Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Stars My Destination

Although I didn't read this novel for the week it was assigned, Cassidy managed to convince me to read it for the next week, for which I am grateful. The Stars My Destination was not only an exciting, high adventure (in space) story, but it was set in an interesting, new world that I enjoyed reading about almost more than I did the (usually horrible) actions of Gully Foyle on his quest for revenge.

The one thing that is the center of Foyle's new world is the ability to jaunte, or teleport. The entire world, in fact, is entirely believable as being our own, with only this and a few years difference. Jaunting affected the economy of Foyle's world, eventually bringing about war. Jaunting affected the interactions of peoples from around the Earth, leading to the near destruction of recognizable races as well as the explosion of diseases around the world. Jaunting affected the lives of the wealthy and the working class, the status of women, and the way people socialize. The ability of this single, small change in the world to lead to an entirely different universe from our own is amazing to read about. From this alteration, Bester creates a world that is completely immersive and believable and, still being a sucker for fictional worlds, I loved reading about it.

It was stated during the discussion in this class that this book felt like a believable, modern depiction of the future, even though it was written half a century ago. I have to agree with this: there were only a few times during this reading that I stopped and reminded myself of when the book was written. Bester created a world so foreign that it remained so even fifty years in the future, but that still manages to be recognizable as our own world.

The Stars My Destination also happened to contain a very good story with compelling characters and some completely crazy scenes. In the end, though, I found myself just as interested, if not more so, in the politics and technicalities of Bester's fictional world as the story itself.

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