Erica's Reviews > The Stars My Destination

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
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's review
Dec 11, 2011

it was amazing
Read in December, 2011

I haven't read straight spaceship style sci-fi in a while, and it's REALLY FUN. Or maybe this book is just REALLY GOOD. I learned that it is impossible to relay the plot of a book like this without sounding like a total nerd though (sample: "so, like, after barely surviving and living in an abandoned spaceship wreck in deep space for months he finds this forgotten asteroid society built out of old spaceships, where they give him a wife and a bunch of crazy devil tiger tattoos while he's knocked out. Luckily the room he's in is an OLD SPACESHIP that STILL WORKS and so he powers out of there, but totally messes up their airlock system.")

It's a revenge story. But in a world where most people can think themselves around ("jaunting"), several hundred years from now. It pretty quickly becomes apparent that there is more at stake than the protagonist's quest for vengeance. There's a confusing section where I couldn't figure out who was who and what was what but it smoothed out as the plot unwound.

"The Stars My Destination" made me think about gender, power, the Cold War, nuclear war in general, religion, plot structure... all while being totally gripping, beautifully written and absolutely fun. The climactic scene has crazy patterns of words on the page which were the most effective example of that kind of thing I've ever read. Like whizzing through space and time.

"'Faith in what?' he asked himself, adrift in limbo. 'Faith in faith,' he answered himself. 'It isn't necessary to have something to believe in. It's only necessary to believe that somewhere there's something worthy of belief.'"


"NOW: Vega in Lyra, an AO star twenty-six light years from earth, burning bluer than RIgel, planetless, but encircled by swarms of blazing comets whose gaseous tails scintillated across the blue-black firmament..."


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