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Maybe 40-50 years ago, there was a story in a Playboy anthology, with a white cover, of a man who awoke and found he was 12 years old (?) again, but had all his memories. He almost immediately used his knowledge and his boy scout knife to put the fear of god into his older brother, who the first time around picked on him a lot.

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    I only ever read Playboy for the SF stories.
    – Moriarty
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 22:25
  • Possibly this anthology isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?45400
    – Andrew
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 22:28
  • You and me both, @Moriarty scifi.stackexchange.com/a/86794/28516 Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 0:18
  • @Andrew That appears to be the only anthology of Playboy-published SF released in the suggested timeframe.
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 3:51
  • @Chase51 I went through The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy (1966), which seems to be their only SF collection published before the end of the 1980s, and there aren't any matching stories in it.
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 4:04

1 Answer 1

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It's a bit of a long shot, but since I didn't find a story at all like this in The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy (1966), which is the only anthology of SF published in Playboy I can find before 1990, it's possible that other details are confused as well.

The immediate story I think of when a man is thrown back into his boyhood body with his adult memories is "Time and Time Again" (1947) by H. Beam Piper. The boy is thirteen, not twelve, and his first attempt to change history is to prevent a neighbour from killing his wife. You can read the entire story at Project Gutenberg.

The story famously ends with the line "when you grow up, I'll be president.... Let's go get supper, now."

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  • Query: use of the term "famously"? Is this a term that has been used elsewhere? Certainly "you'll grow up to be president", but this particular version I have not heard. Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 15:07
  • @MauryMarkowitz Well this is, at least in my experience, a rather well-known inversion of the standard saying; I think I've even heard it repurposed to other (time-travel related) contexts.
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 15:28

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