Start your review of Heechee Rendezvous Heechee Saga, 3 Write a review Shelves: speculative-fiction , reading-project , read-in This is the book where we learn about the HeeChee. They cease to be a mystery and frankly, the people who meet them fail to be properly impressed, in my opinion. Real, live aliens with wisdom to impart and they cant focus on that. Plus, we start to question the opinions of the HeeCheeare they right to be scared of the race that they call the Assassins or have they completely misinterpreted their actions?
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Robert Silverberg Avon Books , May , pp. The new stories packaged with "The Merchants of Venus" as The Gateway Trip: Tales and Vignettes were all published in the first three issues of Aboriginal Science Fiction ; both the serial and the late book were illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas.
In it was included in an all-Heechee collection, The Gateway Trip : Tales and Vignettes of the Heechee, comprising the novella and nine new short stories.
The magazine story was illustrated by Jack Gaughan  and the collection by Frank Kelly Freas. In "The Merchants of Venus", the Heechee a name given to them by humans since nobody knows what they called themselves are nowhere to be found, and humans know of them only from their advanced artifacts.
The first evidence comes with the discovery of tunnels constructed under the Venusian surface, each tunnel distinguished by a mysterious light-emitting cobalt blue metal covering the interior sections. The tunnels facilitate colonization, since they can be adapted to human use at a fraction of what it would cost to dig them from scratch, and they and the other artifacts attract scientists who want to study them; then adventurers and prospectors who hope to make money by discovering more artifacts; and finally tourists rich enough to travel to Venus.
By the next parts of the series, enough people have come to Venus to make it a sovereign state and a major power. In the main part of the series, the frontier moves away from Venus after explorers discover an asteroid orbiting perpendicular to the ecliptic plane , filled with cobalt blue tunnels, and hundreds of small Heechee spaceships. The asteroid, named Gateway by the discoverers, is occupied by the powerful nations of the world, who subsequently form the Gateway Corporation to administer the object.
By happenstance, one of the asteroid explorers enters a ship and hits a button, activating the vehicle and sending him on a thirty-day journey to another solar system. Upon his return, the Gateway Corporation decides to allow explorers called Prospectors to take trips on the mostly still-functioning ships. Even though the ships function, they have unknown pre-programmed destinations that cannot be changed, and humans cannot figure out the Heechee technology.
Prospectors who find valuable materials or make discoveries are rewarded with substantial bonuses. Some Prospectors, though, become lost or arrive at worthless or dangerous locations. Ships on the asteroids come in three sizes and are defined as a "one", a "three", or a "five" based upon the number of passengers that they can carry for the most part uncomfortably. Not every vehicle returns and there are other great hazards to the explorers. Gateway[ edit ] The novel Gateway was serialized in Galaxy beginning November , with illustrations by Vincent DiFate , and was published as a book by St.
In the sequel, Broadhead uses the money to fund further discoveries involving Heechee technology, locating a Heechee food factory that is capable of turning raw carbon , hydrogen , oxygen and nitrogen CHON from comets into edible food for an overpopulated Earth. The Heechee do not appear until book three in the series, in which the reason for their absence is explained. Some , years earlier, the Heechee were active in exploring the galaxy, including an Australopithecine -inhabited Earth where a sampling of the creatures were extracted and left to propagate to modern time on a Heechee station.
The Heechee found out that there was a race of pure energy called simply The Foe or alternatively called either The Assassins or The Kugel wiping out civilizations on any planet where they emerged. The inherently cautious Heechee retreated to the interior of the black hole in the Galactic Core hoping to avoid being destroyed. Due to time dilation , only a few hundred years have passed for the Heechee in the interior of the black hole since they left the normal universe. While in hiding, Heechee scout ships are periodically sent outside the black hole to check on developments through the universe in general and the emerging Earth in particular.
When the latest Heechee crew exits the black hole, they are shocked to discover that humans are flying Heechee spaceships to all parts of the galaxy—and one of those places happens to be the Kugelblitz a black hole made of energy and not matter , where The Foe is concentrated. When the Heechee finally arrive in force, it is decided that the human intrusion cannot be reversed and The Foe must be confronted. The Heechee have collected evidence that The Foe have been adding matter into the universe.
The Foe intend to tilt the balance and allow the Big Bang to be reversed and the universe to collapse into a Big Crunch billions of years into the future. The Foe intend that once the universe rebounds into a second big bang, it will do so in the form of pure energy, removing the atomic matter that The Foe regard as so much clutter. Each Heechee carries a microwave emitter in a storage pod between his or her legs.
The pod is a trapezohedron shaped device and is also used for carrying equipment. The pods also explain why the seats on the ship have V-shaped indentations to accommodate the devices.
Heechee relationships do not generally feature couple cohabitation for lengthy periods as with human marriages. A burrowing species, they tend to display more solitary conduct than humans.
A Heechee bed is a cocoon, stuffed with soft bits of fabric. Heechees only breed when a female is in season. Heechee are omnivorous and use a fibrous plant to clean their teeth. There are two Heechee languages: the language of Do and the language of Feel, with communications with humans restricted to the former. Unlike humans, the Heechee did not develop artificial intelligence. Instead, they relied upon technology to pour the brains of departed Heechee into data storage, giving them a limited immortality.
These "stored minds" operate at remarkably faster speeds than "meat" brains. Those stored operate in their own social strata often separate from their organic counterparts. After centuries of existence, the various Heechee consciousnesses join the "massed minds", essentially dying while memories are distributed among other machine stored intelligences.
Heechee devices[ edit ] In addition to the Food Factory, the Heechee created a number of devices that the Earth people discovered and used, including: Piezoelectric devices allowing voltage to be generated from placing pressure on crystals. The fans also are used for data storage. A Disruptor of Order in Aligned Systems is the device that allows Heechee to unseal the Schwarzschild barrier in black holes and allow ships to traverse the boundaries referred to jokingly by humans as a "can opener".
The "Dream Couch" or, more properly, a telepathic psychokinetic transceiver, is capable of receiving and transmitting thoughts across long distances. Heechees focus their law enforcement efforts on catching criminals while they are having perverse thoughts. In the novels, terrorists are depicted as putting insane people in Dream Couches and broadcast their thoughts into populated areas, causing widespread damage and destruction.
Before learning of the Dream Couch being the cause, this was known on Earth as the "day fever", a period of planet-wide temporary insanity occurring roughly every one hundred and thirty days. Campbell Memorial Award , Hugo Award, and Nebula Award—sometimes called the "triple crown", selected by a respected panel, by world fans, and by American writers respectively.
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It has been cataloged as the third book in a six-book series called Heechee  or The Heechee Saga  the Heechee are a fictional alien race that use advanced technology, created by Pohl but Kirkus reviewed it as completing a trilogy  and a German-language edition of the three books was published as the Gateway trilogy Die Gateway-Trilogie, Munich: Heyne Verlag, after all six were out. He still attempts to research more about the advanced alien Heechees and their star-travelling technology. At the same time, a madman named Wan attempts to search for his father within black holes, using stolen equipment and a Heechee ship. Fearing that humans may alert a malevolent race of beings known as the Assassins, the Heechee patrol tries to find out more about human achievements in space flight and whether or not the damage done by them can be undone.
Robert Silverberg Avon Books , May , pp. The new stories packaged with "The Merchants of Venus" as The Gateway Trip: Tales and Vignettes were all published in the first three issues of Aboriginal Science Fiction ; both the serial and the late book were illustrated by Frank Kelly Freas. In it was included in an all-Heechee collection, The Gateway Trip : Tales and Vignettes of the Heechee, comprising the novella and nine new short stories. The magazine story was illustrated by Jack Gaughan  and the collection by Frank Kelly Freas. In "The Merchants of Venus", the Heechee a name given to them by humans since nobody knows what they called themselves are nowhere to be found, and humans know of them only from their advanced artifacts. The first evidence comes with the discovery of tunnels constructed under the Venusian surface, each tunnel distinguished by a mysterious light-emitting cobalt blue metal covering the interior sections. The tunnels facilitate colonization, since they can be adapted to human use at a fraction of what it would cost to dig them from scratch, and they and the other artifacts attract scientists who want to study them; then adventurers and prospectors who hope to make money by discovering more artifacts; and finally tourists rich enough to travel to Venus.