The Stars My Destination

The Stars My Destination

by Alfred Bester

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#5 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written.

eÄúScience fiction has only produced a few works of actual genius, and this is one of themeÄùeÄîJoe Haldeman

eÄúBester at the peak of his powers is, quite simply, unbeatableeÄù eÄîJames Lovegrove

Marooned in outer space after an attack on his ship, Nomad, Gulliver Foyle lives to obsessively pursue the crew of a rescue vessel that had intended to leave him to die.

When it comes to pop culture, Alfred Bester (1913-1987) is something of an unsung hero. He wrote radio scripts, screenplays, and comic books (in which capacity he created the original Green Lantern Oath). But Bester is best known for his science-fiction novels, and The Stars My Destination may be his finest creation. With its sly potshotting at corporate skullduggery, The Stars My Destination seems utterly contemporary, and has maintained its status as an underground classic for fifty years. (Bester fans should also note that iPicturebooks has reprinted The Demolished Man, which won the very first Hugo Award in 1953.) Alfred Bester was among the first important authors of contemporary science fiction. His passionate novels of worldly adventure, high intellect, and tremendous verve, The Stars My Destination and the Hugo Award winning The Demolished Man, established Bester as a s.f. grandmaster, a reputation that was ratified by the Science Fiction Writers of America shortly before his death. Bester also was an acclaimed journalist for Holiday magazine, a reviewer for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and even a writer for Superman.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781876963576
Publisher: ibooks, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 108,557
File size: 233 KB

About the Author

Alfred Bester was among the first important authors of contemporary science fiction. His passionate novels of worldly adventure, high intellect, and tremendous verve, The Stars My Destination and the Hugo Award winning The Demolished Man, established Bester as a s.f. grandmaster, a reputation that was ratified by the Science Fiction Writers of America shortly before his death. Bester also was an acclaimed journalist for Holiday magazine, a reviewer for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and even a writer for Superman.

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The Stars My Destination 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
cwms More than 1 year ago
iBooks seems to have failed to do any correction of errors from scanning in the digital version. On every page, many words have a space in the middle of them causing the words to break across pages. Certain characters from the book are incorrectly translated to the electronic version (an O with a cross at the bottom turns into a subscript T). I only got through 25 pages before it annoyed me enough to stop reading, at least on the nook. Maybe I'll find it electronically at some other store minus the errors, or just go with the print version. I think the book itself is probably good (I enjoyed the beginning), but the formatting issues made it too annoying to read, for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always seen this book listed on best of lists. I thought nothing of it. I thought it would be another old style sci-fi romp in the style of Heinlein or Asimov. It's not. It reads like it was written this year. Now I see where William Gibson got his start, Neal Stephenson too. This is cyberpunk without computers. It's dark, brooding, and probably the most imaginative piece of fiction I've ever read. Remember that scene at the end of the matrix where he stands up and flexs and the hallways wobbles...remember how cool that was? This entire book is that cool.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tiger, Tiger!(Published the following year in the US as Stars My Destination) is for most, one of the best science fiction novels and for me, THE best science fiction novel ever written. In all his works, even the lesser ones, Alfred Bester's trademark is how engaging his characters are. Stars my Destination is one of the great works of the genre that does not focus on an individual event, but on characters. True, this book could not exist without an interplanetary war nor the advent of Jaunting(a telekinetic triggered quantum tunneling mode of transport is the best description I make) however this story is about Gully Foyle. A gradual transformation of him from a brutish man to really must read it. This book speaks of the value of education as his character's moral substance grows from microscopic to universal due to his absorbtion of knowledge. He cannot help but become a better person for the aquiring of it even though his original goal was for pure vengence and was driven by reaction. This is one of literature's best examples of the lengths of unnoticed potential that lies within each person. I believe the most significant contribution of this novel however, is the vocalization of the idea that the will to destroy is no less dangerous than destruction itself. I write of the weapon sought after by all in the book. As this involves a key plot point I do not feel at liberty to scribble about it further. Those are only two of the many characteristics of this novel that set it apart from other science fiction. Only one part of the book could be called dated (Dagenheim's impossible physical anomaly) which in itself screams loudly of the quality of writing. To end, I consider this the best novel in it's genre and one of the best books written in the last century. That may seem a little extreme even to some who have read it. But having read the book several times, I cannnot help but find it an accurate phrase. This book should be read twice, once for the incredibly entertaining style of Bester's writing, and again for the thoughts that occur behind the action.
merrycoz More than 1 year ago
Five-star book; one-star Nook book. This stunningly good novel has been poorly served by its ebook editor (if there was one). Words at the beginning of the book are broken between syllables, making it sometimes difficult to follow. And Bester's careful use of symbols and format have been ruined: names with symbols in them are misspelled; sections which rely on formatting are almost unintelligible; and graphics are missing from a crucial scene near the end that depends on them. Read this book: it's an incredible novel. But buy it in paper. Shame on ibooks. Bester's classic novel deserves better than this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Tiger Tiger (or The Stars My Destination, if you prefer) over 7 years ago for the first time. I've been rereading it (now in newer print) since then at least once a year and every time I do so, I find something new to learn from it. The Stars My Destination is a story of a man who was risen by a hand of fate from the very bottom of a social ladder and eventually achieved what any intelligent person would strive for. Yet this is not a tale of a peasant-turned-prince. Relying on the thirst for revenge in the same way others rely on love, faith, etc., the protagonist of the novel brings the reader through a stormy life, never once making the narative seem boring or unnecessary. Although the protagonist is a criminal - a cancer, as he puts it - I always considered him the ultimate role model for myself and I believe many others would agree with my pick. I strongly recommend this book to any reader, even if you don't like science fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A horribly bad conversion to ebook format. Borrow this classic from the library, because you'll hate it on the nook.
HobbitForming More than 1 year ago
And this certainly earns its place among them. Many things have and can be said about this book, but the most important ones are "Read it!" Bester takes a page to draw you in to his world, but once he has you there it is nearly impossible to turn away. If it has any "flaw", it is the distraction of a superior wordsmith at work when one is used to what passes for great writing too many times these days.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Drifting abandoned in space for six months in the wreckage of the spaceship NOMAD, uneducated ship¿s mate Gulliver Foyle has survived in a small closet not much larger than a coffin. Another ship finally arrives in response to his distress signal, but his relief turns quickly to blinding anger when the VORGA leaves him to die. Driven by his lust for revenge, Foyle sets in motion his escape from the NOMAD¿s wreckage to pursue the crew of the VORGA. The story, no doubt familiar to most, is torn from The Count of Monte Cristo and set in a future where individuals are able to jaunte, or teleport, limited distances and the solar system is engulfed in a shooting war between the inner and outer planets. Author Alfred Bester, who many have called the ¿father of cyberpunk¿ (a noir subgenre of science fiction focusing on the lower elements of a high-tech society), has created a vivid universe and populated it with memorable characters. In the jaw-dropping climax, Bester shatters all of his own rules (right down to the typeface in the book) and reveals the hidden powers in his protagonist. TSMD is fascinating reading, not only for the story but for the ideas Bester presents and, most of all, the manner in which they are presented. Not only is this book a classic of the science-fiction genre, but it has become a personal favorite of mine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for any one. Alfred Bester is, in my opinion, the best Sci-Fi writer.
ryanseanoreilly More than 1 year ago
A stick jammed into the spokes of a bike being peddled at a furious pace. Gulliver Foyle is the consummate anti-hero. Pure drive. Raw Emotion. Hate-fueled revenge. A widget caught in a cog. The stick jammed into the spokes of a bike being peddled at a furious pace. Gully Foyle is the consummate anti-hero. The prologue reads like a 1930's era carnival barker explaining the physics of self-teleportation ("jaunting" as its called here), which settles you in for a decent piece of golden age science fiction. Ok fine. Good, in fact. However (as others have noted), you won't be prepared for the opening twist (spoiler warning) or the main character and his gutter speak and impetuous personality. Gully Foyle is the "id". An arrow of emotion shooting through the cosmos, belligerent and beautiful (in a way) We find this out very quickly. His character is fully realized with all its quirks, weight and lurid faults (which he is certainly not without). Foyle was traveling on a spaceship that got shipwrecked in outer space. Everyone is dead save him. His ship is pocked full of holes so that he must eek out a miserable survival locked in a closet taking only occasional and dangerous ventures out into the hull to gather supplies before his oxygen (and food) runs out. Then it happens. He spots a passing ship and signals for rescue. The other ship circles in for a closer look, and then inexplicably jets. Gully is abandoned. And that's where everything changes. The book is not about surviving in the vastness of space. No. Instead it turns into a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure story centering on revenge. Gully Foyle dedicates his entire existence to finding the ship which abandoned him to suffer in outer space (and any associated with it). Here Foyle dons a figurative superhero persona and blasts off after his opus magnus. In many ways he reminds me of Robert Howard's Conan or Kull, in that Foyle is strength beyond strength--and his sheer strength of will helps him to manage to best those with far greater intellect and resources then he has. Suffice to say, I cannot do the book justice in a simple review. And perhaps it may be a little too much for casual readers of the genre (although the science is not overwrought) the time shifting and mental state of the main character provide adept twists and turns. Indeed even the words themselves bend out of time on the page (which is my only real criticism cause it felt a bit gimmicky--and yet given the subject matter it is forgivable). Others have commented that the characters in this book are mostly one dimensional, yet there are some very interesting almost comic-book like characters (the author did write comic books after all). However, I would counter that the characters do enough interesting things, and are invested in the plot in enough interesting ways, that they are not single beat notes there simply to counter the protagonist. Foyle's rage tangles him into cool and interesting plots. It also serves to drive him off-track and give him every-increasing perspective at what he is doing. And each time he is knocked off the rails of revenge and resets, he sets the stakes higher and grander. He turns a personal vendetta into an everyman war. One last point I'll make is that this book paints some great visuals without overdoing the verbiage. I kept picturing this set in a stylized color saturated film of ultra real visuals. When Gully is running across the landscape, beating his feet furiously after his revenge quest -- you feel it. Even through the eyes of other characters. You just feel the emotion driving him. Its compelling. Do yourself a favor and check out this book. It's the kind you put down and then say "wow".
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not really a big Sci-Fi reader, but when a good friend recommended this book to me, I thought I'd give it a try...and I loved this book! This is just a wonderful story, full of interesting things that make you think. And the moral is clear, the main character Gully even says it in a speech at the end of the book, 'Die or live and be great.' I really loved this book, and recommend it to ANYONE looking for a good book to read. It was incredible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A masterpiece of hard Sci-Fi. This book introduces and then details an epic tale filled with energy. As I began to read this book I was taken away by its fast pace and extraordinary storyline. The central character is a unique but ordinary space mechanic who was wronged (in a big way). From page 1 you will be carried away from space to a future earth, to the far reaches of the galaxy and back again. If you love hard Sci-Fi than acquire this book and cherish it. If only 'Hollywood' would embrace this novel than we could all enjoy a movie not unlike 'Blade Runner' in its scope and characters.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
This novel, a landmark text in the history of science fiction, holds little to no interest for casual fans of sci-fi (among which I consider myself). Published in 1956, the story of Gully Foyle—an intergalactic rogue hellbent on revenge—reads like pulp detective fiction. Throughout his adventures, an intricate web of intrigue involving explosives and government/corporate malfeasance peppered with numerous episodes of space-and-time-hopping called “jaunting,” Foyle encounters many “dames”—stereotypical female characters that do little more than spark his rage and stir his loins. I found the story tedious, yet I acknowledge that more sophisticated fans of the genre revere this novel. If you’re a sci-fi aficionado, dive in. If you’re not, avoid it.
jeffjardine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thematically ambitious. Bester covers a lot of ground over a backdrop consisting of multiple standard sci-fi ideas. If anything, the might be a bit too dense in this regard. It might have worked better for me if he had slowed the pace to explore and flesh out the thoughts on free will, human evolution and responsibility.
briandarvell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination is usually considered one of the finest works of science fiction ever created. Although largely forgotten now, it is a highly imaginative piece of work which involves a sort of futuristic dystopia and a man named Gully Foyle who tries to change things based on a questionable frame of mind.Alfred Bester stands in a position on the platform of Science Fiction Greats similar to that of Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. The only difference is that he is standing behind them and as such, is largely unheard of.The Stars My Destination is about a fictional Earth that has become controlled by the huge conglomerate corporations. The planets in the Solar System are all at war and there is much havoc associated with the Human race. The novel deals with the dark nature of people, how technology advancement can lead to a very possessive and materialistic society with an emphasis on classes and minorities and how a lack of real education brings out various powerful yet primitive factions.An interesting feature in this novel is the use of an evil hero. Gulliver (Gully) Foyle is a criminal, murderer and rapist but manages to attack the present situation he lives in because of past wrongs done to him and although he is a criminal, you still find yourself rallying on his behalf throughout the novel.This story turned out to be worthy of all its acclaim and is a fun and interesting one to read. The reader should note the curious aspects between the historical situation Alfred Bester lived in and how what he has written is very similar to a path our present society is following in many ways.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember loving it when I read it as a teen. Decades later? Well... There are still things I love about it, but for everything I do love, there's a side of it I dislike. I love a lot of the imagination in this book of a world where everyone "jauntes" ie, teleports, hundreds, even a thousand miles, with a thought. (Think Apparates--the amusing thing is even how it's taught, with three buzz words, makes me think of Harry Potter.) Bester's 25th Century is worldbuilding in the best tradition--exotic and thought-provoking--but some aspects strike me as just silly. Unlike most science-fiction, which centers on an idea or ideas, the novel is just as heavily centered on character, and that's another source of my ambivalence. The story unfolds along the lines of the classic revenge plot, and the man determined to gain that revenge at all costs, Gully Foyle, is one of the most memorable protagonists in science fiction (and contrasted with and pit against some of the strongest and memorable, if problematical, secondary female characters in science fiction, especially remarkable given this book was published in 1956.) Foyle isn't a conventional hero--he starts as a beast. The original and UK title was Tiger! Tiger!, after Blake's poem The Tyger, the first verse of which heads the novel; it fits Foyle. I think how much you might or might not like this book hinges on whether you can buy Foyle's transformation into a thinking creature or empathize with him in any way. In my case, at least at second read, that's a no. The book is very influential; I've seen claims (including from Neil Gaiman in an introduction) that it's the first cyberpunk novel.
betula.alba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Possible spoiler alert. Good writer. Even though it was written in the 50's, Tiger Tiger! is not dated. Bester was ahead of his time, and should maybe be considered the first 'cyberpunk' author. The protagonist is dark predator, who finds his conscience after being confronted with his nemesis. Even though there is nothing likeable about Gully Foyle, it is hard to put the book down. Haunting, dreamlike ending. Negatives: Gullys tranformation into Geoffrey Fourmyle seemed out of character, and the end leaves you wanting, needing closure. Features: 'jaunting' (teleporting), as well as telepaths and telesends.
yosarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book by Bester was first published in 1956 (and has been called one of the best sci-fi novels of the 1950's and seems perenially to be on everyone's top 100 lists ...) which I didn't realise until about halfway through the book. I was very surprised! This book seems to pre-empt, take into new directions and surpass some many of the themes and ideas in contemporary sci-fi that it is still remains as original today as it no doubt did in 1956. Set against the backdrop of war against 'inner' and 'outer' planets this book truly has something for every sci-fi fan; teleportation (something that Bester deals with, for me, very intelligently. He doesn't simply say it exists he also demonstrates how society has and has had to change to deal with this), rockets, inter-planetary wars and spies, telepathy, a mysterious (and world-shatteringly) chemical substance, races against both time and enemies, improsement and escape and shady doctors in 'back-alley' surgeries to help with unwanted tatoos (... you'll have to read the book, I don't want to spoil it ...). The hero (if you can call him that) Gully Foyle is abondoned in space, his ship nearly destroyed by an enemy attack, when he sees another spaceship called the Vorga coming he thinks he is saved but when it flies by ignoring his signals his rage transforms him and drives him on to not only survive but to track down the ship and crew of Vorga with only one thing on his mind ... vengeance!4 stars - a book I look forward to re-reading.
questbird on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(2nd reading)Gully Foyle of The Stars My Destination is a freak in a world of freaks. Like Paul Atreides (Dune) and Jack Remillard (Jack the Bodiless), Foyle has powers which make him the agent of evolutionary change for humanity.This book rollicks along through the bizarre and sometimes brutal Solar System of the 25th century, following Gulliver Foyle on his vengeful and apocalyptic path. It's obvious that cyberpunk novels such as Neuromancer owe quite a debt to this book. Its language is fresh and clean, characters larger than life. Parts of it also reminded me of Jack Vance's 'To Live Forever' (not sure which came first).The only thing which didn't quite convince me this time (although I can see how integral it was to the plot) was Gully Foyle falling in love with Olivia Presteign. Gully seemed incapable of love up to that point; his rage against Vorga was too much. But otherwise, a ripper of a book.
5hrdrive on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book, I just don't quite understand why it ended when it did. Like much science fiction to me, it just didn't have a very satisfying ending.
aarondesk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a future where teleportation has replaced conventional transportation, one man has been left to die. He survives and lives for one thing: revenge. Will he be destroyed by his obsession? Bester writes in a direct, get-to-the-point fashion that makes for a psychological read.
bluesun2600 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books that I have ever read. Bester, took the premiums of the Count of Monta Cristo and placed it in a scifi setting. And in so doing set an incredible standard for all other scifi writers after him. It is a shame that he wrote so few books. Most of his writings were for television.
mwhel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For one who doesn't go in much for science fiction, I found this book quite entertaining. Maybe because the well-worn tropes (as one other reviewer discussed) and memes were still new and fresh for me. I understand that this book was sort of a ground breaker for the genre, and that many of the concepts introduced here have been greatly expanded upon by other authors. I don't think that even Star Trek has caught up to the style of teleportation, or jaunting, described here.
neurodrew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A re-reading, several years after my obsesive science fiction binge, of a classic future novel of space travel and psycohkinesis. The complications of a society that can jaunte, transport through space by knowing where the start and end points are, are worked out in detail. The protagonist, Gully Foyle, in his maniacal pursuit of revenge for being left to die in a wrecked spacecraft, is a great creation
JDubba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Stars My Destination is classic 50's Sci-Fi.  A gritty everyman anti-hero in love with the woman who would destroy him and in a loners fight with those who rule the world, or in this case the Solar system.  It reminded me very much of Philip K. Dick, but slightly more literate and based on ideas that were not quite as outlandishly interesting.  The novel was heavily plot driven with little internal character development.The story is set very loosely on the back drop of a developing inner planetary system war.  The leitmotif of the plot narrative as the story shifts through its various segments is the vengeance of Gully Foyle.  Revenge for being left to die in the the cold emptiness of space.  The closer he gets to his goal the more and more singularly obsessed he becomes with it.  Intertwined with this obsession driven revenge, is the growth of Foyle from a passionate instinct driven animal, to a cold calculating reason driven man.  The transformation from the idealistic to the realistic.The culmination of the narrative produces in straight forward language the basic philosophical point Bester is trying to make.  Society is propelled forward by those rare few individuals who for whatever reason, become obsessively driven.  There is nothing special about these people.  Anyone can become one of them given the sufficient desire.  Enough obsessive passion to pursue that desire heedless of everyone and everything else.  Often these people realize and use the power of their passionate drive to purposefully manipulate society for its own protection.  To prevent the ignorance and animal nature of the everyman from destroying the society to which he belongs.  In prose that turns the individual liberty ideal of Mills on its head, Bester proposes that society needs no protectors and that it should control its own destiny, even if that destiny is its own destruction.