Gateway (again)


Jul 16, 2012
I reread Pohl's Gateway recently and I had forgotten how clever and well written it was. There are so few books these days where there is no real sense of wrapping up, and no desire for things to be resolved. I still think the freud robot part has aged a little - but only in as much as psychology has moved on - the action/response sequences are still very good.

It's also one of the few novels with clippings and bits interspersed with the story that doesn't bother me.

There is nothing lost by not resolving or seeking to resolve; there's a beauty in it.
I read this for the first time just last month and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was intelligent and insightful, and although I feared the reports, rules, letters and classified ads interrupting the chapters would bring me out of the story, they actually worked very well to give greater depth to it. The computer psychiatrist sounded a bit hammy, but it didn't bother me, and I've too little knowledge of present day research to know where it had aged, so I just accepted it.

I'm not sure I agree there was no resolution to the story, though. For us as readers, the mystery of what happened and why he's undergoing treatment is fully resolved. For him, he's brought to confront what he's been hiding from, and given the chance to see her again via her recorded sessions with the computer. He's perhaps not fully "cured" as such, which would be unrealistic, but my understanding is that he's brought to recognise his survivor's guilt and from then on he'd be able to better handle it and his memories and the impact of his guilt and loss.

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