The Stars My Destination (by Alfred Bester)

The Stars My
(by Alfred Bester, published in 1956 )
An Example Analysis
(What is the story about?)
The Stars My Destination is about a man
named Gully Foyle. As the book opens, Foyle is all
alone, the sole survivor of and living in a wrecked
spaceship. He’s been living a small room, only
leaving in his spacesuit to find more oxygen
canisters – he’s been there for six months.
Eventually, a ship, Vorga, comes close, and Foyle
believes it will rescue him. Strangely, though the
other ship sees him, it departs without rescuing him.
As Foyle watches Vorga fly away, he promises
wrathful retribution on the crew of the Vorga.
(Think of the summary less as a detailed list of
events and more of the blurb on the back of a book.)
Foyle eventually escapes the crash site and
spends the rest of the book hunting down those who
wronged him. Of course, it does not quite go as
Alfred Bester (1913-1987)
 Published his first short
story “The Broken Axiom” in
 In the 1940’s wrote for DC
Comics, including
Superman and The Green
 Worked in radio, and edited
various pulp magazines
 Wrote little science fiction,
but was the first winner of
the Hugo Award for his
novel, The Demolished
Man in 1953
(What makes your author unique?)
The World He Creates…
(How is the
world in your story different than today?)
 Humans have colonized
most of the solar system.
 War between the outer
planets and the inner
 Humans have learned how
to “jaunte” – can teleport
hundreds of miles by
 No cars, people move
across Earth quickly,
humans can’t “jaunte”
through space
Historical Context
influenced your story?)
 World War II had just ended
 The Cold War had begun
 The Korean War was
recently ended
 People were worried about
nuclear destruction
 Putting people into space
was seen as very likely
 1956: The Stars My
Destination published
 1959: Sputnik
 1961: People in space
(What events from our timeline
Science Fiction Elements
(What types
of science fiction are present in your story and how do you know?)
 Science Fiction: spaceships, space colonization, advanced
 Soft Science Fiction: what becomes of revenge?
 Time Travel: the main character eventually learns to travel
through time
 Dystopian: corporations rule the world, asteroid colonies are
basically space-slums, some people have severed their
spines so that they only exist as brains in a body, moon
colonies are basically slave plantations
The Verdict
(Did you like it? Why? Why not?)
The Stars My Destination is one of my favorite science
fiction novels. The beginning is very good, though the middle is
slow. I love the ending. The book is very unique and very deep.
The characters are interesting, the plot moves quickly and has
lots to keep your attention. If you want a “thinking book” that
takes place in space, this is what you want.
I give it 5 out of 5 spaceships.
“Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The Stars my destination”

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