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THE STARS MY DESTINATION
Design: Evan Gaffney
The Stars My Destination, a novel by Alfred Bester (1956.) Serialized in Galaxy October 1956 through January 1957. One of my favorite books - strongly recommended. For a reasonable summary or set-up, here's the flap-copy from a hardcover:
"Education: None. Skills: None. Merits: None. Recommendations: None." So reads Gully Foyle's Merchant Marine card. But Gully has managed to survive for 170 days in the airless purgatory of deep space and to escape to Terra with a murderous grudge and a secret that could permanently upset the balance of power in the Solar System.
When Gully Foyle was stranded, alone, on the wrecked Nomad, the ship that could have saved him passed him by. He doesn't know why. All he knows is that the person who gave the order to abandon him will have to die.
Soon Gully finds himself on the run across a gritty and corrupt urban landscape, pitted against the most powerful man on eleven worlds and the cold arm of his business empire. Gully has no idea just who his enemy really is. Nor does he realize what price he must pay for his vengeance.
Samuel R. Delany said The Stars My Destination might just be "the greatest single SF novel." Anticipating many of today's SF innovations - and social realities! - Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people "jaunte" a thousand miles in a single thought, where the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hit men... and where an inarticulate outcast is the most valuable and dangerous man alive.