By Frederik Pohl

Rating: 4 stars

Gateway is an asteroid found in an odd orbit in the solar system that contains a multitude of ships left behind by the departed Heechee. The ships are easy to pilot but impossible to control. Their pilots may find things that make them rich or their remains may be barely identifiable, if they make it back at all.

Robinette Broadhead is one such pilot who has made it rich but feels the need to see an AI therapist that he calls Sigfrid von Shrink and the book is alternates between Rob’s session’s with Sigfrid and telling his story, and is sprinkled with mission reports from other pilots returning to Gateway, notes about the Heechee and classified adverts.

It’s a great story and solidly told. The flashbacks work well and Sigfrid is a great character for an AI shrink. The world is well-built with the Gateway Corporation that runs Gateway, the food mines (fossil fuels are used as substrates broken down to grow food on) and shortages and the terrible sense of a desperate search for solutions while time is running out for a world creaking under its own weight.

A deserving entry in the SF Masterworks library.

Book details

ISBN: 9781857988185
Publisher: Gollancz
Year of publication: 1977

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