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Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (Heechee Saga, Book 2) Paperback – November 7, 2000

4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In Book Two of the Heechee Saga, Robinette Broadhead is on his way to making a fortune by bankrolling an expedition to the Food Factory--a Heechee spaceship that can graze the cometary cloud and transfor the basic elements of the universe into untold quantities of food. But even as he gambles on the breakthrough technology, he is wracked with the guilt of losing his wife, poised forever at the "event horizon" of a black hole where Robin had abaondoned her. As more and more information comes back from the expedition, Robin grows ever hopeful that he can rescue his beloved Gelle-Klara Moynlin. After three and a years, the factory is discovered to work, and a human is found aboard. Robin's suffering may be just about over....
Book One: Gateway
Book Two: Beyond the Blue Event Horizon
Book Three: Heechee Rendezvous
Book Four: The Annals of the Heechee

From the Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Series: Heechee Saga (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345446674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345446671
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,104,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David on February 15, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
To begin with, "Beyond The Blue Event Horizon" is a very good continuation of the Gateway series (although this does confine the book at times). The book is "hard" science fiction (emphasis is placed on getting the science of the story correct, unlike Star Trek's "phazers" and "warp drives"), although there's never a real feeling that this overpowers the story. The only exception to this is the last chapter which is basically an epilogue that reads like a physics book. But otherwise, the story is what drives this novel, and what a story it is! The book continues the adventure of our returning heroes Robin Broadhead and S Ya, among several other very unique, interested and well-defined characters (such as Wan or the "Oldest One"). Pohl does an excellent job of making these characters real through their problems, traits, flaws and strengths.
However, the real reason I'd recommend this book is because of the way Pohl writes. He's very good at suspense, as shown in Gateway, and employs it better here. After every answer he gives you, he'll present two more questions. And EVERY chapter ends right when you're eager to find out more. In addition, the buildup for the story is brilliant, with pieces of the puzzle that are established early on in the book coming into play beautifully near the end.
Finally, the reason Beyond The Blue Event Horizon received only 4 stars is that, as almost any sequel, it builds upon what was set up in Gateway (which definitely deserves five stars).
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Format: Paperback
To say this is a sequel to the award-winning (and brilliantly enjoyable) Gateway is both technically true and misleading. True, the main character is the same. Also true is the fact that it takes place in the same universe, more or less where Gateway left off. Unfortunately, this book reads like Pohl's notes for Gateway's background information, rather than a story worth telling.

That's not to say that the reading is not enjoyable - there are some neat parts to this book, and some interesting ideas. Unfortunately, you are left puzzled about what, exactly, Pohl meant to accomplish with this book. Without giving away any plot details, there are the following threads: 1. A the child of a Gateway prospector is marooned on a Heechee space station. 2. A group of astronauts attempt to capture the Food Factory. 3. Robin Broadhead, hero of Gateway, ponders how to rescue his girlfriend, trapped in a black hole. (but don't be fooled by the back-cover blurb, this is not a plotline so much as a "personality trait" of Robin - no attempt to made to rescue Klara). 4. Robin is sued by another prospector's next-of-kin. 5. A mysterious illness that decends on all mankind in 135-day intervals is investigated.

All these threads are intertwined, to be sure, but most of them are pointless. For example, the 135-day fever is explained, but nothing is done about it. When you read the explanation, surely this is the most important thing in the book! - how can this device be so powerful as to affect the entire human race? Similarly the lawsuit storyline - it's almost like a placefiller to allow time to pass and give Robin something to do while the astronauts explore the food factory and the space station.
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Format: Paperback
This is the immediate sequel to Pohl's award winning novel, Gateway. Here, the saga of the Heechee continues, with Robinette Broadhead managing his Earth-based empire of business and finance, and the further explorations of space in search of more mysterious Heechee artifacts. Pohl plunges us into a compelling world of alien technology and species interaction. There is never a dull moment as we are taken on different journeys around the solar system, with hints of things to come from the distant sectors of the galaxy.

The space station Gateway is still in operation, but the focus is on Broadhead's personal hand in the discovery of a huge Heechee spaceship on the edge of the solar system. It is only by pure chance that a group of mercenary prospectors (via Gateway) have found it. The huge ship is apparently a factory for making foodstuffs from raw materials in the asteroid belt it drifts through. It is called the Food Factory. On board are other creatures, thought to be Heechee descendents (but which turn out not to be such) and a young man, Wan, who is human and who has learned a few things about Heechee technology that astound the explorers. Wan can guide a Heechee spaceship wherever he wants to go to, and he knows the secret of other artifacts, including breakthroughs into Heechee language and books. Befriended by the explorers, who are bankrolled by Broadhead's corporation, Wan and some others, including life-like computer programs, begin to unscramble the Heechee mysteries.

High finance and politics and legal matters enter the formula, but the novel never misses a beat in high entertainment and in suggesting a much wider world out there with the ever-mysterious Heechees behind a lot of it. In the manner of Frank Herbert's Dune novels and with the breadth and flair of Arthur C Clarke or Joe Haldeman, Pohl continues to take us on one of the more intriguing journeys in sci-fi. How many great sequels make you want to read the next sequel as well?
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