The Stars My Destination
“...The key turned in the lock of his soul and the door was opened. What emerged expunged the Common Man forever.” The Stars My Destination ~pg 22
Gully Foyle. Uneducated. No skills. No merits. No recommendations. A short description given by the author Alfred Bester of his main character as the stereotypical Common Man of humanity. A man who later motivated himself to become something more than just a ‘mere’ man. Within the few pages of just the first chapter, Bester had pulled me into the diluted, freakish mind of Gully Foyle.
As the story began, Gulliver Foyle was awaiting death aboard the wreckaged ship NOMAD in deep space. It’s been six months since the NOMAD was left out to rust. Foyle just happened to be the sole survivor. Until one day, a sister ship to the NOMAD, VORGA managed to cross paths with the wreckage. Foyle did everything he could to send out rescue signals. But alas, his actions were wasted time and effort, for she had rejected him. And thus began his quest for vengeance upon the VORGA.
As his ship drifted out further into space, Foyle had spent his entire time aboard not welcoming death anymore. Instead he was now obsessing himself with the destruction of VORGA. For the first time in his life, Foyle was now motivated. He felt the need to punish and there was nothing anybody could do. He had vowed to himself to fight anything that was a threat towards his plans to destroy the ship that could have saved him.
While floating, into an asteroid belt, he was saved by the Scientific People of the Sargasso Asteroid. A tiny planet that was built by man. Primarily made of rock and two hundred years of salvaged ships. The tiny planet had made a new addition to their planet and population. It’s rather ironic that of all people, Bester had decided to reverse the psychological role of scientists on this planet. He had turned the scientists into our definition of uncultivated savages in society. During his stay with the Scientific People, Foyle was forced into their society whether he liked it or not. They had given him a new name and tattoo across his face: NOMAD. Foyle knew he couldn’t stay. He still had a score to settle and so he busted off the asteroid with a vengeance burning higher.
After escaping the Sargasso Asteroid, Foyle was then picked up by the Navy and was sent on his way back to Terra. Back on Terra, Foyle was healing from his injuries in outer space. To help his recovery, Robin Wednesbury was assigned to help Foyle regain his ability to jaunte. To jaunte, is to concentrate and focus on a specific location and to physically travel there with the speed of thought. Unfortunately, Robin had no idea what trouble she had gotten into by just being an acquaintance to Foyle. Although she was portrayed as a passive woman early in the story, she later turned herself into an aggressive person trying to stop Foyle from achieving his one and only goal.
After following leads and tips, Foyle had discovered the port where VORGA was stationed at. Without thinking, he charged into the area. Jaunting through each security wall until he got to his target. At the same time, the owner of VORGA was also there. Presteign of Presteign was present during the attack. Presteign was a man of high society and believed in sacrificing the common folk for the greater cause. What Foyle didn’t realize was that he was already a wanted man by Presteign. For Presteign, he had his own agenda with Foyle. It seemed that Presteign’s portrayal in the story resembled the stereotype of the ultra obnoxious high society in Hollywood. He would be involved in society, but also involved in political scandal. Deemed as the main opponent to Foyle but hidden behind VORGA.
Along with Presteign, was his faithful side kick Saul Dagenham. Throughout the story, it...
Bibliography: 1. Bester, Alfred, “Alfred Bester,” Interview by Charles Platt in Dream Makers
(New York: Berkeley Books, 1980), p.96
2. Bester, Alfred, “My Affair with Science Fiction,” Hell’s Cartographers
(New York: Harper & Row, 1995), p.57
3. Rawdon, Michael, ‘Bookreviews’. Online posting. Reviewed Dec. 1996
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