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The Stars My Destination (Vintage) by Alfred…

The Stars My Destination (Vintage) (original 1956; edition 1996)

by Alfred Bester

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,4391181,105 (4.07)2 / 260
Title:The Stars My Destination (Vintage)
Authors:Alfred Bester
Info:Vintage (1996), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (1956)

  1. 160
    The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester (timspalding)
    timspalding: The rest of Bester isn't very good. These two are great.
  2. 70
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père (sturlington)
    sturlington: Inspired The Stars My Destination.
  3. 41
    Ubik by Philip K. Dick (falls)
  4. 31
    Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks (EatSleepChuck)
  5. 00
    Join by Steve Toutonghi (47degreesnorth)
  6. 00
    Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch (Anonymous user)
  7. 03
    The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry (pnorth)
    pnorth: Another book based on The Count of Monte Cristo but closer to the original than Bester's.

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English (114)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All (117)
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
A revisit after many years, listening to an audio version which fell off the Internet. The novel hold up remarkably well after all these years, and is brimming with ideas, told with pasion and fervour. Very much worth your time, whether your fancy is taken by the romance of instantaneous travel via the 'jaunte', and the repercussions this has for society, to the vision of spacecraft rising from the atmosphere on antigrav beams, even the impossible to escape 'Gouffre Martel' prison in the caverns of the Pyrenees, this story has wonders to spare. ( )
  orkydd | Feb 2, 2017 |
Occasionally hilarious early sci-fi classic (both funny by design and because of 50 years of hindsight). The material and topics are ripe for re-mining by a modern author - anyone know if it has been done? ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
The jaunte rules supreme..."

I read this book more than 20 years ago and finally I got to read it again (It's been for some time on my TBR Pile of long-ago-SF-Books...)

There’s many SF classics to be read, and I have read most of them.

Often, when reading books from the “good old days”, the datedness of the tale, writing, and characters is very obvious to the modern eye. Not so with this book.

SF is a difficult and transient literature at the best of times. It claims to treat of the future. But nothing dates harder than SF. "The Stars My Destination" is one of those books that fends off the test of time.

When I read this book in the late 80's as a young teenager, I read it under the title "Tiger! Tiger!", which it's a title I much prefer.

This is Cyberpunk before William Gibson "invented" it: it has got corporate intrigue, a mysterious McGuffin (PyRE), an amoral hero and a super-cool woman,...

Still one of my favourites.

" ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
A Facebook 'friend' recommended this one. Although it was first published over half a century ago and I've been a fairly avid science fiction reader since I was a kid, I'd never heard of it. I checked my local library. They had a copy. I borrowed it. I read it. I'm impressed, especially since it's not the kind of story I normally like. The protagonist starts out with no redeeming qualities and little personality other than a passion for survival. And although he grows and matures over the course of the book, it's never really clear why. And then there's the personal teleportation thing, what they call 'jaunting' in the book—you just clearly imagine your start and end points and ZIP, you're there. That calls for a bit too much suspension of disbelief than I can normally handle. But for some odd reason, the whole thing works...at least it did for me. I quite enjoyed it. The 1950s saw several books with an intellectual and philosophical aspect, and this is certainly one of them. I much prefer stories like that over 'action packed' 'nonstop adventure' tales. Maybe I just like the old science fiction better. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |

Weirdly, I had never actually read this (though thought I had). I got an electronic copy as part of a humble bundle in February, and then found I had a paper copy on the shelf, with a business-class boarding pass for a plane flight from Zagreb to Frankfurt on October 30 of an unspecified year stuck in the back cover. I was a bit puzzled - I have flown business-class seldom enough that I can still remember almost every occasion that it's happened - and checking back through my records I realised that it must have been when I was guest speaker at an OSCE conference in Zagreb on 29-30 October 2003; I dimly recall a late night with old friends at the hotel bar, wondering fuzzily why we couldn't see the towering Intercontinental from the top floor of our hotel (embarrassingly, this turned out to be because we were actually staying in the Intercontinental which had meantime changed names to the Opera; it's now the Westin) and a sleepy journey home in the course of which I must have had the book on my lap unopened save for tucking the boarding pass into it. In that case, it must have been literally the last book I acquired before I started book-blogging on Livejournal in November 2003.

It's far ahead of its time (which was 1957). Bester is sometimes described as the fore-runner of cyberpunk; but he also reaches back to The Count of Monte Cristo, and to various other tropes. Gully Foyle's story is a compelling push for revenge, in a society where the availability of instant transportation to everyone has actually reinforced the control of resources and society by the rich and powerful. The prose is effervescent and intestinal. It's a great piece of writing, but Gully Foyle is a deeply unpleasant protagonist and a rapist - that last point being probably the single element that has dated most badly. Still, I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. ( )
  nwhyte | Oct 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (55 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alfred Besterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bing, JonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bringsværd, Tor ÅgeAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterman, AdrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahl, Tor EdvinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horen, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame they fearful symmetry?
~ Blake
To Truman M. Talley
First words
This was a Golden Age, a time of high adventure rich living and hard dying . . . but nobody thought so.
~ Prologue
He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead.
He was Gully Foyle, the oiler, wiper, bunkerman; too easy for trouble, too slow for fun, too empty for friendship, too lazy for love.
"Vorga, I kill you filthy."
It was an age of freaks, monsters, and grotesques. All the world was misshapen in marvelous and malevolent ways.
Gully Foyle is my nameAnd Terra is my nation.Deep space is my dwelling place,The stars my destination.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Bester's original title, used in the UK editions, was "Tiger! Tiger!" (a reference to the Blake poem). In the US: "The Stars My Destination".
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
In a future where humans have learned how to teleport, provided they have previously physically seen their destination, Gully Foyle's is marooned in space, and he becomes obsessed with getting revenge after another spaceship passes him by.
Haiku summary
Don't mess with Gully.
He'll do whatever it takes
To fuck you over.


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679767800, Paperback)

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. First published in 1956 (as Tiger! Tiger!), the novel revolves around a hero named Gulliver Foyle, who teleports himself out of a tight spot and creates a great deal of consternation in the process. With its sly potshotting at corporate skullduggery, The Stars My Destination seems utterly contemporary, and has maintained its status as an underground classic for forty years. (Bester fans should also note that Vintage has reprinted The Demolished Man, which won the very first Hugo Award in 1953.)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Gully Foyle, Mechanic's Mate 3rd Class, is the only survivor on his drifting, wrecked spaceship. When another space vessel, the Vorga, ignores his distress flares and sails by, Foyle becomes a man obsessed with revenge. He endures 170 days alone in deep space before finding refuge on the Sargasso Asteroid and then returning to Earth to track down the crew and owners of the Vorga. But, as he works out his murderous grudge, Foyle also uncovers a secret of momentous proportions.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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