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February 29, 2008

'The Stars My Destination' — by Alfred Bester


First published in 1956 in Galaxy magazine, it appeared as "Tiger, Tiger" when it was published that same year in the United Kingdom.

In 1957 it was published in the U.S. as a book with the original Galaxy title.

Consider that Neil Gaiman wrote the forward to the current edition; that blurbs from Samuel R. Delaney, William Gibson and Robert Silverberg adorn the back cover; and that more raves from the likes of Joe Haldeman and James Lovegrove appear inside.


My favorite line appears on the third page from the end and reads, "It isn't necessary to have something to believe in. It's only necessary to believe that somewhere there's something worthy of belief."

It's always great to discover something as absorbing and unique as this book after so many years of ignorance of its existence.

How many more wonderful things are out there, just waiting for me to find them?

February 29, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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_TSMD_ was always my favorite SF story. When I finally saw a production of _The Count of Monte Cristo_ I realized maybe Bester wasn't as original as I thought. But I still think the book is great. And I actually bought used paperbacks of that book and _The Demolished Man_ as I revisited my youth in my midlife transition. (Copies were hard to find!)
But most amazing was the obituary I read when Bester died. I'd always figured he was a New Yorker -- and probably he was -- but in fact at the time of his death he had made his residence only two miles from my small town in Pennsylvania.
I think if I'd known that, I would have tried to tell him how much his work meant to me.

Posted by: PT | Mar 3, 2008 4:21:48 PM

AB was one of the greats. I suggest that you post a note to Prof. James Gunn at KU for a copy of his SciFi Syllabus.


Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Feb 29, 2008 11:14:43 PM

Bester is fantastic. Read "The Demolished Man" next. "Demolished" and "Stars.." are by far his two best works. At Barnes & Noble I once found a collection of essays and short stories by him, of which the short stories were fabulous. If you like Bester, you may like Philip K Dick. "The Man In The High Tower" is fabulous, as are the original "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and "A Scanner Darkly". Many of Dick's stories have been adapted for film (Total Recall, Minority Report, etc.) and they are gripping reads.

Posted by: Wingnut | Feb 29, 2008 4:08:07 PM

I read it as a young teenager in the early 60s and was hooked on SF for the rest of my life.

Posted by: gkoutnik | Feb 29, 2008 3:56:54 PM

Many if you don't know Bester. May I also suggest Ted Sturgeon?

Posted by: Adam P Knave | Feb 29, 2008 2:32:59 PM

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