->''Gully Foyle is my name\\
And Terra is my nation\\
Deep space is my dwelling place\\
And death's my destination''

''The Stars My Destination'', aka ''Tiger! Tiger!'' [[note]]there is some debate as to which is the original title[[/note]] is a science fiction novel by Creator/AlfredBester.

It is the twenty fifth century. An age when humanity can [[TeleportersAndTransporters jaunte]] across the world, where telepaths are, if not common, then not unheard of. An age where humanity has spread across the solar system-- a golden age that no one knows they are living in. An age when conflict between the Inner Planets and the Outer Satellites is about to end the age of the Global Wars by means of the outbreak of the first Solar War.

None of this matters to Gully Foyle--the quintessential everyman, if you are convinced HumansAreMorons. No education, no skills, no ambition, just a Mechanic's Mate Third Class on the freighter ''Nomad'', which lies crippled in the void between the planets. All he has left is a powerful will to survive, and he has, somehow, for six months when the spaceship ''Vorga'' encounters the wreck of the ''Nomad'', sees the distress signals-- and passes by, leaving him to rot.

Now Gully Foyle has a pressing reason to do more than simply survive, as he had done on ''Nomad'' and all his life before hand. Now, he's headed back to Terra, and he will have his revenge, no matter who stands in his way...

The book's gritty AntiHero and experimental typography made it a much-imitated prototype for the NewWaveScienceFiction movement that sprung up a few years later.
'''This book contains examples of:'''

* TheAlcatraz: Foyle spends a long time in a deep underground prison which he spends mostly in solitary confinement, with no sources of stimulation.
* AntiHero: Oh, is Foyle ever one.
* AntiVillain: Dagenham
* AristocratsAreEvil: The Presteigns, one of the new breed of corporate nobility, are quite fond of saying that they love blood and money.
* AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: One possible interpretation of the whole "Burning Man'' episode.
* AsYouWish
* AwesomeButImpractical: Invoked, as this is how the super rich demonstrate their status. While anyone can jaunte, status is shown by taking mundane transportation, on the logic that you're rich enough to spend money on things you don't need and important enough to make people wait for you. One huge gala has a cavalcade of bigwigs arriving in increasingly old fashioned ways, starting with helicopters and cars, and ending with Gully's grand entrance in a steam-powered train - while his employees lay down the tracks in front of him.
* BlessedWithSuck: Robin is a "Telesend", meaning she can't read people's minds, but can broadcast her thoughts, which often has embarrassing results. The only positive side is that she is capable of controlling the ability enough that she can select who hears the thoughts, allowing a degree of telepathic communication which she finds useful in her job as a teacher.
* BulletTime: Foyle's cybernetic enhancements let him beat up some "Jack-Jaunters" at such speed that, from his perspective, they were falling in slow motion as he struck them down and light seemed to redshift.
* ByronicHero: Foyle
* CargoCult: The Scientific People, who are a CargoCult [[AC:[[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE!]] ]]
* ColdBloodedTorture: Foyle inflicts this on the people connected to the ''Vorga'', and it's especially grisly when he realizes that they are implanted with an InvoluntarySuicideMechanism... [[spoiler:which Foyle gets around by cutting a man's heart out and keeping him on full life support (and in agony) while he interrogates him]].
* CorporateSamurai: Dagenham is basically a proto-example of this CyberPunk type.
* CyberPunk: Although published in 1956, some three decades before Cyberpunk emerged, the book has many examples of the tropes common in cyberpunk--the antihero, the mysterious female thief, the intrigue of the [[MegaCorp multinational companies]], the scientific {{McGuffin}} and cybernetically boosted reflexes most obvious amongst them. This is not entirely a coincidence: cyberpunk pioneer Creator/WilliamGibson has called ''The Stars My Destination'' his favourite novel.
* {{Cyborg}}: Foyle spends a whole lot of money to get augmented into "... ''an extraordinary fighting machine''" with transistors and transformers buried in muscle and bone.
* DarkMessiah: Foyle is one of these at the end. [[spoiler: He spreads the MacGuffin all over the world, which is MadeOfExplodium and can be really easily set off. He gives people the chance not to mess up, but if HumansAreBastards, the world will go kaboom.]]
* DeadlyEnvironmentPrison: Everyone can teleport unless lobotomized or drugged, so criminals are usually kept in a location they don't know. You are welcome to TeleFrag yourself whenever you want.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Jaunting has caused the upper class to once again view women as property which must be protected.
* {{Determinator}}: Nothing will stop Gully Foyle from having his revenge. ''Nothing.''
* DieOrFly: How the first jaunter discovered his ability. Also how Gully Foyle escapes the wreck of the ''Nomad''.
* DrivingQuestion: Why did the ''Vorga'' to abandon Foyle to die? [[spoiler:They were [[TheIllegal illegally transporting refugees]]. Not only that, the "cargo" were ThrownOutTheAirlock to keep from getting caught by Immigration on the other end. So even if they'd picked Foyle up, they'd have had to kill him anyway [[HeKnowsTooMuch once he found out]].]] Who specifically ordered the crew of the ''Vorga'' to abandon Foyle to die? That's a doozy. [[spoiler:'''''Olivia Presteign.''''' And she gave Foyle the Driving Questions because she admired his determination and hoped the quest would prove them NotSoDifferent - determined to punish a CrapsackWorld for failing to care for their fates; his to be abandoned in space, hers to be a blind trophy wife.]]
* EvilAlbino: Olivia Presteign.
* FacialMarkings: The [[CargoCult Scientific People]] cover their faces in tattoos, which are described as hideous and similar to those of the Maori. They tattoo Gully Foyle's face while he's unconscious, which he loathes and makes him an outcast once he returns to society. The swirling designs frequently compared to tiger markings. Once Gully gets them removed, they still flare up with blood when he becomes emotional, forcing him to become cold and calculating to avoid blowing his cover.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Gully goes from the most insignificant cog in the machine to one of the few who truly lives outside its control.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: Russia is still the USSR. In at least one part of the book, [[UsefulNotes/TheCityFormerlyKnownAs Stalingrad]] gets mentioned.
* HaveAGayOldTime: The character Jisbella, or as she's more commonly called, "Jiz."
* HighConcept: Dozens, coming fast and furious at the reader. ''The future where everyone can teleport! The lost colony that worships science! The underground labyrinth prison! The radical sensory-deprivation cult!'' This is one reason the book has long been considered unfilmable.
* HulkSpeak: Foyle, and in fact most lower class, speak in a dialect that's a lot like this.
* HumansArePsychicInTheFuture: in the setting, "jaunting" is a learned skill and random people simply developed telepathy out of nowhere.
* IllegalReligion: Religious observance has been outlawed, leading somewhat unsurprisingly to underground religions. People who take part in such things are normally viewed as something akin to sexual deviants:
-->''"Filthy pictures, signore? Cellar Christians, kneeling, praying, singing psalms, kissing cross? Very naughty. Very smutty, signore. Entertain your friends ... Excite the ladies."''
* [[IllKillYou I'll Kill You!]]: "You pass me by. You leave me rot like a dog. You leave me die, ''Vorga'' ... ''Vorga-T:1339''. No. I get out of here, me. I follow you, ''Vorga''. I find you, ''Vorga''. I pay you back, me. I rot you. I kill you, ''Vorga''. I kill you filthy."
* InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals: Mr. Presto. Not inexplicably, though, as the narration mentions they're all given extensive cosmetic surgery to look identical.
* KarmaHoudini: ''[[spoiler:Foyle himself,]]'' [[spoiler:who rapes a woman towards the start of the novel and basically spends most of the novel trying to kill people. He is treated as [[DarkMessiah humanity's saviour]] and a [[UnfortunateImplications messianic figure at the end...]]]]
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: The novel's alternate title, ''Tiger! Tiger!'', from the William Blake poem.
* LotusEaterMachine: As a means of interrogating Gully Foyle, they put him on a set where actors tell him he is a corporate noble suffering amnesia.
* MeaningfulName: Many of the characters are named after British towns and cities.
* ManOfSteelWomanOfKleenex: After Jisbella reveals to Foyle that she's in a relationship with Dagenham, he tries to ask how that could be possible, given that Dagenham is a WalkingWasteland. Soon afterward, the reader sees how things work. Dagenham and Jisbella can have sex during his "safe" periods, and after that, they go to separate beds that are separated by a 3-inch layer of lead-impregnated glass allowing them to see each other but preventing Jisbella from being exposed to Dagenham's radioactivity.
* MarkedChange: Gully Foyle's facial tattoos turn into this after he has them removed. Scar tissue has more capillaries than un-scarred skin, so when his heart rate rises, they fill with blood and cause the tattoo shapes to reemerge, this time in red.
* MasterOfDisguise: One of the secret police characters pursuing Foyle. It helps that they have technology in the future that allows him to artificially [[DyeingForYourArt add about 40 pounds]] to his weight.
* MasterOfYourDomain: Foyle learns biofeedback and yoga from an "old fakir" to master, among other things, his body's blush response. ''Very'' important, as his enemies are aware of his tattoos, and even after having them removed, the scars flush when he's stressed.
* {{McGuffin}}: [=PyrE=] is one of the reasons that everyone with a bit of interest in what happens to the Inner Planets is chasing Gully Foyle across every corner of their territory.
* MeaningfulName: 'Gully' is short for [[Literature/GulliversTravels Gulliver]]...and both characters follow similar development arcs right down to becoming reclusive misanthropes at the end of their respective stories.
* MegaCorp: Corporations have evolved into a sort of neo-nobility, and hold just as much influence as the royalty of old.
* MerchantPrince: Businessmen like Presteign of Presteign have so much power that they essentially ''are'' the government, and their family names are treated as titles.
* PaintingTheMedium: Foyle's [[spoiler: spacetime]] jaunte, while he's suffering from synesthesia, is done with text illustrated in strange styles.
* {{Phlebotinum}}: [=PyrE=]-- [[spoiler:a ''psychically'' activated explosive that's even more powerful, gram for gram, than plutonium]].
* PsmithPsyndrome: The capitalized E in [=PyrE=] is important.. but still silent.
* RecycledInSpace: ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo''
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: Foyle pretends to be an UpperClassTwit in his Fourmyle identity, roving around with his "Four-Mile Circus".
* RousingSpeech: Foyle's final tirade to the mob -- though he has no idea if they will ever get the point.
* SecretPolice: Central Intelligence is quite obviously this. They even have a secret language that is called...the Secret Speech.
* SenseFreak: Inverted with the Skoptsy. Played straight with the Synth-Disease sufferers, who get infected with non lethal but debilitating illnesses for the experience of both being sick (almost all serious diseases have been cured by this point) and being doted on by beautiful nurses (male and female)
* SkipTheAnesthetic: After Gully and Jisbella escape from prison, they go to a BackAlleyDoctor to have his EmbarrassingTattoo bleached from his face so that he's less recognizable by the authorities. Since the two have just had a nasty argument, she puts up money for the procedure but not the anesthetic. Eventually though, she can't stand his pain and gives in and pays the extra money.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: Foyle is an astronaut but is described as a sailor-- this is probably at least in part because of the RecycledInSpace aspect.
* SpaceIsolationHorror: This happens briefly to Gully Foyle at the beginning. The trauma of the experience is so pivotal to his character development and his main motivation for the rest of the book.
* SuperSpeed: Foyle eventually has his body upgraded with various functions, including being able to think and move five times faster than normal humans. Notably, it doesn't give him SuperToughness, so he has to avoid accidentally bumping into anything while super speed is engaged--''especially'' other people who also possess this ability. (His one brief skirmish with some Martian commandos resembles a sped-up game of touch football, in which an actual collision would be messily fatal to both parties.)
* TechMarchesOn: Modern tattoo removal techniques are far more sophisticated and effective than what's presented in the book. The book implies that tattooing is something of a lost art on Earth, which may explain why Foyle couldn't just get laser surgery. (Not to mention that the book was published in 1957, three years before the first laser was even built!)
* TeleportersAndTransporters: Pretty much everybody. Those who cannot jaunte usually become part of the dregs of society.
** Special classes are held for those who have lost their ability due to trauma but still have the potential.
** People are rated by the distance they can jaunte, creating an informal caste system.
** Jaunting is a personal thing; you can teleport with as much as you can carry, but no more. "Sorry, not even the ladies will arrive naked."
** A person's ability can be temporarily negated by concussion or drugs.
** Since both the current location and destination must be known, it is possible to imprison people in elaborate mazes. They are kept in the dark to keep them from memorizing the layout and isolated to keep them from cooperating. [[GoMadFromTheIsolation Despairing prisoners]] may chance a "[[TeleFrag Blue Jaunte]]", a blind teleport that rarely ends well. Contrariwise, one can make a location safe (from jaunte attacks, at least) by enclosing it in a maze.
** In extreme cases, a criminal's ability may be surgically removed. This has the effect of removing them from society, as one who cannot jaunte is essentially casteless.
* TeleportInterdiction: Anti-teleport security measures include turning headquarters and homes into elaborate manipulable mazes. You literally can't teleport unless you know where you are and where the destination is. Attempting to teleport if you don't will just fail to work or lead to disappearance or death.
* ThemeNaming: Presteign, Dagenham and Sheffield are all named after towns in Great Britain. Bester got the names out of a phone book.
** Presteigne is a village in Powys in {{UsefulNotes/Wales}}.
** Dagenham is a town in the {{UsefulNotes/London}} Borough of Barking [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment and Dagenham]].
** Sheffield is a large city in [[OopNorth Yorkshire]].
* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: Inverted. Apparently naming conventions in the corporate aristocracy follow those of the Scottish clans. Presteign constantly reminds people to call him "Presteign" and not "Mr. Presteign," because he is the head of his family.
* ThisLoserIsYou: As noted above, the book's idea of an "average man" is a pathetic piece of work. (You can hardly call Gully "average" after the ''Vorga'' incident.)
* TimeStandsStill: While using the Commando boosts, normal events appear to happen in slow motion.
* TookALevelInBadass: Goes from a living object to relentless killing machine to [[spoiler: effectively transcendent]] through the course of the novel, [[BerserkButton all because some passersby decided not to rescue him.]]
* TookALevelInKindness: Near the very end of the book, [[spoiler: Gully essentially gains enlightenment after the "Burning Man" episode and when he returns he is a completely changed man whose rage has been extinguished. He gives a sermon to a crowd about how everyone is better than they think they are, before realizing he isn't getting through to them. Last we see of him, he is in contemplation, trying to figure out how to convey his revelations to the masses.]]
* VirtualRealityInterrogation: There is an attempt to get information from the protagonist by simulating for him [[LotusEaterMachine a reality where he is rich and happy]], and his adventures are AllJustADream. He spots AGlitchInTheMatrix (his own reflection) right before talking. (His false identity in the simulation eventually becomes the basis for the one he assumes to carry out his revenge.)
* WalkingWasteland: Dagenham. Mildly subverted in that he can avoid causing damage if he limits his interactions with the world outside his radiation-proof chamber. Because of Creator/AlanMoore's love for this book, he became the basis of Dr. Manhattan.
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: A version of this at the end. Gully was once a poor, uneducated sap, but now he's become enlightened and tells the unwashed masses that they too can DareToBeBadass:
-->''"You got the most in you, and you use the least. You hear me, you? Got a million in you and spend pennies. Got a genius in you and think crazies. Got a heart in you and feel empties. All a you. Every you... Take a war to make you spend. Take a jam to make you think. Take a challenge to make you great. Rest of the time you sit around lazy, you."''
* UnconventionalFormatting
* YellowPeril: In the future, all intelligence work will be handled by the Chinese, 'cause they're so good at it, don't you know. However, jaunting has created a virtually post-race society. The main Chinese intelligence agent is said to have almost no physical indication of his Chinese ancestry.
* {{Zeerust}}: surprisingly averted, probably because the book is actually pretty light on actual descriptions of futuristic technology; what is shown, is still pretty far off even today.