STARS MY DESTINATION
TITLE: THE STARS MY DESTINATION (1956)
AUTHOR: Alfred Bester
PLOT: Gully Foyle is a space merchant marine over 400 years in the future. He's a lazy man with no motivation to do anything. When his ship is attacked, leaving him the only survivor, his ship is adrift in space for a couple of months waiting for someone to rescue him. After months of waiting a ship called the Vorga passes him by and he sets off the SOS becon, but the Vorga just keeps going, leaving him to rot. Filled with rage, Foyle decides
to do something and rescues himself and makes a vow to find and destroy the Vorga...no matter the cost.
PORTION OF THE BOOK
He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yeat dead. He fought for survival with the passion of a beast in a trap. He was delirious and rotting, but occasionally his primitive mind emerged from the burning nightmare of survival into something resembling sanity. Then he lifted his mute face to Eternity and muttered: "What's a matter, me? Help, you goddamed gods! Help, is all."
Blasphemy came easily to him: it was half his speech, all his life. He had been raised in the gutter schools of the twenty-fifth century and spoke nothing but the gutter language. Of all brutes in the world he was among the least valuable alive and most likely to survive. So he struggled and prayed in blasphemy, but occasionall his raveling mind leaped backward thirty years to his childhood and remembered a nursery jingle;
Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
And death's my destination
He was Gulliver Foyle, mechanic's mate 3rd class, thirty years old, big boned and rough...and one hundred and seventy days adrift in space. He was Gully Foyle, the oiler, wiper, bunkerman: too easy for trouble, too slow for fun, too empty for friendship, too lazy for love. The lethargic outlines of his character showed in the official merchant marines records
MY THOUGHTS: This is the first book of Besters that I've read and am now interested in reading more of his works. I dug his writing style and the direction he went with the book. Foyle, as uninteresting as he sounds, was in fact a very interesting character and I enjoyed seeing his character change and the trouble he went through to get his revenge. Foyle wasn't the
only interesting character in the book, it had quit a few of them. One is a female character who has mental powers, but has trouble getting jobs with her gift since her powers can only be used one way. She can project her thoughts into other people, but can't read the minds of others and because of this she's looked down upon. The world Bester created is also
interesting. There's some sort of war going on and people now have the ability to teleport (jaunt) with the power of their mind, but are only able to go so far. Religion is outlawed, but not God and most diseases have been cured but some people see them as drugs and have them put into them to get a high off small pox or whatever they want to be sick with. I came across the book while reading another book called THE BEST SCI-FI MOVIES NEVER MADE. After actually reading the book I have to agree that a movie version (if done correctly) would be very interesting to watch. Those who are fans of fantasy and science fiction books should pick this puppy up for a good read.
I give it an A-