Mostly I read non-fiction but from time to time, I read fiction as well. And I plan to do it even more in future. So I still didnt read some of the greates fiction titles that most people are claiming…to be greatest fiction titles. However, of all the fiction books that I have read, one of my favorite is book that you probably dont even know that it exists. It is not some kind of super-famous book…and it is not even some kind of special book. It is very ordinary book. And that book is ‘To the Stars’ by L. Ron Hubbard.
Now, there is a lot of controversy around Hubbard and his life, since he is a founder of Scientology. I just want to make clear that I am not a scientologist, I never met one…And to be honest..I dont even know much about them. So, lets just leave all that controversy on side and lets talk about this book.
‘To the Stars’ is science-fiction book. And it is a story of destiny, life, growing up, becoming more tough, tragedy, loss, purpose and etc… I think every young man should read this book.
It is a story about young man named Alan Corday. Alan is young engineer. A brilliant engineer.. But as a person, Alan is still young, naive, poor and wears rose-colored glasses. He is in love with his girlfriend (fiancee) and she is everything to him. One day, Alan is wandering around, thinking about jobs, about money… He is trying to solve that problem. Not expecting anything, Alan gets kidnapped by some star-ship that is traveling through the universe. Commander of that ship is captain Jocelyn…and he explains to Alan what is purpose of that ship, while they are traveling through universe..and that they need his knowledge and his skills… so he is supposed to travel with them around the universe..and after few weeks, they will visit again planet Earth and then he can go. Of course, Alan doesnt agree with that but in reality he cannot do nothing about it. Whats even worse, he cannot let her girlfriend to know where he is.
Alan is already worried…but he becomes even more worried when he realizes one fact and that is, as mass approaches infinity, time approaches zero..meaning that couple of weeks traveling at light-speed through universe, means couple of years and even decades on Earth.. And that means that when he comes back to Earth in few weeks, his fiancee will already be old woman.
I dont have to tell you how Alan is feeling about it. He is in deep inner turmoil. He is calculating. He is thinking that she will probably think that he is dead… he is calculating how old she will be.. and he is ready to be with her even if she is old..what, love is love. All kind of thoughts are going through Alan’s head…and he cant do nothing about it. All he can do is to stop resisting his duty and tasks on this ship and give his best so that they return to Earth as quick as possible. So he is working tirelessly. He is studying.. He wants to know more…Every minute on that ship, he is working, studying, and thinking how can ship go even faster…
Couple of weeks has gone by, and they are returning to the Earth. When they came back… Alan was a free man. Free to go from that ship. He is walking around and everything is so different. He tries to find old places, but he is finding only new buildings, new factories…nothing is the same. Finally, he founds a house where his fiancee is living. In that house was some man..some kind of butler lets say. He was taking care of old lady. And when Alan saw his fiancee, his lovely girlfriend…she is now 80 years old old-lady. And plus, she has become totally crazy. She is talking non-sense, she cannot understand that this is her Alan, mentally, she is gone.. Butler just said to Alan to not pay attention to what she is talking, because she is crazy, mentally-ill… He said to him that she is talking about her husband Alan and their children…but it is only an imagination because she never got married…She is just crazy old-woman that is living in fantasy world. Nobody was able to understand what this old woman was saying..but Alan could understand it. He knew what is going on. However, he exit the house…and he gave this butler all the money that he earned on his space travel…And he earned a lots of money on that travel. „Take care of old lady“ – he said to butler. Butler was amazed by amount of money that he gave… „But who are you?“ – butler asked Alan..and Alan just walked away. He was walking around the town with no purpose. Just walking and thinking. Suddenly, it starts to rain..and he remembered that while she was talking all that non-sense, she mentioned that it will rain.
Next scene in the book, Alan is again on that same star-ship traveling through the universe. I mean what he can do? Earth is not his home anymore..he got nowhere to go, nothing to do…It seems that space traveling and this ship has become his destiny. But he in not anymore naive, rose-colored glasses Alan. He is different now. Dedicated to his craft, he works constantly and he is definitely a best engineer on the ship. And story continues..There were still lots of adventures but I will not get into details because it is not so important…but at the end, Alan became a captain of that ship. He hated captain Jocelyn. Jocelyn was a kind of person that Alan never wants to become. But at moment of his death, Jocelyn said to Alan that he is very proud of him and that he gives him his title of being a captain of ship. He admits to Alan that he was manipulating him all the time and that he was using him…but thats only because he saw a great potential in Alan, in that brilliant young engineer who needed direction in life. Becoming a captain, very soon Alan start to behave just like Jocelyn…just like a person that he was hating all the time. And he was doing all the things that Jocelyn was doing although he thought that he will never do it.
I mean, this story is just a great teacher I think. Every young man should read books like this. Because it is a story of man that has lot of potential but doesnt have direction in life…which is very common in today’s world..then, every man I think..or at least, almost every man will be in love with some woman and he will think that is love of his life…and something will happen…and it will end. Most people go through that and most people get their heart broken multiple times in their lives. That is just a reality.
And at the end, it is a book of growing up, of painful transformation and accepting your destiny.