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In my last post at

Found at: circumlunar.space:70/~sloum/phlog/20200612-23.txt

In my last post at this gopher hole I wrote about the novel
"Gateway" by Frederik Pohl. I have, just tonight, finished
the sequel to that book (the 2nd of 4 or 5 depending on
what you include in the count). This sequel is titled
"Beyond the Blue Event Horizon".

This book was less focused than Gateway in some ways. It
seems like it will set up the rest of the series quite well
though. I really hate most of the characters most of the
time I was with them... but I still loved the mystery and
discovery relating to the alien technology. This mostly
takes a back seat to interactions between intelligences,
be they human, machine, or other. Some of these work for
the book and the style fairly well, others not so much. If
this had been the first book I likely would report that it
was enjoyable in its way, but not one you would need to
rush out and read right away. However, as it is a part of
a larger series I will say that this does set up events
for a larger scope in future novels.

The thing I liked least about this novel, unlike the last
two that I reviewed here, is that it sets up an antagonist.
I do not much care for traditional conflict in stories. At
least not the sort where there is an enemy that needs to be
defeated. Nor do I care for wholly irrational actions on
the part of human characters... I get that humans dont 
always make the best decisions, but wholly irrational just
annoys me, and there were a few instances of that.

If you read the first book and liked it and are thinking of
trying this one out, I would say go for it. I enjoyed it,
just not as much as the first. Without spoiling anything
too much I will say that you will get answers to questions
set up by the first book, and while Robin (Gateway's main
character) is not the main character here in many ways, he
is present for a lot of the book. Whether you like the 
answers given or the presence of Robin in this book will
likely depend on your expectations and what you like in
your sci-fi.

I believe I will read the next book, but I may take a short
break.


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