For example, the boy had to walk his whole day backwards as a way to untwist himself. His need to repeat all his daily actions in reverse was almost like watching a movie in reverse. The boy was the ONLY person in the novel who had to do this.

I want to cite this behavior and author in an essay I am writing. I believe the novel was published before 1990.

  • I don't really see the science fiction or fantasy in the question. Unless the boy was under a magic spell or he was a robot or something. Do you have any other memories of the tale that are more sci-fi related? If not, you might get a better answer at Literature.StackExchange.com Oct 18, 2011 at 21:46
  • I KNOW it was sci fi or fantasy because the boy had a destiny out in the stars. Plus, the boy committed impossible gymnastics while "performing backwards." Memory TOLD ME the author was Alfred Bester, but I combed the Bester books I had read and found no such boy. Oct 19, 2011 at 1:34
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    You might want to edit your question with more info, then. When did you read the book? When do you think it was published? Was it a short story or a novel? Any details that would help identify the story are pertinent. Oct 19, 2011 at 1:51
  • I remember this novel as well. The boy was adopted, and he had been conceived in space and so he had an absolute sense of direction different from those born on earth. I read it in the 1970s, I think.
    – user11896
    Jan 12, 2013 at 7:26
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    This may have been answered already:scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/41273/… Boy born in space, doing counter movements.
    – KenM
    Jan 19, 2015 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure if it is exactly the story you are asking about, but I'll answer it anyway. May be it will be useful for your essay also. There is a short story by Roger Zelazny in which the main character is going backwards his life called "Divine Madness".

  • 1
    Divine Madness is not the story, but much appreciation for your suggestion, which prompted me to read the story immediately. And THANKS too for saying "may be useful for your essay also." It may be. I will let that notion simmer for a while. If you had not said that, I would not have thought it, so locked in am I on finding the backwards boy. You have opened a door here. thanks. Oct 22, 2011 at 14:19

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