Looking for questions I could answer triggered one of my own. I read a 1970-ish book that I remember the jacket stating was the inspiration for the 6 Million Dollar Man, which is why I would have picked it up. I strongly recall it being called The Cyborg.
So I googled it, and sure enough, Google has a little blurb about Cyborg by Caiden, which claims to be the inspiration for the TV show. It talks about Steve Austin.
But the thing is, the book I read was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the TV show.
The book opens with the protagonist, definitely not Steve Austin, watching a falling star. He lives in a small village, I think in the English countryside (?) in the 1950s, but something is weird about the town.
Over time we learn he is actually an experiment; the world outside the village is teaming with people and falling apart, and they're hoping to breed a superhuman to solve all its problems. To do this, they want him to have the perfect upbringing, so they constructed an idyllic village at immense cost. By the end of the book...
...he's this gigantic floating brain and is completely out of control. When the President (of the World?) visits, the protagonist uses telepathy to stop the rotors, one-by-one, of the President's ten-rotor helicopter. The President saves the day by crashing into the brain.
I recall ending the book and thinking "what the hell did that have to do with cyborgs?!"
I also recall that all future transport was helicopter based, including one enormous example. We later learn the falling star of the opening scene was actually a helicopter coming in to land in a hidden area.
I don't want to read it again -it stank even as a tween- but now I'm really curious if this really was Caiden?