The Stars My Destination (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 11 Mar 1999
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Long out of print, and hugely influential on both the SF New Wave of the 60s and the cyberpunks of the 80s, Bester's second novel is a fast-moving pyrotechnic extravaganza with enough bloodshed for Tarantino and enough social analysis for Marx. The solar system is torn by warfare--the discovery of a human capacity to move short distances by the power of mind has blown open the balance of economic power. A marooned spaceman, Gully Foyle, seeks revenge on the ship and crew that left him to rot, and pursues them among hereditary industrialists, sensory-deprived monks, circus freaks and the convicts of the deepest Hell on Earth. Marked by hideous facial tattoos, and haunted by his own flaming double, there is nothing that Foyle will not do-- and he is pursued by a selection of Furies as highly coloured as himself. Bester's profligate imagination gives us Dagenham, the radioactive courier, Jizbella, the consummate feminist thief, Robin, the one-way telepath, Ang-Yeovil, secret master of intelligence and Olivia, the albino who sees infra-red. Streetwise and high-gloss, this is one of the finest of SF classics, full of evocative scenery and much-imitated stylistic gimmicks that for once work perfectly. --Roz Kaveney
you can see seeds of science fiction's next half century sprinkled throughout its pacy. compulsive narrative (SFX) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Underneath the superb and imaginative futuristic setting is the story of a man transformed from a Dave Lister-style space bum into a raging, semi-literate savage intent on killing the spaceship Vorga that left him stranded. Through his weird and often violent trials and tribulations he is transformed into a powerful, intelligent and finally great man on whom the future of civilization rests. The story he uncovers and the "driven" people at the centre of the immense power struggle in which he finds himself, are remarkable and yet terrifying.
This is a superb futuristic novel which at its heart is an acute and insightful reflection on the present day world. It seems to offer something new every time I read it, and I never tire of re-visiting this wonderful story.
This is a breathtaking, pulse racing, thoughful and magnificent work of fiction, with a million great ideas tightly woven into one excellent, coherent story. It is a great achievement in itself, and also the reason why we have William Gibson and cyberpunk.
Buy it now. There is no excuse not to.
But oh, the rest of the book - The other 70% - That's the reason why I'm giving this the full five stars, and why I do consider it, though not perfect, still one of the finest and most unique books I've ever read. First of all, the pace: This book reads faster than anything else I've come across. Without wanting to sound cliched, Bester's prose burns off the page at a speed somewhat faster than lightning. He moves effortlessly across continents and planets, from action scene to action scene, all in the space of a typical chapter. The action is blinding (Bester wrote a lot of comics, earlier in his career, and it really shows), often violent and visceral in a way that I just didn't believe '50s novels could be, and Foyle is a madman, more than a man, a towering anti-hero. Yes, Foyle: One of the best characters ever created. Perhaps 'anti-hero' wasn't fair - He defies description. You just have to read about him. He changes so much during his adventures, and all in a totally believable way. Lastly, I want to mention the actual technology, the sci-fi: It has not, on the whole, dated badly. Most of it still seems wonderful and far-flung, though believable, today. And better than that, it's cool! In one of the best chapters of the novel, Bester introduces nano-augmentation and proceeds through a blistering set of action scenes that easily out-Matrix 'The Matrix.Read more ›
Alfred Bester was not consistently amazing, like some other great writers, but at his best he was truly astonishing and surpassed them all. And this book is his very best. The power, catharsis, pace, and meaningful transformation in this story is awesome to read.
The protagonist is definitely an anti-hero....but he does have a valid gripe, to say the least. Its hard to say much about this story without spoiling it. But the feel of much of the story is very Gibson like....moving around the world in a cyberpunk way...but this was well before that genre ever started. Its a cyberpunk feel without being cyberpunk. And there are things like tickertape machines that you will have to accept as part of its time, but that is easy for me to get by.
The flow of the story, the power of his vengeance, is written superbly. It sends chills up my spine reading it.
The ending ..is incredible. It would not work for some authors or some stories, but it fits perfectly in this sort of story and the way it is written. If your mind is open to it, it will never leave you.
This story is a gem. Everything went right in its creation. Behold the masterpiece.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Is this the best sci-fi book ever written? Well, not in my opinion. That said it was enjoyable and I galloped through it in a couple of days, I found some aspects of the story to... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Sir Hesket Newmarket
Also know as Tiger Tiger, this is arguably the best 20th century science fiction novel ever written and could well be up there as the sci fi ever. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Granny June
Gully Foyle, one of the greatest fictional characters ever created. Awesome story with memorable characters and dialogue with a somewhat dystopian future, I like how it goes into... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Daniel
This book seemed to go nowhere slowly. Like many reviewers on here, I can't see how it can be described as a 'masterwork'.Published 2 months ago by T. Boy74
You have to remember, this was written in 1959. In that context, I'm sure it would have been amazing. Read morePublished 3 months ago by alex
Some of these SF Masterworks are hailed for their influence on the later works you have read and films you have seen. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ken
My favourite Sci-Fi.
The original title of Tiger Tiger somehow works better in my view.