My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Rob Broadhead is in therapy, even though he is resistant to everything his therapist suggests. But he keeps coming back, week after week, session after session, until finally, a breakthrough is achieved.
The story that underlies that eventual breakthrough is the story of Rob’s experience at Gateway, a space station that houses the mysterious spacecraft of a vanished race known as the Heechee. Rob was a prospector, a person who takes a chance and joins an expedition to one (or more) of the unknown destinations pre-programmed into the Heechee ships in the hopes of finding something spectacular and making a fortune.
Rob made a fortune. And it broke him.
Frederik Pohl constructed his tale in bi-fold manner: Rob’s therapy sessions with his AI psychiatrist; and his time at Gateway, learning about Heechee navigation and preparing for his trip into the unknown. It’s an effective tool, revealing Rob’s psychosis and its triggering event a little at a time. And the information revealed about the mysterious and long-gone Heechee is intriguing enough for me to seek out the rest of the series. Well done, Mr. Pohl.
This review was written as part of the 2016 Award-Winning SFF Challenge. This challenge is now over, but you can find the sign-up for the 2017 Challenge right here.