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I don't remember much about the story or any of the character's names. The story took place on a space station, and vaguely remember that the space station was a multi-ringed structure. I do remember a scene where the hero was being tested about various gravity levels, and was in an elevator which went to various levels of the space station. He flexed his knees at one level to determine where he was on the station.

I read the book when I was a child, back in the mid to late 1970's. It was a hand-me down book from one of my uncles, so I don't believe that there was any dust-jacket on the cover, which all I remember was plain. The hero was definitely a male, I believe Caucasion. I had been updating my list of books in goodreads and the memory of the scene just jumped out at me. Perhaps Clarke, but the only things I distinctly remember reading of his was 2001, 2010, Dolphin Island, and later, the Cradle. This book felt like old Disney Tomorrow Land / Robby the Robot era sci-fi.

  • If you click through on the Story Identification tag and click Learn More, you should be directed to a description of the tag which includes a series of questions to ask yourself to help prompt for details. When did you read it? Where did you read it? Do you remember anything about the cover? Was the hero definitely male? Do you remember if he was Caucasian or another race? – FuzzyBoots Sep 7 '16 at 2:34
  • Arthur C. Clarke would have been writing about space stations fitting that description near that time period (thinking of Rendevous with Rama, although that was early 70's) – NKCampbell Sep 7 '16 at 4:18
  • Robert A. Heinlein was writing from the 1930s into the 1980s, but nothing of his specifically jumps out at me as matching this description. – Peregrine Rook Sep 7 '16 at 7:31
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    I read the book when I was a child, back in the mid to late 1970's. It was a hand-me down book from one of my uncles, so I don't believe that there was any dust-jacket on the cover, which all I remember was plain. The hero was definitely a male, I believe Caucasion. I had been updating my list of books in goodreads and the memory of the scene just jumped out at me. Perhaps Clarke, but the only things I distinctly remember reading of his was 2001, 2010, Dolphin Island, and later, the Cradle. This book felt like old Disney Tomorrow Land / Robby the Robot era sci-fi. – Harold Sep 8 '16 at 0:00
  • The flexing knees to determine level (by testing centripetal acceleration that simulates gravity) is something I'd associate with Heinlein, but I don't recall any one Heinlein story with this combination of features. Space Cadet had some of them, Have Space Suit, Will Travel others. – Zeiss Ikon Jul 20 '17 at 18:17
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Could it have been Islands in the Sky By Arthur C. Clarke? It's about a boy who wins a science trivia contest, his prize being to go anywhere in the world. The boy chooses an orbital station, arguing that, as the station is in freefall in Earth's orbit, it is not technically in space and is therefore eligible. He wins the argument and spends a year as an exchange student on the station.

It was written from the point of view of the boy (I believe as a letter to his family back on earth), and had a sense of wonder and innocence that may fit your "Disney Tomorrow Land / Robby the Robot" impression. The station itself was a torus, which simulated gravity around the outer rings, but he spent a lot of time in a low-g environment near the centre of the station.

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