Monday, 9 December 2013

The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester

5 stars

Gully Foyle is my name
Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination

Slightly hungover after attending back to back Christmas parties (I know, I know, it’s still early yet) I was stumbling around the flat looking for something to distract me while I waited for NikNak to return from a weekend away. Six hours later, after becoming so engrossed that I’d barely managed to grunt on NikNak’s return, my tiny little mind had been blown.

Gully Foyle is nobody special. He’s almost spectacularly unspecial, in fact, a slightly thuggish less than average Joe. Mechanic’s Mate 3rd Class, his attributes are listed in his official records:

Education: None
Skills: None
Merits: None
Recommendations: None

He’s also been adrift in space for one hundred and seventy days, running out of air and rations, when salvation arrives in the form of a spaceship, Vorga. But the Vorga abandons Gully to his fate, and:

“So, in five seconds, he was born, he lived and he died. After thirty years of existence and six months of torture, Gully Foyle, the stereotype Common Man, was no more. The key turned in the lock of his soul and the door was opened. What emerged expunged the Common Man forever.”
And we’re off, dragged in Gully's wake as he blazes a searing trail of vengeance, hunting down those who left him to die. Fizzing with ideas and hurtling along at a breakneck pace that had my heart beating wildly, I’m incapable of saying much more about this one (that always happens with the ones I adore), other than that this a truly stunning and vital slice of sci-fi, and one you must read. Now. Go on...

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