Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Stargate by Stephen Robinett
Usually, I haven't read the serials from old magazines I have been reading. I picked up the June 1974 issue of Analog because I wanted to read the editorial written by Ben Bova concerning the TV-series he had been consulting. (as the same series inspired his ironic novel, Starcrossed). However, I happened to read a few pages of this one, and very quickly I was hooked.
An engineer who lives with his smart and beautiful girlfriend (who is finishing her law degree) gets kicked out from his work. Fortunately, he gets a new work offer; one that's just too good to be true, but it is real. He will be overseeing the building of a gigantic stargate which will be used for mining planets in other solar systems by tearing chunks measured in several miles from their surface. The former manager died very suddenly just when the building was at high gear, and there are implications that someone might want to sabotage the project. So, he is forced to oversee the project, try to find who is trying to harm it, and to have some time to spend with his nice girlfriend.
This was a very entertaining, fluently written novel with very interesting and mostly sympathetic characters. The writing was nicely humorous and very comfortable. This seems to be a forgotten gem. Warmly recommend for everyone who manage to find a copy.
186 pp. (the book version)