Archive for March 17, 2014

THE STARS MY DESTINATION by ALFRED BESTER

I’m trying to include in my science fiction reading some of the classic works by some past authors in the genre.  Science fiction has been with us long enough that it has a history we can follow and chart the progress of the genre incorporating prediction of the future and science fact, observing when fact becomes fact.

The book I presently wish to discuss is The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester copyrighted in 1956.

In this work we find the main character, Gully Foyle, marooned on a derelict spaceship, its sole survivor.  He thinks he is about to be saved when he spies an approaching spacecraft.  He signals, but they just pass him by.  Able to read the name of the craft, Vorga – T – 1339, his mind is consumed with the desire to revenge this abandonment.  This becomes the overwhelming theme of the book.

Through the remainder of the book he survives by the twists and turns of fate and ultimately discovers why the spacecraft passed him by.  The ship was about to dump 600 refuges into the blackness of space on the orders of the woman he falls in love with once he returns to earth, not knowing that she was the cause of his abandonment.

An interesting process introduced in this work is ‘jaunting’.  This is the ability to think yourself to another location discovered by an individual caught in a precarious situation.  He thinks of the safety of another location and suddenly finds himself there much to his surprise.  However, this ability is limited by the fact that you must know the coordinates of the location you want to go to.  You cannot go to the unknown, but Foyle somehow can.

March 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm 1 comment


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