In this pulse-quickening novel, Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people “jaunte” a thousand miles with a single thought, where the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hit men – and where an inarticulate outcast is the most valuable and dangerous man alive. The Stars My Destination is a classic of technological prophecy an
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it was amazing
This is my favorite classic science fiction novel. It is rich in incident, ambitious in conception, terse and unemotional in style, and fiercely Romantic in theme. Although it is a revenge tale based on The Count of Monte Cristo, its heart is perhaps closer to Frankenstein, but to a Frankenstein in which the monster is capable of self-redemption, of moving beyond isolation and bitterness toward an enlightened humanity. And all the things that are good about this novel are embodied in its hero—Ca
During a war between the Inner and the Outer Planets, Gully Foyle—unlettered, unskilled, amoral—is adrift upon the wreck of the space ship The Nomad, the sole survivor of an attack. When the friendly ship Vorga knowingly passes him by, he becomes consumed by the desire for revenge. It is this passion which motivates him throughout a series of crimes—including (but not limited to) blackmail, rape, and murder–as he transforms himself into the elegant Geoffrey Fourmyle, still searching for the person who years ago decided to leave poor Gully Foyle for dead.
Foyle’s search takes place in a future world dense with marvels and horrors: wide use of individually initiated teleportation (“jaunting”), heartless mega-corporations, occasional telepathy, vast underground prisons, a cargo cult with cool tattoos, a cathedral housing a circus, a mysterious substance (“PyrE”) which may either consume or transform our world, and the fragmentation of time.
This is a very entertaining novel, but also a thoughtful one. Its ending is ambitious and outrageous, exalting The Hero, Democracy and Freedom, and yet acknowledging the ignorance, darkness and oppression from which these gifts inevitably spring. I can give it no better praise than to say I think Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, and Mr. and Mrs. Shelley–and, yes, Dumas pere too–would have liked it a lot.