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Alfred Bester$
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Jad Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040634

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040634.001.0001

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Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

(p.135) Chapter 5 Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright
Alfred Bester

Jad Smith

University of Illinois Press

From 1954 to 1959, Bester seemed less intent on dismissing pulp clichés than on transforming pulp aesthetics in earnest. “Fondly Fahrenheit” would not poke fun at the mad robot story but revamp it through the use of mixed-viewpoint narration, undercutting Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics in the process. The Stars My Destination would see Bester embrace space opera but handle the form with baroque flourishes of artistry—including stream-of-consciousness narration and synesthesia—that made it sleeker and headier than ever before. This chapter argues that Bester’s distinctive approach is best described as pulp modernism. It also draws on Bester’s unpublished correspondence to reveal for the first time the fierce battle between Fantasy and Science Fiction and Galaxy over the rights to The Stars My Destination.

Keywords:   bricolage, Ali Nomad, antihero, cosmic consciousness, intertextuality, leitmotif, P. D. Ouspensky, synesthesia, teleportation, time paradox

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