Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination
~~ Alfred Bester
So awhile back I began to have the need and urge to read an amazing science fiction classic called The Stars My Destination. I haven’t read it since I was in my late teens/ early twenties. It is a powerful book and a SF classic.
I couldn’t find my copy.
Barns & Noble didn’t have it.
And when I would look at used bookstores like Half Price Books I couldn’t find it either.
Yes, I could have probably found a copy on Amazon….
I wanted it when I wanted it and I wanted it then (now!).
I needed to find it on the shelf for some reason….
And I finally did! Me and a friend went to this wonderful pizza parlor and there was a book store next door and I went in and there it was!
Here is what Goodreads says about the book….
In this pulse-quickening novel, Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people “jaunte” a thousand miles with a single thought, where the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hit men – and where an inarticulate outcast is the most valuable and dangerous man alive. The Stars My Destination is a classic of technological prophecy and timeless narrative enchantment by an acknowledged master of science fiction.
And this is what the website TVTropes says….
The Stars My Destination, aka Tiger! Tiger! is a science fiction novel by Alfred Bester.
It is the twenty fifth century. An age when humanity can jaunte across the world, where telepaths are, if not common, then not unheard of. An age where humanity has spread across the solar system— a golden age that no one knows they are living in. An age when conflict between the Inner Planets and the Outer Satellites is about to end the age of the Global Wars by means of the outbreak of the first Solar War.
None of this matters to Gully Foyle—the quintessential everyman, if you are convinced Humans Are Morons. No education, no skills, no ambition, just a Mechanic’s Mate Third Class on the freighter Nomad, which lies crippled in the void between the planets. All he has left is a powerful will to survive, and he has, somehow, for six months when the spaceship Vorga encounters the wreck of the Nomad, sees the distress signals—and passes by, leaving him to rot.
Now Gully Foyle has a pressing reason to do more than simply survive, as he had done on Nomad and all his life before hand. Now, he’s headed back to Terra, and he will have his revenge, no matter who stands in his way…
The book’s gritty Anti-Hero and experimental typography made it a much-imitated prototype for the New Wave Science Fiction movement that sprung up a few years later.
I first discovered the book in a dazzling graphic-style painted (yes painted) by Howard Chaykin back when I was about eighteen or so. I fell in love. It came out in two volumes, the second took forever to come out and giving up (thank God) I read the novel instead. Wow! What a book. I guess the full version of the graphic novel came out but it is very expensive and who knows if I will ever get it. On Amazon today I see it going for $80 to $204.98!
Whatever anyone says, I am thrilled beyond belief to have it again in my hands…and I am going to enjoy the hell out of reading it again after all these years.
I just hope they finally make a (good) movie out of it!
Today I am blessed to have found a favorite book and have started to read it after a lifetime.
Some things never really grow old.
PS: What is an old favorite book of yours? Ever found a copy unexpectedly? It’s a true blessing to find an old classic that blew you away and find it can still do so a lifetime later….