I just wrote a quick review for Gateway by Frederik Pohl over at Goodreads. Here it is:
In Gateway, the protagonist wins the lottery and trades his dangerous, crappy life as a Wyoming food miner for a dangerous, exciting life as a space prospector who lives on an asteroid called Gateway.
As a space prospector, he and others like him use ancient alien technology to search for more ancient technology that can be licensed and adapted for the good of humanity (and the mutual profit of the space prospectors and the Gateway Corporation).
I liked this book because it’s funny, especially the interactions between the protagonist and his robotic psychotherapist, and realistic in that gritty, George R.R. Martin way; the characters spend a significant amount of time going to parties where they smoke bud, drink liquor, and hook up with each other. Gateway is also realistic in characters are prone to come back from missions as nothing more than bloody piles smeared around the inside of their spacecraft.
Sci-fi and speculative fiction fans will appreciate the ancient alien and overcrowded world tropes, as well as the descriptions of the high-stakes prospecting missions. For everyone else, there’s the ongoing human drama which, in my opinion, takes precedence over and gives meaning to everything else.