I remember reading this story in the early 1980s but don't remember if it was a newer release at the time. I do know I didn't buy the used paperback.

  • A man is injured in a space construction job (I think)
  • He wakes up to find he has been reconstructed
  • His cybernetic arm is limited to normal human strength but he hacks to enable superhuman strength with another cybernetic capability (able to interact at the microscopic level)
  • he calls it an "atomic screwdriver"??? I may just be conflating this with the Doctor Who sonic screwdriver name in my feeble memory but it wasn't a separate device but rather a built-in capability via cybernetic implant
  • I do remember he regrets that they restored his face to its original appearance rather than improving his looks :)

Anybody remember this book?

  • 1
    Nice first question! This is exactly what we want here. Welcome to scifi SE!
    – CHEESE
    Feb 9, 2016 at 2:14
  • Cyborg, by Martin Caidin (the basis of the Six Million Dollar Man)? wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborg_(novel) Feb 9, 2016 at 5:10
  • Not Cyborg, but thanks for the feedback. The book is placed in future earth. IIRC, working in space is a blue collar skill then.
    – Mike
    Feb 10, 2016 at 7:40

1 Answer 1


I think you are referring to "More Than the Sum of His Parts" (1985) by Joe Haldeman.

The protagonist is Wilson Cheetham, got injured in space and had face and half of his body destroyed. He is re-assembled as a cyborg and he wakes up drugged to the gills with mood drugs as the doctors explain to him what happened.

The whole story is a first-person journal of his life after the accident.

He has microscopic vision through fiber optics in his little finger, and he uses this to disable the strength governors on his cyborg leg, not arm. But he does do so in the manner you describe.

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