Nominated for the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association’s 1983 Prix Aurora Award
Out of the struggle of two surviving sun gods to withstand the decay of their worlds come changes in their simple natures and that of their ‘mortals’; changes that presage the human condition as we know it, with its ineluctable complex of anguish, struggle, love, and joy.
Pauline Gedge’s historical novels have clearly shown her extraordinary gift for creating exotic and distant worlds that we can perceive with all the senses, as well as an intense concern with the nature of the struggle between good and evil.
In Stargate she combines these to create fabulous worlds of the imagination that fall, one by one, to the subtle temptations of their creator, bent now on corrupting the innocence he initially bestowed.
Excerpts from English-language reviews of Stargate
“Mystic tales of cosmic proportion are not uncommon in fantasy but they are seldom this well done. Gedge has reworked the timeless elements of creation and sacrifice into a fascinating tapestry of jealousy, fear and courage.” – Telestar
“As a describer of a fantasy world, Gedge must have few peers. Her word pictures of her strange planets enable us to visualize them easily and to believe in their existence.” – Victoria Times Colonist
“It is no easy feat to write a creation story, even one which is set in an alien universe (but) novelist Gedge takes up these challenges in this, her third book – and… pulls off a winner.” – Edmonton Journal
“Stargate, which goes back to the theological beginnings of the world, is ambitious and serious fantasy, a vivid portrait of rich civilizations and their fall from the heavenly kingdom.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Gedge is a skilled stylist and her prose is luminous and poetic… those with a taste for poetry and spiritual speculation may well be pleased with this theological thriller.” – San Francisco Chronicle
“A stunning trip through time and space. Stargate is like a powerful dose of a mood-altering drug; it’s a trip that reaches not only the heights of the unknown but of the unimaginable as well.” – The Magazine
“Stargate‘s mystical visions and struggles… are the struggle towards the excitement and dawn of mutability.” – Fantasy Newsletter
“Besides being an adventure fantasy Stargate is a fable chronicling in allegoric form the development of the human psyche from untested innocence through frailty, uneasy knowledge and mortality to the acceptance of common humanity and its struggle as the next and better stage. A well-done book that can be read on several levels.” – Toronto Arts News
Pauline’s notes on Stargate
I was doing something routine in my kitchen one afternoon when my mind suddenly filled with a startlingly vivid vision. I saw a man in the act of locking the doors to a vast, empty palace, then walking away from it down a flight of stone steps towards a forest.
I knew that the man was more than a man. He was immortal. I knew that he was sad. In fact I was filled with such a sense of grief and loss that I stopped what I was doing, went into my living room, and sat down. Something told me that I was seeing the end of a novel, the last scene. The name of the man that came to me was Danarion. But who or what was he? What was his story? Where had the inhabitants of the palace gone? What great tragedy had overtaken them? For I just knew that their story was tragic. I felt compelled to begin a journey backwards, from the close of the book to its opening. I was working blind, relying on intuition.
I had no historical figure on whom to hang a plot. Stargate became my first sally into pure fiction. I very soon realized as I wrote that I was delving into the nature of perfection, into an uncorrupted universe peopled by beings whose very innocence made them vulnerable to a powerful being determined to destroy them. Everything I believe in became distilled in the pages, and it came as no surprise to me that I had written two thirds of the novel before I succumbed to an emotional breakdown. I was forced to rest for several months – with the aid of the beneficent drug Tofranil – before I was able to return to the typewriter and finish what I regard as my finest achievement as a writer.
My readers, who had been looking for another historical novel, were disappointed. The critics liked the book, but sales were not good. Nevertheless I can still, after many years, conjure that first glimpse of Danarion and the palace of the Sun Lords in all its intricate detail.
Stargate has been translated into German.