The story is about a boy living in a society where those with mental powers are in control and can pilot between the stars. He's supposedly born to powerless parents, but discovers he has mental powers greater than anyone he has met.

When discovered and confronted by a man, the boy accidentally kills him by shooting a pebble he was holding into the man's chest. Later, the boy participates in a mental battle where the winner is the one who can hold the greatest number of objects in the air, and then attack with an object that the loser couldn't hold.

The boy uses a piece of wire stretched taut and strengthened by his mind to slice slabs of granite, and then levitates the slabs to create a house. The boy also can fly over ground and "see" gold and other precious elements in the ground, and mentally extract them from the ground to gather and sell.

  • Was this a book or short story? About what year was it printed or read? Nov 2, 2013 at 9:46
  • Can't remember any more as it seems to be 20 years or more since I read the story. This one has bothered me for years
    – user19366
    Nov 2, 2013 at 11:01

1 Answer 1


The Star-Crowned Kings (1975) by Robert Chilson.

Race Warden was his name and he was a human being trying to live peacefully in his allotted niche on the colony world Mavia...until the day he moved a stone slab by mental projection. Until that moment, he had regarded himself as a simple pawn on the vast social board. But it raised him to a higher status at once - possibly a castle or bishop or knight. The kings of the board, they who ruled the human cosmos, had the telkinetic-telepathic power. They had crowned themselves with the stars and all the rest of humanity were theirs to move or sacrifice as they wished.

But a maverick mentalist - even one like Race who did not even know the rules of their games nor the extent of his place - was not to be tolerated. He had to be removed from the board before he broke up their cozy zodiac.

  • 1
    Bulls-eye. How do I give you a thousand points for answering a question that has plagued me for years? Thank you.
    – user19366
    Nov 3, 2013 at 8:52

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