Alfred Bester's picture

Alfred Bester

USA flag (1913 - 1987)

With two novels and a handful of short stories, most of them written in a short burst in the 1950s, Alfred Bester opened out the possibilities of the sf field both as vehicle for story-telling and as a way of looking darkly at the world and human psychology. The Demolished Man is a psychological thriller in which a tycoon decides to kill a rival and get away with it in an era in which telepathic cops catch every serious criminal; both in its sparkling portrayal of multi-person mind-to-mind dialogue, and in its narrative trickery, the story of Ben Reich and his nemesis Lincoln Powell is one of sf's most effective contributions to the noir thriller. The other is Tiger,Tiger (aka The Stars My Destination); if The Demolished Man is Crime and Punishment with telepaths, Tiger,Tiger is The Count of Monte Cristo with teleportation and interplanetary war. Left to die in a shattered spaceship, illiterate spacehand Gully Foyle swears vengeance and remakes himself as master criminal and dilettante socialite, and changes the worlds around him in the process. Tiger, Tiger is also an inventive working through of a conceit from bastardized Freudianism--Foyle is at one level a symbol for the unbridled id. Bester's later novels are considerably less important--with these two books, he helped shape both the New Wave and cyberpunk.

Genres: Science Fiction, Mystery
   The Demolished Man (1951)
   Who He? (1953)
     aka The Rat Race
   The Stars, My Destination (1956)
     aka Tiger! Tiger!
   The Computer Connection (1975)
     aka Extro
   Golem 100 (1980)
   The Deceivers (1981)
   Tender Loving Rage (1991)
   Psychoshop (1998) (with Roger Zelazny)
   Starburst (1958)
   The Dark Side Of The Earth (1964)
   The Light Fantastic Volume 2 (1976)
   Star Light, Star Bright (1976)
   The Light Fantastic Volume 1 (1977)
   Starlight (1977)
   Virtual Unrealities (1997)
   Redemolished (2000)
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Novellas and Short Stories
   Adam and No Eve (1941)
   The Push of a Finger (1942)
   Hobson's Choice (1952)
   The Roller Coaster (1953)
   The Pi Man (1959)
   Will You Wait? (1959)
   The Flowered Thundermug (2009)
   The Starcomber (2013)
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Non fiction
Omnibus editions
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Series contributed to
Black Cat Weekly
   64. Black Cat Weekly #64 (2022) (with others)
Anthologies containing stories by Alfred Bester
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Short stories
The Die-Hard
The Four Hour Fugue
Hell Is Forever
Ms. Found In A Champagne Bottle
Oddie And Id
Out Of This World
The Starcomber
Travel Diary
Of Time and Third Avenue (1951)
Disappearing Act (1953)
Star Light, Star Bright [short story] (1953)
Time Is the Traitor (1953)
5,271,009 (1954)
Fondly Fahrenheit (1954)
The Stars My Destination (1956)
The Men Who Murdered Mohammed (1958)Hugo (nominee)
They Don't Make Life Like They Used To (1963)
The Flowered Thundermug [short story] (1964)
Something Up There Likes Me (1973)
The Four-Hour Fugue (1974)Hugo (nominee)
Galatea Galante (1979)
3 1/2 to Go (1997)
The Devil Without Glasses (1997)

Hugo Best Novel winner (1953) : The Demolished Man
Hugo Best Short Story nominee (1959) : The Men Who Murdered Mohammed
Hugo Best Short Story nominee (1960) : The Pi Man
Hugo Best Short Story nominee (1975) : The Four-Hour Fugue
Hugo Best Novel nominee (1976) : The Computer Connection
Nebula Awards Best Novel nominee (1976) : The Computer Connection

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