Skip to main content

Gateway (Frederik Pohl), Heechee Saga 01

Space scares me.
Scratch that.. When I am on the beach, I do not fear drowning in the ocean. It is not what happens to my body after I am dead that frightens me. I don’t really fear the numerous little nibbly biting things that will slowly devour my corpse until nothing remains.
Space is similar. I do not fear decompression. I don’t really fear the floating forever bit with no boundaries or edges, just an expanse of nothingness with no explanations or hope of understanding in my lifetime. There is an unknown number of little nibbly biting things who may or may not want to eat my corpse, but they will never have the opportunity due to lack of accessibility by proxy of statistical impossibility/unlikelihood.
With the ocean and space, both are wrought with the essential danger of asphyxiation. Decompression and lack of oxygen in space is not too far removed from increased pressure and lack of oxygen under water. They are all minor details when you get to that level.
What gets me sweating about the ocean/space is just the damnable expansive loneliness. On earth, the ocean represents a finite but tangible removal from all things I know. It is fear manifested. In space, it is the infinite and intangible removal from the same things. In both cases, the simplicity of the fear is nothing more than distance and nothingness. I can’t say it is manifest as there is NOTHING THERE.
Frederik Pohl’s Gateway is great science fiction. It’s focus is on Robinette, would be (nearly accidental) space explorer. Rob was living on the Gateway asteroid and pushing random buttons on alien space craft to see where they will go on autopilot. Each trip from Gateway to the unknown could mean instant death as he pops out of hyperspace into a sun going super nova, or could be safe, but 30 days longer round trip than his food supply will allow. It is a crap shoot.
Coming back to Gateway alive is not enough to earn you a living though. Just returning only pays enough for you to continue to breathe on the asteroid, air costs money, and those who can pay, can leave or be pushed out an airlock. In space, time matters more than on earth. every second it life that someone sold you. Survival is obviously fantastic, but coming back with scientific data that is new and useful is better, as it could earn you bonuses and make you a rich man or woman.
The Gateway novel takes some getting used to and is the only novel in the Gateway series formatted in the way it is. The book primarily flips between Rob Broadhead in his psychiatric sessions on earth (rich as a king) and his flashbacks to Gateway (poor and desperate). the book is filled with off-page notations, side conversations, and bulletin board posts in the asteroid. These can be distracting at times, but in the long view i believe help set the mood. All other books in the series are standard format, real-time, so if you want to read the series but are getting thrown off by the mixed in subtext just ignore these pages.
The last chapter of this book blew my mind and caused all of these space fear thoughts to be rehashed after years of successfully being ignored. It’s damned amazing and makes you rethink what torture truly could be, in relation to those you love. Sometimes the pain in your head is worse than anything you someone could do to you with a knife.
Highly recommended book for sci-fi aficionados.


Popular posts from this blog

AbyssRium (IDLE Idea Factory) + Strategy

Tap games are a dime a dozen in the mobile world. Most (as is AbyssRium) are free with ad-supported revenue and/or provide efficiency cheats in a store.

AbyssRium sets itself apart from other tap games by leveraging a unique concept. In a Synthetic ocean, you are the ever loving caretaker of a talking 'Coralite', which to the best of our perceptions is an underwater volcanic vent. The point of the game is to build strength and vitality for your volcano and its surrounding wild life; evolving animals and fortifying new types of coral. As each element of your world is enhanced, you elicit more vitality from the creatures for use in evolution.
It is easiest to think of your mobile device as the side of a giant fish tank, and you are going to be tapping on the glass. While you were told in life this was bad for an aquarium, in AbyssRium, your Coralite considers this loving attention. It smiles at you, gives on screen hints, and makes a slightly disturbing orgasm face every time y…

Anne of Green Gables: Hell to the graphic novel YEAH!

I grew up eating a lot of cheesy macaroni and hanging around women who obsessed over Anne of Green Gables. They watched the films, read the books, pretended to be the characters. I understood macaroni but failed to understand the pull people had for Avonlea.

As I got older, I gained an appreciation. My reading branched out to more than just Stephen King and Hardy Boys. I read the first book in the series and evolved into a big bearded dude who doesn't change the channel when some variation comes on the Hallmark channel. Netflix launched 'Anne with an E' and I holed up in the bedroom with my wife to consume it.

I nearly peed myself when I found out a new Graphic Novel was slated for release.

PREORDER! October 24th Release date.
Buying a copy through this link supports this site but cost you no extra money.
Put it in the closet for an awesome x-mas gift.
Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel (Brenna Thummler, Mariah Marsden)
232 pages
Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN-10: 1449479…

River Queens: Keeping good company with Huck and Hemingway

Pre-Release, publication set for 10/17/18
A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into,” is one of thousands of sayings that denies the truth which every sailor respects: a boat is conduct into a hostile environment. Water is a hostile environment. Seafarers are so afraid of it that we make jokes about running aground, catching fire, and blowing up; accidents happen. But that danger is the bond that holds together otherwise free-spirited individuals into one cohesive lot.
- River Queens
Based on a review copy of the book, I was pleased that my initial impressions were shallow. Initial thoughts (after reading the leaf notes alone) were a presented heavy handedness, calling hail to the great American novel as many small publications aspire every year. Determining what I was actually to be reading required cracking the first page and just taking it on directly. The title of the book, ‘River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America’ supported a potential hyperbolic w…