he Stars, my Destination introduces the hero Gully Foyle as a low-life uneducated thug. Even his Merchant Marine card notes: Education: None. Skills: None. Merits: None. Recommendations: None. And it looks even grimmer – Gully is the sole survivor of a destroyed ship, floating somewhere deep in our solar system. Lost. He gets by surviving in a closet for months, venturing out on depleting tanks to scrap together whatever food and necessities he requires.
But then comes a ship, which slows and gives his wreckage a lookover. He fires off all his distress signals. And the ship, it accelerates away. In rage at being abandoned, Gully notes the ship’s name and vows to kill it. And then he begins actively working to move his own ship, using whatever he’s got, into the shipping lanes.
Earth, in this future, is different from ours. Through a freak of evolution/understanding, Jaunting – or teleportation – is now the primary means of travel. People can flip from place to place instantaneously, moving about the globe on their whims. In fact, only the rich physically transport themselves, refraining from jaunting and using cars, horses, bicycles or whatever in a show of pointless status.
And that is the world that The Stars, my Destination takes us into, a solar system of crazy possibility (that will become crazier by the end), of war, of espionage, and, of course, revenge. And Gully, he goes from a criminally-minded thug to an unlikely hero (or destroyer of worlds – the end of the book is open on that).
A great novel, one of the classics – you should be able to find it under author Alfred Bester. Worth a hunt.