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The Stars My Destination (by Alfred Bester, published in 1956 ) An Example Analysis.

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1 The Stars My Destination (by Alfred Bester, published in 1956 ) An Example Analysis

2 Summary (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.

3 Summary (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 planned…

4 Alfred Bester (1913-1987) (What makes your author unique?)  Published his first short story “The Broken Axiom” in 1939  In the 1940’s wrote for DC Comics, including Superman and The Green Lantern  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

5 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 planets  Humans have learned how to “jaunte” – can teleport hundreds of miles by thinking  No cars, people move across Earth quickly, humans can’t “jaunte” through space

6 Historical Context (What events from our timeline 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

7 Science Fiction Elements (What types of science fiction are present in your story and how do you know?)  Science Fiction: spaceships, space colonization, advanced technology  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

8 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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