The Stars My Destination

by Alfred Bester
Reviewed date: 2004 Dec 21
Rating: 5
235 pages
cover art

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

Marooned in space, clinging to life on the wreck of a spaceship, Gully Foyle's chances of survival are small. Then another ship passes by--he is saved! But the ship, Vorga, passes by, leaves him to die. At that moment Gully Foyle dedicates his life to exacting revenge on the ship who left him to rot.

"You pass me by," he said with slow mounting fury. "You leave me rot like a dog. You leave me die, 'Vorga' . . . 'Vorga-T:1339.' No, I get out of here, me. I follow you, 'Vorga.' I find you, 'Vorga.' I pay you back, me. I rot you. I kill you, 'Vorga.' I kill you filthy."

The Stars My Destination is close to the top of any list of science fiction bests. I have read it twice, and I give it my highest rating of five.

The acid of fury ran through him, eating away the brute patience and sluggishness that had made a cipher of Gully Foyle, precipitating a chain of reactions that would make an infernal machine of Gully Foyle. He was dedicated.
"'Vorga,' I kill you filthy."

He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead. He fought for survival with the passion of a beast in a trap. He was delirious and rotting, but occasionally his primitive mind emerged from the burning nightmare of survival into something resembling sanity. Then he lifed his mute face to Eternity and muttered: "What's a matter, me? Help, you goddamn gods! Help, is all."

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