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Alfred Bester

Alfred Bester (December 18, 1913 - September 30, 1987) was a science fiction author and the winner of the first Hugo Award for his novel The Demolished Man in 1953.

Bester published his first short story, "The Broken Axiom" in Thrilling Wonder Stories (April 1939) after winning an amateur story competition. He continued to published short fiction and in 1942, he began working at DC Comics as a writer for Superman, The Green Lantern and other titles. After four years in the comics industry, he turned his attention to radio scripts, writing for The Shadow and Charlie Chan.

His short fiction was initially collected in Starburst (1958) and The Dark Side of the Earth (1964) with further collections appearing in the 1970s.

Although his short stories, such as "The Man Who Murdered Mohammed" cemented his reputation, he is best known for his two novels, The Demolished Man and Tiger! Tiger! (a.k.a. The Stars My Destination). (The title Tiger! Tiger! is a quotation from The Tyger by William Blake.) Both novels are reasonably traditional, with Tiger! Tiger! practically being a science fictional re-telling of Alexander Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo with teleportation added to the mix and The Demolished Man a police procedural in which telepathy is relatively common. the strength of both novels depends on how well Bester integrated these science fictional elements into his societies.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, he was the editor at Holiday magazine. Following the magazine's cessation of publication in the early 1970s, Bester returned to science fiction with more short stories and several more novels, although none captured the full brilliance he exhibited in his earlier period.

A radio adaptation of Tiger! Tiger! was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the 1980s.

specific date if i can find it


Alfred Bester is also the name of a character on Babylon 5, played by Walter Koenig[?]. Bester is a senior Psi Corps agent who appears to be linked to the sinister alien race called The Shadows and the conspiracy which led to the seemingly accidental death of former Earth President Santiago.

The similarity of Bester's name to that of the science fiction writer is no coincidence. Psi powers[?] were a recurring theme in the real Bester's work, and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski named the character in his honor.



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