some of the richest people in the galaxy, aliens with virtually limitless technologies, super-fast, supergenius AIs) so any ending was always going to feel like deus ex machina and this one certainly does. It was just a
Oct 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gah. I declare this book finished in the name of completeness.

Some thoughts... a disjointed and mostly pointless narrative which dallies, dawdles and fails to provide mush reward to the reader. The characters are weakly defined and uninteresting, which completely fails to inspire any feeling on the part of the reader.

What ultimately irritated me the most was the glaring inconsistencies in the plot; some examples:
- Mark Anthony, takes effort to highlight he easily he can overpower other AI syste
This series has run one book too long. Parts of this novel are great, a few segments with new characters, the rest was slow paced to muddled. Never thought I would rate a Pohl novel as two stars.
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Paycheck book which tries to tie in a bunch of characters from previous books to make you feel good about the series. Your life won't change if you skip this one.
Adam Duclos
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Florin Constantinescu
Some 15 years after the poor "Gateway Trip" collection, Pohl decides to once again milk the Heechee cow. The cow unfortunately has dried out a long time ago.
Did we really need previous collection? Nope. Did we need this one? Nope again.

While not horribly written, it brings absolutely nothing new to the universe. Wan is here again to piss us off (who doesn't hate him by now?), the action is slow as hell, and it's full of more pointless philosophizing about AI's, gods, the nature of the universe,
Nix Gerit
A nice story, in which I liked the close up of the Heechee Core and life. They're certainly rather different than we are, but I still liked it. The time dilation of 40000 : 1 was a fascinating thought, as well as basically a habour of life within the Core.
Wan was a punchable asshole, as usual, nothing surprising. It wasn't that remarkable except for the setting. That was nice.
Matt Whitehead
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Didn't know this was a Heechee series book. Liked it. A bit weird, but like the others weren't.
Bram Wijngaarden
Lacking in tension and surprise but nice to finish the series.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Some parts are repeated from previous books in the series and pace is not best of the series, but it wraps up saga quite nicely.
Michael Moats
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
really enjoyed the first 3 books of this series
this one was a total waste of time.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Many really cool ideas.
But overall presentation cliche in a lot of points.
SF. More from the Heechee saga. Now, usually my reviews of Pohl go something like this: "Awesome science fiction, great storytelling, incredibly detailed alien societies, inept depictions of women!" Um. One out of four's not bad? It's actually two out of four, but I don't consider his consistently flat women a selling point.

I feel like this book was coasting on past Heechee glory. We do visit the core -- the black hole in the center of the galaxy where the Heechee have retreated in order to hide
Barry Martin Vass
For anyone who has read the Gateway series, this is eminently readable. For those who haven't grown up on Robinette Broadhead, Gelle-Klara Moynlin and the legend of the elusive Heechee, this will probably be a bit confusing. Gateway was mostly a straight action-adventure, first published in 1977 at the same time the first Star Wars movie was released, and it was interesting in its own right because the characters were so realistic. Whereas the first two sequels, Beyond The Blue Event Horizon and ...more
Dec 26, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gateway fans and that's about it
Overall, I enjoyed this latest Gateway novel. For the most part, it didn't feel tacked-on to me. After all, the previous book was not any kind of definitive end to the Heechee story. Pohl takes things in new and interesting directions with the Heechee ... but he also takes things once again in extended tangents with a number of characters who are not as interesting as the main pair. Pohl also switches from first person to third person narrative - again, as in the previous book(s). To what end, I ...more
Rich Meyer
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I'm assuming that. except for the short story collection, this will be the last of the Beeches saga. Which is too bad, since the series is one of the better science fiction sagas of the past forty years. This particular entry though doesn't add much to the telling, but is interesting in that it isn't a talrle centered on Robinette Broadhead. It's also a bit on the short side ... barely even a novella.
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Gateway, and have read books 3, 4 and (now 5) recently (I need to reread #2 sometime). I didn't hate this book, but I never really liked it either book. It started off well and had a few interesting ideas, but overall it was very slowly paced, and just didn't add much to the Gateway universe. I didn't care about the characters particularly and the plot mostly just felt like it wandered around, without getting to much of a point.
Satisfying enough for those who want to get back into the Gateway universe.
Some intriguing characters along with a few thin ones.
Definitely worth the read if you are a Gateway fan, but although technically this could be considered a stand-alone novel in the universe, I would not recommend it over reading the Gateway series from the beginning (even if you are otherwise a Pohl fan).
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A major disappointment in the Heechee saga. A rambling fix-up of short stories that is more interested in listing meals that an AI creates than in developing a storyline. In a nutshell, the plot floats around Wan Enrique Santos-Smith's revenge plan against the Heechee. Skip this and THE GATEWAY TRIP and read the other wonderful Gateway novels instead.
Attila Benő
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Heechee saga is a great science-fiction series for anyone who is thinking about the possibilities of other civilizations. The story starts out really interesting, the first few books in the series are full of surprises. However, it gets a little shallow towards the end, so this book in the series is only 4 stars from me.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the few Pohl books I read that I found a huge disappointment and an uninteresting slog. It was sprawling and unfocused, and then rushed to a preposterous conclusion in the final section. I enjoyed the rest of the Gateway/Heechee series, but this one was a misfire.
Over-all, I enjoyed this one. It did a good job of wrapping up long-running plotlines for the series. Unfortunately, it was extremely disjointed bouncing between multiple characters and still had too much emphasis on the unpleasant character.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm very glad Pohl decided to write another Heechee book, because I was seriously missing them. A good glimpse into the way Humans and Heechee interact with each other and the alliance they form, something I've been waiting to read for awhile.
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entertainment
At last, Fred has redeemed himself for the depressing drivel he fed us poor readers in the last two books of the heechee saga. If this is indeed the "last", then he finishes on a high note. This story is interesting, engaiging and builds to a great ending!
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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.

Other books in the series

Heechee Saga (6 books)
  • Gateway (Heechee Saga, #1)
  • 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)