The Demolished Man [Alfred Bester] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the First Hugo Award. #14 in the Millennium SF. That’s the challenge Alfred Bester sets himself in his unconventional cult classic The Demolished Man, the first novel to win the Hugo Award back in Telepaths and their psionic abilities are not new in science fiction now and they weren’t when Bester wrote The Demolished Man, either.

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What I failed to appreciate however was how Bester chose to lay down his world building and science fiction elements, his style. Some selections are hit and others miss.

The Demolished Man

Things that surprise me. The most obvious impact that Bester examines is the way in which crime and policing will be affected by the fact that a fairly large segment of the population can at least sense, if not outright read, the thoughts demollished others. The name of that Psi cop character?

A true science fiction classic that lives up to the name. An example of inverted detective storyit was first serialized in three parts, beginning with the January issue of Galaxy Science Fiction[1] followed by publication of the novel in Powell loses Reich for a while. He is conflicted because he likes Reich and ponders at one point about the fact that Reich is really two men, a man with charm and grace and also a man who could very well bring civilization to her knees with his evil intentions.

View all 36 comments. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. First comes the pro-argument, as in the choice is ours, but so are the consequences of our actions.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. There are few references to outlandish or dated technology with the exception of a punch card computer!

Jo Walton has said that The Demolished Man is shaped by Freudian psychology, comparing it to The Last Battle ‘ s relation to Christianityand emphasizing that the resolution of the plot only makes sense in a Freudian context: The pace is whip fast by modern standards although a reader of, say, Van Vogt, might consider the pacing sedatebringing us toward the fulcrum of the novel before a reader knows it.

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Under the pen of Alfred Bester a futuristic murder investigation becomes the eternal struggle for the soul of Man, as it is played Winner of the very first Hugo Award in”The Demolished Man” is a classic by any metric you might measure it with.

Mining the Genre Asteroid: The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

Reich is revealed to be the natural son of Craye D’Courtney, from an affair with Reich’s mother — Reich’s hatred of him was probably due to a latent, telepathic knowledge of that fact. Reich recovers his composure, returns to the party and pretends to be lost. But Bester tries to impart some psychological gravitas through generous doses of Freudian concepts and plenty of psychiatric jargon. It’s the cowards and weaklings and sore-losers who hide behind rules besrer fair play.

And yes, what was it with female characters in the 50s? This is what my poor review looks like now that the ‘pre’ tag is broken: Reich’s knowledge is not explicitly stated but Barbara, whom Powell discovers to be Reich’s half-sister, is herself revealed to be a peeper.

Psychology is used to detect criminals and even to escape reality utilizing demolishfd. Back in the s the computer was in its infancy but forward-thinkers envisioned infinite possibilities for the new calculating tool. The existence of a cadre of mind-readers—known as “Espers”—make it impossible to hide criminal intent from the authorities.

Though successful in all these fields, he is best remembered for his science fiction, including The Demolished Man, winner of the inaugural Hugo Award ina story about murder in a future society where the police are telepathic, and The Stars My Desti Alfred Bester was an American science fiction author, TV and radio scriptwriter, magazine editor and scripter for comic strips and comic books.

In the context of its time I can understand some of the misogyny inherent in the portrayal of women, though I found teh awfully difficult to wade through those passages. Bester plays some neat tricks with typography as he describes the way that the espers interact.


In a world where murder is nearly impossible, because of a cult of better evolved humans who can read the mind of other people, a man cleverly manages to murder the first murder in seventy years a VIP and a dozen more after that.

The story wasn’t properly explored, leaving quite a few glaring loopholes and other lapses, not to mention the tne that bogged down the work even more. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Poor Mary, the perfect female martyr, begs Alfres to marry her and betser children, despite the fact that he doesn’t love her and doesn’t want to; meanwhile Duffy begs Reich to knock her around a bit before he conquers the universe. Bester knows one of the most basic rules of the art of the novel is: Eight, sir; seven, sir; Six, sir; five, sir; Four, sir; three, sir; Two, sir; one!

It’s an exciting and pulpy adventure, and presages the cyberpunk genre by over 30 years Neuromancer, Altered Carbon, Minority Report in particular; they all contain remnants of Bester’s DNA.

White Alfrsd by A. I was a bit surprised I enjoyed this one so much.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

The comparison may be a bit unfair—Hemingway never set a novel in the 24th century—but even fans of Bester’s work can hardly avoid recognizing the slapdash quality that permeates the novel. Most of Demoliehed security positions are held by 3rds.

I can see exactly why this novel was chosen as the first hugo winner, because it truly set itself above the rest. And to think how much more scope in this novel has been wasted!

You must tear the barriers down. The Dispossessed Ursula K. We live with the Guild. To view it, click here.

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