Demolished Man?


“Eight, sir; seven, sir;
Six, sir; five, sir;
Four, sir; Three, sir;
Two, sir; one!
Tenser, said the Tensor.
Tenser, said the Tensor.
Tension, apprehension,
And dissension have begun.”

― Alfred Bester, The Demolished

Galaxy_195201“Listen, normals! You must learn what it is. You must learn how it s. You must tear the barriers down. You must tear the veils away. We see the truth you cannot see… That there is nothing in man but love and faith, courage and kindness, generosity and sacrifice. All else is only the barrier of your blindness. One day we’ll all be mind to mind and heart to heart…”

― Alfred Bester, The Demolished

“But in order to be an iconoclast, an author must be more than merely aware of the idol he wishes to destroy. He must be intimate with it and understand it in all its aspects. This means that he must have devoted serious thought to it, and have beliefs of his own which will stand up in the place of the broken idol. In other words, any child can complain, but it takes an adult to clash with accepted beliefs . . . an adult with ideas.”
― Alfred Bester, Redemolished

“Life is a freak. That’s its hope and glory.”
― Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination

“Dazzlement and enchantment are Bester’s methods. His stories never stand still a moment; they’re forever tilting into motion, veering, doubling back, firing off rockets to distract you. The repetition of the key phrase demolishedin “Fondly Fahrenheit,” the endless reappearances of Mr. Aquila in “The Star-comber” are offered mockingly: try to grab at them for stability, and you find they mean something new each time. Bester’s science is all wrong, his characters are not characters but funny hats; but you never notice: he fires off a smoke-bomb, climbs a ladder, leaps from a trapeze, plays three bars of “God Save the King,” swallows a sword and dives into three inches of water. Good heavens, what more do you want?”

Alfred Bester, Virtual Unrealities, The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester


“It was an age of freaks, monsters, and grotesques. All the world was misshapen in marvelous and malevolent ways.”
― Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination


“Through the vistas of the years every age but our own seems glamorous and golden. We yearn for the yesterdays and tomorrows, never realizing that we are faced with Hobson’s Choice … that today, bitter or sweet, anxious or calm, is the only day for us. The dream of time is the traitor, and we are all accomplices to the betrayal of ourselves.”
― Alfred Bester, Virtual Unrealities, The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester

“The mind is the reality. You are what you think.”
― Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man

“Life is a freak. That’s its hope and glory.”

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