Book Bleg

I am trying to remember the name of a science fiction novel that came probably between 5 and 10 years ago.  The novel centers around a man who is strongly OCD (or Aspergers maybe), who tries to closely adhere to a very set process and schedule for his life, else reality will "unravel," bringing both small and large changes in his life (ie he finds his home somewhere else).  It turns out that what is in fact happening is that he can jump between parallel universes, and eventually he is called on to use this skill to save all the universes from some catastrophe.  Does that ring any bells with anyone?  I know a couple of kids who are old enough to understand they have similar traits that might appreciate them at the center of a novel.

By the way, I seem to remember Orson Scott Card (?)  has a novel where the main character was OCD, where folks who had certain compulsions were treated as prophets.  Can't remember the name of that one either.  I remember the protagonist would trace cracks on the floor when she got upset.

Update: Found it:  Resonance.  Thanks to commenter Joe Martin.  He has a link to it in the Baen free library.


  1. KR:

    The OSC novel you're thinking of is "Xenocide", the second sequel to "Ender's Game".

    Relevant xkcd:

    Don't know the first one though.

  2. pegr:

    I jumped into the comments hoping to see someone had posted the answer. (taps foot...)


  3. Sorter Stacker:

    Wow, and I thought my need to triple check if my car was locked when I park was just weird. Now I can be a prophet?

  4. Robert:

    I believe the Orson Scott Card book you are referring to was Songmaster. If I have the correct book - the OCD behavior involved following the lines in tiled/wooded floors.

  5. David:

    @Robert, no, the OSC book is definitely Xenocide. I'd love to know the other book - I initially thought you meant Elizabeth Moon's The Speed of Dark but that's not it (that's good too, though).

  6. Alina Adams:

    The Card book is actually, I believe two books. There's Ender's Game, then Speaker For the Dead, then the next two, which were supposed to be one, but he split them into two, causing a lot of padding in both, IMHO (not to mention that Ender's wife gets a new personality in each, to best serve the plot). And while the prophet kids do have all the symptoms of OCD (including one girl who follows the grains on the floor), he makes a point of saying that this is NOT OCD, since, to test them, they are given the drugs that treat OCD and only the true profits are still... OCDish. (That said, his follow up Bean books from the same series, are great.)

  7. greg:

    you know several kids who can shift between dimensions??! that's crazy...I only know 1.

  8. Joe Martin:

    I believe you're thinking of Resonance by Chris Dolley. It's even available in the Baen Free Library.

  9. admin:

    Thanks Joe, that is it.

  10. Dr. T:

    Another excellent book with an autistic protagonist is "The Speed of Dark" by Elizabeth Moon. It's very different from her usual science fiction and fantasy novels, so it's worth reading even if you don't like her Vatta's War or Deed of Paksenarrion books.

  11. John Markley:

    Excellent book. I have Aspergers and was quite impressed by the characterization of the protagonist in Resonance; Dolley did a really good job with him.

  12. Kris:

    You might want to check out Cryptonomicon. The main character in one of the plot arcs has similar traits.