The Stars my Destination (1956) by Alfred Bester

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The Stars my Destination (1956) by Alfred Bester

Post  BoG on Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:01 am

Wikipedia wrote:The Stars My Destination is a science fiction novel by Alfred Bester. Originally serialized in Galaxy magazine in four parts beginning with the October 1956 issue, it first appeared in book form in the United Kingdom as Tiger! Tiger! – after William Blake's poem "The Tyger", the first verse of which is printed as the first page of the novel – and the book remains widely known under that title in markets where this edition was circulated. A working title for the novel was Hell's My Destination, and it was also associated with the name The Burning Spear.
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Wikipedia wrote:In the 25th century, "jaunting" – personal teleportation – has so upset the social and economic balance that the Inner Planets are at war with the Outer Satellites. Gully Foyle of the Presteign-owned merchant spaceship Nomad – an uneducated, unskilled, unambitious man whose life is at a dead end – is marooned in space when the ship is attacked and he alone survives. After six months of waiting for rescue, a passing spaceship, the Vorga, also owned by the powerful Presteign industrial clan, ignores his signal and abandons him. Foyle is enraged and is transformed into a man consumed by revenge, the first of many transformations.
Wikipedia wrote:The Stars My Destination anticipated many of the staples of the later cyberpunk movement, for instance the megacorporations as powerful as governments, a dark overall vision of the future and the cybernetic enhancement of the body. Bester's unique addition to this mix is the concept that human beings could learn to teleport, or "jaunte" from point to point, provided they know the exact locations of their departure and arrival and have physically seen the destination. There is one overall absolute limit: no one can jaunte through outer space. On the surface of a planet, the jaunte rules supreme; otherwise, mankind is still restricted to machinery. In this world, telepathy is extremely rare, but does exist. One important character is able to send thoughts but not receive them. There are fewer than half a dozen full telepaths in all the worlds of the solar system.

The novel can be seen as a science-fiction adaption of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. It is the study of a man completely lacking in imagination or ambition, Gulliver Foyle, who is introduced with "He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead...". Foyle is a cipher, a man with potential but no motivation, who is suddenly marooned in space. Even this is not enough to galvanize him beyond trying to find air and food on the wreck. But all changes when an apparent rescue ship deliberately passes him by, stirring him irrevocably out of his passivity. Foyle becomes a monomaniacal and sophisticated monster bent upon revenge. Wearing many masks, learning many skills, this "worthless" man pursues his goals relentlessly; no price is too high to pay.
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