I'm trying to remember a title of a paperback book I read over 30 years ago.

It was set in a dystopian future where the whole of the Earth's society was constantly being moved around the Earth. The more of a danger that someone presented to The State the less time they were allowed to stay in any given area. Everything is keyed to your fingerprint (or something else, maybe) so once your time was up in the place you were at, you couldn't do anything--open doors, buy food, use public transportation, etc. The only thing you could do would be to get on the appointed form of transport to your new assigned destination.

I think the main character only has a one day pass, which means he has to travel to a new area every day. At one destination the main character meets a character named Toy (almost sure of that name), who tells him that obviously this whole system couldn't be run without at least a few who would never have to move. I don't remember anything else, but I think they were going to try to overthrow the whole system.

I've googled the hell of this but I've not found it. If anyone has a clue to the title or author of this book please let me know, I'd love to read it again.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! I like this question! You should still check out the suggestions to see if they help you remember anything else to edit into your question. For example, do you have any recollection of the cover?
    – DavidW
    Jun 19, 2019 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


Possibly Mankind on the run (1956) by Gordon R. Dickson. I haven't read it and don't have a copy handy to check, but the title seemed promising, and this quote from someone at the Goodreads site is intriguing:

A hypothetical future where the world's problems have been solved by setting humans into castes and where no one gets to stay in one place for more than six months.

  • 2
    This review on Goodreads has a lot more details on people in various categories having to move more or less often. (Class A => every 6 months, Class C => monthly, Class 1/2/3 => more often)
    – DavidW
    Jun 19, 2019 at 19:54
  • Sorry, it's not that one. But I had to check it.
    – madth3
    Jun 21, 2019 at 15:01

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