Gully Foyle is the last remaining survivor of the Nomad, a merchant spaceship attacked in the war between the Inner Planets and Outer Satellites and left adrift in space. He struggles to survive a six month wait for rescue, only to have his distress signal ignored by the spacecraft Vorga. Left to die, Foyle's fight for survival transforms into a mission of vengeance.
Gully Foyle's story borrows on themes from The Count of Monte Cristo and then expands them into a highly original sci-fi adventure. Many of the tropes that are now common within the genre were first explore by Bester in this book. Not only that, but Bester writes a great sentence as well as he tells a good story. "The old year soured as pestilence poisoned the planets," is just one example. Full of twists and turns and more than a few surprises, this is what good science-fiction aspires to be. This is what good fiction of any genre aspires to be; complex characters, stunning set pieces, and an epic tale brilliantly told.