By the 25th century, three inner planets of the Solar System and eight satellites farther out are inhabited, and many humans are able to teleport themselves some distance across a planet (though not across space) simply through mental effort. Gulliver ("Gully") Foyle was a simple mechanic aboard a space ship that was attacked by an Outer Satellites raiding party and left a bombed-out hulk. Barely alive, he hailed a passing space ship but it ignored him, and in his rage he vowed to destroy it and its crew when he got back to civilization. But there was more aboard his own craft than just himself and his dead crewmates, much more, and various powerful interests become interested in his fate, as he educates, strengthens, and trains himself for his mighty revenge. Bester's second science fiction novel, published in 1956, is one of the great classics which inspired scores of other writers and tales. Bursting with ideas, any handful of which could have filled dozens of short stories or other novels (consider porn that consists of Christian content because religion has been outlawed; the Vegetative Lynch Law, which makes it a capital offense to harm any plants vital to the transformation of Mars' atmosphere from CO-2 to 0-2; the Disease Collectors who get off on the sensation of suffering illegal illnesses -- just a few of the ideas that whiz by without any further development), it nevertheless has not aged quite as well as _The Demolished Man_ and reads a bit choppy and episodic today. A landmark work, in any case.
This report prepared by David Loftus