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Heechee Rendezvous: 03/31/09
The original Gateway trilogy ends with Heechee Rendezvous, wrapping up many of the plot points but leaving a few open for future books. I have two more books in the later series that I'll be reading and reviewing.
One major thread through the three books is the life of Robinette Broadhead. We see his childhood in the food mines, his time as a prospector, his rise as a businessman and venture capitalist and ultimately his death. What happens after his death though made me think immediately of the CEO in a Jameson body in the Ghost in the Shell: SAC episode "The Fortunate Ones."
In fact there's a lot about the scientific developments and the business side of space travel that reminds me Ghost in the Shell: SAC. The planet is still suffering from food shortages, poverty and a population explosion but for those who can afford it, things are improving. The humans are starting to understand Heechee technology and are making it their own, improving health care and in Broadhead's case, a chance at immortality.
The exploration of the growing divide between the haves and haves-not is one of the novel's strengths. Unfortunately it's there are a few glaring inconsistencies between Beyond the Blue Event Horizon and Heechee Rendezvous in the way some key supporting characters are presented, especially Essie Broadhead.
Essie in the second book is given a Russian back-story but she speaks fluent English. Come the third book and she's suddenly a far more brilliant computer scientist / robotic engineer than she was previously but she's lost her fluency in English. She goes from being a believable and well suited spouse for Robinette to being a cardboard cutout of a character. Of course she has to change to give Robinette reason to pine over his long lost first love who was trapped in a black hole.
The whole plot with the long lost girlfriend detracts from the bigger question of where are the Heechee and why are they hiding. The girl friend is a device to force angst where none is needed and it's not even as funny as the Futurama episode "The Cryptic Woman."
Of course like all series that don't want to come to an end despite being originally set up like a trilogy, the book ends on a cliff hanger. Since I come into the series with 20/20 hindsight and have already purchased the remaining books, I'm curious to see what happens next. Were I reading the series in 1984, I'd be annoyed because I hate cliffhangers. I have a bad feeling the next two books will play out like the .
Comment #1: Saturday, March, 28, 2009 at 10:48:26
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Comment #2: Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 18:00:02
Thank you for stopping by. I'll shall pop by and see your blog.