by Frederik Pohl

Gateway was an intriguing book and really explored the knowability of a lost alien species. Its portrayal of Earth in the future seems oddly prescient in many ways. A future where space hasn't really made life on earth a peaceful utopia. The major powers are still at odds and Gateway is left above (yet inside it) by the fact that its uniqueness in the solar system makes it too valuable to fight over. I loved the usage of a psychotherapy as a backdrop to increase reader tension and provide a framework for why the story is being recounted. The idea of guilt and a failure to grieve when a person's state is unknown is an amazing topic to explore. Also of note is how the larger theme of knowability and Humanity not really having control of its future is reflected in both Broadhead's life as he is never an active participant in his own life, and just is being pulled along by unknown forces and in the fate of his companions from his last expediton. My biggest issue with the book is the fact that despite it all Broadhead is often a willful jerk, not just to his AI psychiatrist but to other patients and the people he recounts as part of his post-Gateway life. Maybe it is a guise to hide just how bad he feels about what happened.

Expanded from Goodreads review.


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