A guy answers a personal ad, near the beginning of the story is the phrase "My name is legion". At one point he climbs a building and auto-regulates his own lactic acid buildup so that his muscles do not seize up.

What is this book?

  • Can u tell in which year u read? is that book belongs to 21st century or 20th century?
    – Arun
    Dec 25, 2013 at 6:23
  • Read this sometime in the 70's Dec 25, 2013 at 6:35

2 Answers 2


"A Trace of Memory" (1963) by Keith Laumer.

Chapter One:

The ad read: Soldier of fortune seeks companion in arms to share unusual adventure. Foster, Box 19, Mayport.

Later we meet Foster, who placed the ad:

"I'm Foster," he said, and held out his hand. I shook it.
"My name is Legion," I said.

Chapter 12. Legion is escaping his alien captors after downloading an alien encyclopedia direct to his brain:

I had to pull now, pull hard, heave myself up and over the edge, but I was tired, too tired. My crepe paper arms with the wooden hands seemed to belong to someone else, someone who'd been dead a long time . . .
But the someone was me: death was an old story, one that I wrote myself. This was something that had happened before, long ago, and the palindrome of life was finished where it started, and a dark curtain was falling . . .
Then from the darkness a voice was speaking in a strange language: a confusion of strange thought symbols, but through them an ever more insistent call:

  • . . . dilate the secondary vascular complex, shunt full conductivity to the upsilon neuro-channel. Now, stripping oxygen ions from fatty cell masses, pour in electro-chemical energy to the sinews . . .*

With a smooth surge of power I pulled myself up, fell forward, rolled onto my back, and lay on the flat roof, the beautiful flat roof, still warm from the day's sun.

Sorry, no mention of lactic acid.

  • Ah the sweet relief! Thank you so much ImaginaryEvents. And memory us such s fickle thing (re lactic acid). Now I am off to find it and read it. Dec 27, 2013 at 15:08

If I am correct, the book you are looking for is My Name is Legion written by American writer Roger Zelazny. It is a collection of three stories.

  • Thanks, I wish it was that easy, but a search of the text shows that the word lactic does not appear anywhere in the text, and the word legion appears only in the title. No, this one is going to be more difficult than that to track down. Dec 25, 2013 at 7:21
  • 2
    Did you look for "muscle", "muscles"? Memory may have supplied "lactic" in the years since you read the book. Dec 25, 2013 at 15:30
  • I am quite sure about the lactic acid because that was where I learned about it and it's effects on muscles. Dec 25, 2013 at 18:12
  • I'ts not the Zelazny book, the guy in the book doesnt have any control over his body hes just a skilled IT guy whos erased himself from all governmet records. In a future where everyone's ID is recored, he was part of the team who was doing the recording so made sure he wasnt in the system, he also has access to the system and is able to give himself new identites, hence the title
    – Dai
    Dec 26, 2013 at 0:29

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.