BooksOfTheMoon

The Demolished Man

By Alfred Bester

Rating: 4 stars

Millionaire industrialist Ben Reich sets out to commit murder, in a world guarded by the telepaths of the Esper Guild. Can he get away with it and avoid the terrible penalty of Demolition?

This was an amazing book. The characters are well drawn, as is the thumbnail sketch of the society of this future world. The Esper Guild is clearly a prototype for Babylon 5’s PsiCorp (something that JMS acknowledged when he named everyone’s favourite Psi Cop), although it is less conniving and more working for the good of humanity, with a strict code of ethics.

Ben Reich is a fascinating character, well built up in layers and feels very human, but always running from the Man With No Face. You almost want him to get away with it… although you also feel for his nemesis, the telepathic police prefect Lincoln Powell, whose warm humour and intelligence make him a very likeable character.

The story is strong, the writing is excellent and it’s a page turner in the best sense. Highly recommended.

Book details

ISBN: 9781857988222
Publisher: Millenium
Year of publication: 1953

The Stars My Destination

By Alfred Bester

Rating: 4 stars

Gully Foyle spends 6 months trapped in the remains of a spaceship in deep space and manages to escape to get revenge on those who left him to die. This is a book that very successfully mixes another “what if” (what if the ability to teleport was inherent in every human?) with a very human story of revenge and self-discovery. Highly recommended.

Book details

ISBN: 9780679767800
Publisher: Vintage
Year of publication: 1955

The Dark Side of the Earth

By Alfred Bester

Rating: 2 stars

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Afred Bester, but this early collection of short stories didn’t really justify it. Only one of the collection (The Flowered Thundermug) was memorable. The rest were average to uninteresting, and there was an undertone of sexism running through the stories that I didn’t hugely like either. I’m still going to read The Demolished Man at some point though.

Book details

ISBN: 9780451024749
Publisher: Signet
Year of publication: 1964

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