Alfred Bester

Author of passionate, aggressive tales of outer and inner space.

April 18, 1913 – September 30, 1987

Alfred Bester's ferocious talent has been highly influential upon the science fiction genre. Cynical, baroque, and aggressive, his writing evokes hard, bright images and deals convincingly with obsessive states of mind.

Bester’s first two novels are both considered classics. 1953’s The Demolished Man is a tight futuristic thriller about the pursuit of a murderer in a world where telepathy makes getting away with any crime nearly impossible. The Stars My Destination (1956) features a man obsessed by revenge in a stark future space opera setting.

After joining Holiday magazine as a feature writer in the late 1950s, Bester’s science fiction output slowed. Upon his return, he became one of the very few writers to have bridged the old and new waves of the genre, and his work was in many respects a forerunner of cyberpunk.

Blazing with sardonic imagery, symbols of decay and new life, Bester’s works feature an extraordinarily thematic passion, staccato pace, and narrative pyrotechnics. His ability to conjure up, with bravura, vivid tales of outer and inner space made him a legendary figure.

2001 Inductee