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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Books

The Stars My Destination

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The Stars My Destination

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Alternate Title: Tiger, Tiger!
Author: Alfred Bester
Publisher: Gollancz, 1999
Gregg Press, 1975
New American Library, 1956
Series: Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 10

3. Station X
4. We
5. The Shape of Things to Come
6. Tales and Stories
7. The Science Fiction of Jack London
9. War with the Newts
10. The Stars My Destination
12. The Moon Hoax
13. Three Hundred Years Hence
14. The Horror on the Asteroid and Other Tales of Planetary Horror
16. The Crystal Button or, Adventures of Paul Prognosis in the Forty-Ninth Century
17. The Doomsman
18. The Land of the Changing Sun
19. To The End Of Time
20. A Voyage to the Moon
21. The Dragon Masters
22. Venus Plus X
23. The Big Time
25. Babel-17
26. Dark Universe
27. Rite of Passage
29. The Battle of the Monsters and Other Stories
30. The Science Fiction of Frank R. Stockton
31. Isle of the Dead
32. Hothouse / The Long Afternoon of Earth
33. Ten Thousand Light-Years From Home
34. Solar Lottery
35. Man Abroad
36. The Steel Crocodile
37. The Inheritors
38. Star
39. The Jewels of Aptor
40. 334
41. Pharoah's Broker
42. The Body Snatchers
44. Iter Lunaire
45. Modern Science Fiction
47. Armageddon
48. The Dream Master
49. Conjure Wife
50. Dhalgren
51. The Cosmic Rape and To Marry Medusa
52. Dr. Bloodmoney
53. Driftglass
54. The Devil Is Dead
55. Empire Star
56. The Female Man
57. Nova
58. The Iron Dream
59. The Genocides
60. Galaxies Like Grains of Sand
61. Counter-Clock World
62. The Game-Players of Titan
63. Ubik
65. The Shrinking Man
67. Eye in the Sky
68. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
89. The Butterfly Kid
90. Synthajoy
91. To Open the Sky
92. The Ballad of Beta-2
93. The Fall of the Towers
94. Triton
95. The Rocket to the Moon
125. Secret of the Lost Race
126. Starswarm
129. We Who Are About To…
131. The Green Odyssey
133. Sunburst
135. The Byworlder
136. The Horn of Time
140. Double Star
141. I Will Fear No Evil
143. Today We Choose Faces
144. The Dreaming Jewels
148. The Man Who Fell to Earth
173. Who?
175. The Worlds of Fritz Leiber
177. Make Room! Make Room!
178. The Sword of Rhiannon
180. The Man in the High Castle
181. The World Jones Made
182. Time Out of Joint
183. Vulcan's Hammer
185. Glory Road
186. The Door Into Summer
187. The Puppet Masters
188. Waldo and Magic, Inc.
189. Bridge of Ashes
190. Damnation Alley
191. Lord of Light
192. The Year of the Quiet Sun
208. Daybreak - 2250 A.D.
210. The Worlds of Frank Herbert
211. Gather, Darkness!
212. Night's Black Agents
213. The Book of Fritz Leiber
214. The Second Book of Fritz Leiber
215. The Green Millennium
216. The Sinful Ones
217. The Wanderer
219. The Mile-Long Spaceship
220. Dare
223. The Saliva Tree and Other Strange Growths
224. The Green Brain
225. The Diploids and Other Flights of Fancy
226. Riverworld and Other Stories
227. Beyond This Horizon
247. Nathaniel
248. Macroscope

Book Type: Novel
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Human Development
Science-Fantasy
Colonization
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(645 reads / 351 ratings)

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Synopsis

Marooned in outer space after an attack on his ship, Nomad, Gulliver Foyle lives to obsessively pursue the crew of a rescue vessel which had ignored his distress calls and left 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.


Excerpt

His senses uncrossed in the ivory-and-gold star chamber of Castle Presteign. Sight became sight and he saw the high mirrors and stained glass windows, the gold tooled library with android librarian on library ladder. Sound became sound and he heard the android secretary tapping the manual bead-recorder at the Louis Quinze desk. Taste became taste as he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.

He knew he was at bay, faced with the decision of his life. He ignored his enemies and examined the perpetual beam carved in the robot face of the bartender, the classic Irish grin.

"Thank you," Foyle said.

"My pleasure, sir," the robot replied and awaited its next cue.

"Nice day," Foyle remarked.

"Always a lovely day somewhere, sir," the robot beamed.

"Awful day," Foyle said.

"Always a lovely day somewhere, sir," the robot responded.

"Day," Foyle said.

"Always a lovely day somewhere, sir," the robot said.

Foyle turned to the others. "That's me," he said, motioning to the robot. "That's all of us. We prattle about free will, but we're nothing but response... mechanical reaction in prescribed grooves. So... here I am, here I am, waiting to respond. Press the buttons and I'll jump. He aped the canned voice of the robot. "My pleasure to serve, sir." Suddenly his tone lashed them. "What do you want?"

[...]

He listened to the outcries and watched the confusion for a moment, bitter and constrained.

"Life is so simple," he said. "This decision is so simple, isn't it? Am I to respect Presteign's property rights? The welfare of the planets? Jisbella's ideals? Dagenham's realism? Robin's conscience? Press the button and watch the robot jump. But I'm not a robot. I'm a freak of the universe... a thinking animal... and I'm trying to see my way clear through this morass. Am I to turn PyrE over to the world and let it destroy itself? Am I to teach the world how to space-jaunte and let us spread our freak show from galaxy to galaxy through all the universe? What's the answer?"

The bartender robot hurled its mixing glass across the room with a resounding crash. In the amazed silence that followed, Dagenham grunted: "Damn! My radiation's disrupted your dolls again, Presteign."

"The answer is yes," the robot said, quite distinctly.

"What?" Foyle asked, taken aback.

"The answer to your question is yes."

"Thank you," Foyle said.

"My pleasure, sir," the robot responded. "A man is a member of society first, and an individual second. You must go along with society, whether it chooses destruction or not."

"Completely haywire," Dagenham said impatiently. "Switch it off, Presteign."

"Wait," Foyle commanded. He looked at the beaming grin engraved in the steel robot face. "But society can be so stupid. So confused. You've witnessed this conference."

"Yes sir, but you must teach, not dictate. You must teach society."

"To space-jaunte? Why? Why reach out to the stars and galaxies? What for?"

"Because you're alive, sir. You might as well ask: Why is life? Don't ask about it. Live it."

"Quite mad," Dagenham muttered.

"But fascinating," Y'ang-Yeovil murmured.

"There's got to be more to life than just living," Foyle said to the robot.

"Then find it for yourself, sir. Don't ask the world to stop moving because you have doubts."

"Why can't we all move forward together?"

"Because you're all different. You're not lemmings. Some must lead, and hope that the rest will follow."

"Who leads?"

"The men who must... driven men, compelled men."

"Freak men."

"You're all freaks, sir. But you always have been freaks. Life is a freak. That's its hope and glory."

"Thank you very much."

"My pleasure, sir."

"You've saved the day."

"Always a lovely day somewhere, sir," the robot beamed. Then it fizzed, jangled, and collapsed.

Copyright © 1956 by Alfred Bester


Reviews

A tour de force of moral transfiguration

- Emil
  (7/6/2011)
Jaunting with Gully Foyle

- charlesdee
  (7/31/2011)
10 Ten X

- wmfontaine
  (12/6/2011)
The Stars My Destination

- divinenanny
  (2/6/2012)
Messy but Fun Tale of Vengeance and Growth

- Triseult
  (3/22/2012)
Gully Foyle is his name

- Woogwhy
  (3/25/2012)
The Stars My Destination

- JohnnyBeeblebrox
  (3/28/2012)
The Stars My Destination

- fredvp71
  (5/10/2012)
The Stars My Destination (UK Tiger! Tiger!) b...

- dustydigger
  (6/24/2012)
The Stars My Destination

- Bookkeeper
  (7/22/2012)
The Stars My Destination

- Savant
  (11/26/2012)
The Stars My Destination

- Thomcat
  (7/6/2014)
The Stars My Destination

- SNAFU_77
  (8/27/2014)
The Stars My Destination -- Is it a Dark Come...

- Tar Daddoo
  (9/1/2013)
The Stars My Destination

- spectru
  (4/18/2014)
The Stars My Destination

- pauljames
  (6/15/2014)
The Stars My Destination

- Sable Aradia
  (1/3/2016)
There are a lot of ideas here to like...

- ScoLgo
  (2/28/2016)
The Stars My Destination

- GiantPanda
  (3/29/2016)
The Stars My Destination

- tbritz13
  (10/12/2016)
YES & no..

- Bormgans
  (2/11/2018)
The Stars My Destination

- spoltz
  (3/10/2018)
A psychological story in an SF setting

- kabelfritz
  (4/3/2018)

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