Back in the present, Foyle is pressured to surrender the rest of the PyrE, which was protected from exploding by its Inert Lead Isotope container, and to teach mankind how to space-jaunte. He leads them to where the rest of the PyrE is hidden, but makes off with it and jauntes across the globe, throwing slugs of PyrE into the crowd at each stop. He asks humanity to choose: either destroy itself or follow him into space.
Foyle now realizes the key to space-jaunting is faith: not the certainty of an answer, but the conviction that somewhere an answer exists. He jauntes from one nearby star to another, finding new worlds suitable for colonization, but reachable only if he shares the secret of space-jaunting.
He comes to rest back with the cargo cult, where the people see him as a holy man and await his revelation. The Stars My Destination anticipated many of the staples of the later cyberpunk movement, for instance the megacorporations as powerful as governments, a dark overall vision of the future and the cybernetic enhancement of the body.
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Bester added to this mix the concept that human beings could learn to teleport , or "jaunte" from point to point, provided they know the exact locations of their departure and arrival and have physically seen the destination, similar to A. There is one overall absolute limit: no one can jaunte through outer space. A jaunte of 1, miles is the maximum any jaunter is able to achieve, and even that is extremely rare.
On the surface of a planet, the jaunte rules supreme; otherwise, mankind is still restricted to machinery. In this world, telepathy is extremely rare, but does exist. One important character is able to send thoughts but not receive them. There are fewer than half a dozen full telepaths in all the worlds of the solar system.
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Foyle is a cipher, a man with potential but no motivation, who is suddenly marooned in space. Even this is not enough to galvanize him beyond trying to find air and food on the wreck. But all changes when an apparent rescue ship deliberately passes him by, stirring him irrevocably out of his passivity. Foyle becomes a monomaniacal and sophisticated monster bent upon revenge. Wearing many masks, learning many skills, this "worthless" man pursues his goals relentlessly; no price is too high to pay. He establishes a clandestine connection to another prisoner, Jisbella McQueen, and through her he is educated to the point where he can conceive a plan to escape and exact his revenge.
The scenario of the shipwrecked man ignored by passing ships came from a National Geographic Magazine story that Bester had read, about the shipwrecked sailor Poon Lim who had survived four months on a raft in the South Atlantic during World War II , and ships had passed him without picking him up, because their captains were afraid that the raft was a decoy to lure them into torpedo range of German submarines. The first time, while he is trapped in outer space, he states:. Toward the end of the book, after he has returned to human life and become something of a hero, he states:.
- Weed soul;
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Both quatrains are based on a poetic form that was popular in England and the United States during the 18th-to-midth centuries, in which a person stated their name, country, city or town, and a religious homily often, "Heaven's my destination" within the rhyming four-line structure see book rhyme. Bester may have come across his title expression in the writings of John Whiteside Parsons , one of the fathers of modern rocketry , who was also a science fiction fan and occultist.
In , Parsons wrote: "Rocketry may not be my True Will, but it's one hell of a powerful drive. With Thelema as my goal and the stars my destination and my home, I have set my eyes on high. Bester's initial work on the book began in England, and he took the names for his characters from a UK telephone directory. The novel included some notable early descriptions of proto-science and fictional technology, among them Bester's portrayal of psionics ,  including the phenomenon of "jaunting", named after the scientist Charles Fort Jaunte who discovered it.
Jaunting is the instantaneous teleportation of one's body and anything one is wearing or carrying. One is able to move up to a thousand miles by just thinking. This suddenly revealed, and near-universal ability, totally disrupts the economic balance between the Inner Planets Venus, Earth, Mars, and the Moon and the Outer Satellites various moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune , eventually leading to a war between the two. Jaunting has other effects on the social fabric of the novel's world, and these are examined in true science-fictional fashion.
Women of the upper classes are locked away in jaunte-proof rooms "for their protection", the treatment of criminals of necessity goes back to the Victorian " separate system ", and freaks and monsters abound. The second significant technology in the novel is the rare substance known as "PyrE", a weapons technology powerful enough to win an interplanetary war. Bester's description of synesthesia is the first popular account published in the English language. It is also quite accurate.
Initially, reviews of The Stars My Destination were mixed. The well-regarded science fiction writer and critic Damon Knight , in In Search of Wonder , wrote of the novel's "bad taste, inconsistency, irrationality, and downright factual errors", but called the ending of the book "grotesquely moving".
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Gale cited the novel as a reflection of the author's maturation, addressing as it does "the continued evolution of humankind as a species", a grander theme than those treated with in his earlier work. Gale declared the novel to be Bester's most stylistically ambitious work, citing the use of disparate fonts to evoke synaesthesia, the progressively intelligent language accorded to the maturing protagonist, and the framing of the narrative between the variations on Blake's quatrain.
More recently, the book has received high praise from several science fiction writers. After criticizing unrealistic science fiction, Carl Sagan in listed The Stars My Destination as among stories "that are so tautly constructed, so rich in the accommodating details of an unfamiliar society that they sweep me along before I have even a chance to be critical". Disch identified it as "one of the great sf novels of the s". According to Samuel R. Delany , the book is "considered by many to be the greatest single SF novel". The only story that sticks out in my mind is The Stars My Destination. In a survey asking leading science fiction writers to name their favourite work of the genre, The Stars My Destination was the choice of William Gibson and Moorcock.
Gibson remarked that the book was "perfectly surefooted, elegantly pulpy", and "dizzying in its pace and sweep", and a "talisman" for him in undertaking his first novel. Moorcock hailed Bester's novel as a reminder of "why the best science fiction still contains, as in Ballard , vivid imagery and powerful prose coupled to a strong moral vision". Howard Chaykin and Byron Preiss created a graphic adaptation the first half of which was published in by Baronet Publishing and the complete version — delayed due to Baronet's bankruptcy after releasing the original version — by Marvel Entertainment 's Epic imprint in A dramatisation titled Tiger!
It was scripted by Ivan Benbrook and directed by Andy Jordan. Various film adaptations of the book have been scripted but none has yet made it to the screen. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The New York Times : March 21, In Serafin, Steven; Bendixen, Alfred eds. The Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature. London: Continuum.
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The Stars My Destination. SF Masterworks. London: Orion Publishing. Science Fiction Studies. Retrieved May 14, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved January 17, A similar scenario appears in the novel The Cruel Sea. Retrieved October 18, Understanding Contemporary American Science Fiction.
The logic of this precaution is debatable. Having come two million light years, an invasion force could simply have gone around and approached the planet by the same path as Liberator. On the other hands, since the Andromedans obviously used some kind of faster-than-light drive to make intergalactic flight, it is possible that they were strictly limited by some kind of drive limitation. The quest to find Star One comprised a large part of the second series, with Blake traveling all over the Galaxy to find the location and deliver a decisive crippling blow to the corrupt Terran Federation.
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It also served, according to script editor Chris Boucher, as a way to edge Blake into a more fanatical direction, willing to perhaps kill thousands in his quest to destroy the Federation. An unexpected plot twist was revealed in the second series' finale. When the Liberator crew arrived at Star One, they found that the Federation crew had been almost completely replaced by jellyfish-like aliens who were using morphing techniques to look human. It turned out that when Space Commander Travis had discovered the location of Star One, he revealed this information to an alien invasion fleet from the nearby Andromeda galaxy.
They had sabotaged Star One, disrupting the entire Federation, and amassed an invasion fleet just outside the defence zone. Bitter and possibly insane, Travis returned to deactivate the defence zone personally, a "final act" against a humanity he now hated. Jenna Stannis and Blake independently decided to fight alongside the Federation against the external threat.
Jenna had Orac alert the Federation space command's strategic computers to the danger in Blake's name, passing along coordinates to Star One. The aliens used Star One to create chaos throughout the Federation. Spaceships would crash into each other and severe weather conditions on many planets led to death and destruction.
Military Supreme Commander Servalan took advantage of this in order to depose the President and seize power. When she received Jenna's message she believed it and commenced a "Red One Mobilisation", sending every ship in the vast Federation fleet to Star One from across the Galaxy. Blake, Cally and Kerr Avon fought off the Andromedans and killed Travis, but not before one defence zone was deactivated.
Blake ordered his crew to stop the sabotage of Star One so that humanity would have it to fight with. But one bomb went off killing the last of the human crew and damaging part of the station. Wounded by Travis, Blake asked Avon to fight against the Andromedan fleet until the Federation arrived.
Avon agreed and the Liberator stood alone against a strong fleet charging through the hole in the defence screen, with the nearest Federation units just under an hour away at maximum speed. The beginning of the battle between the Liberator and the Andromedan fleet constituted the second series finale and cliffhanger. The history of the Intergalactic War is uncertain.
No canonical narrative was ever given. Only highlights were shown in the third series premiere episode Aftermath and hints of the battle were given by characters throughout the third season. What is known, principally from the episode Aftermath is that:. A Federation officer stated that the only reason they won at all was because they outnumbered the Andromedans.
And the survivors faced other dangers, such as hostile natives Aftermath and an organ bank stocking up its reserves from the survivors Powerplay. In Aftermath , Avon said, "It's difficult to maintain a military dictatorship when you've lost most of the military.