Thursday, 1 November 2007

The Stars My Destination and Jumper

Jumper is about a group of people with the ability to ‘jump’ to any location on the planet. Useless geek knowledge: It’s a similar ability that both Nightcrawler and Blink have in the X-Men universe. More than anything, it reminds me of, Alfred Bester’s, ‘The Stars My Destination.

The Stars My Destination is like the drunk grandfather of what would become the cyberpunk genre. It’s one of the earliest science fiction novels I’ve read that deals with a dystopian future that includes: biological and technological enhancement, mega corporations and tribal sub-societies.

In Star’s, the jumping ability is known as jaunting. Since every person on the planet has the ability to go anywhere it raises some interesting socio-political issues. There is no longer a permanent work force; therefore projects tend not to make their deadline unless employees are part of an industrial family, imagine the Murdoch or Trump dynasty reaching far into the future; it’s the same depressing concept.

Living spaces no longer need to be centralised. One of the characters lives in a high-rise building in the middle of a forest. Tramps, drug addicts and vagrants can now bust-a-move, no longer restricted to street corners; large tribal migrations are common.

Jaunting is only one ingenious facet of a truly remarkable story. Despite being written in the 50s, The Stars My Destination can jaunt in, slap around any contemporary narrative and jaunt out again before the author can look up another word for 'ouch' in the thesaurus. Go read it now, look there’s even a link!

1 comment: said...

I would have ripped it off better than another teen movie.

Make it dark, make it a trilogy, make it, Star Wars like.