After spending thirty four years on Garbage World and a fatal encounter with a Polymorph. Dave Lister died of a heart attack aged 61. His body was taken into a universe where time ran backwards, where he took the name Retsil Evad and left after de-aging into a teenager. He now lives in an alternate universe along with the Cat where the two had died playing the game Better Than Life, with that universe's version of Kryten and Rimmer.
After dying from a heart attack in his original Universe at the age of 61, the Red Dwarf crew transport his body to Universe 3, a Universe which is almost identical to their own, except time moves backwards. They also transport Kristine Kochanski's remains here. They arrive on htraE in the year 2025 (judging by a mention of the Berlin Wall in the novel, it is assumed that this is the date Lister returns to life). Lister returns from the dead, experiences two heart attacks, taken from the hospital to a café, where he un-drinks a coffee, then leaves, where a mugger gives him his wallet and watch back at knife point. Utterly bemused, he looks into his wallet and finds his driving license and finds his name printed backwards. He finally realises the strange nature of this reality. While in a taxi he finds a newspaper and finds a message printed forwards, instructing him to meet them at a souvenir shop at Niagara Falls in thirty six years time. The taxi takes him to his home and discovers to his joy that Kristine Kochanski is here waiting for him, to live their lives getting younger.
Backwards life and prison
For the next thirty six years, not much is known about Lister's reverse living. He worked out that he would be a success, due to the size of his mansion. Immediately after his rebirth, his body grew accustomed to the physical laws of this planet, such as backwards eating and toilet breaks. At some point he learnt how to speak "back talk", the name he gave to backwards English, as well as its grammatical structure. At some point he lived in America and was father to twins Yelxeb and Mij. They got younger and younger and were eventually un-born. He had a backwards relationship with Kochanski, eventually "ending" when they were introduced one year before the end of his sentence.. Sadly for Lister, Kochanski promptly forgot him due to her being more of a native of this world. At some point they owned a "Food Deposit Service", their name for a backwards restaurant.
At some point, roughly when he was 33, Lister was unreleased from prison for "killing" a man with a pickaxe. He un-served eight years in prison, which he found to have been a hellish experience. Due to his forward temporal thinking, he had no idea whether he had murdered the man. All he knew is that the Cat had been spotted but had never been caught. At the start of his sentence, he went through the reverse process of being sentenced, going on trail and being arrested.
Arrest and reunion with the Boys From the Dwarf
When he was 25, his original age, Lister was in a police van, suffering several injuries due to a police beating he was about to experience. He was promptly un-arrested and had a backwards skuffle with the police outside the Souvenir Shop at Niagara Falls, as seen by the Cat, Kryten and Rimmer . The crew shared brief greetings, and in Rimmer's case an insult. Moving in reverse, Lister explains that, due to the backwards nature of time, they must be un-chased by the police, as no one mentioned spotting Rimmer or Kryten. The gang have a series of strange backward experiences, most notably a reverse car chase and theft, where a hillbilly unshoots at them. The hillbilly, furious for some reason un-spots them and goes back to his cabin, angrily waiting for someone. The crew find a damaged Starbug, much to the joy of Lister. They examine the damage to Starbug and are unable to work out what had happened. The previous night, while looking for a damaged engine, Kryten discovers the body of the hillbilly who chased them horribly murdered with a pickaxe in his chest. Kryten is confused, as they had seen him alive. Kryten deduced that the victim was a close relative to the first man they had saw. Suddenly the corpse woke and had a furious struggle with Kryten, who removed the pickaxe from the man. When the man left, Kryten played the incident forward and realised to his horror that he had committed the crime that Lister was sent to prison for. Rimmer explained the commotion to Lister, who was stunned to finally learn the truth that he was innocent. Lister did not appear to resent Kryten at all, probably realising that Kryten had no intention of killing. Earlier on, the crew try to reverse land Starbug, in order to return to their native Universe. They ultimately fail and find out that the next opportunity to return to their Universe is in ten years time.
Youth and departureIn the following ten years, Lister is now 15 years old and has gone through puberty in reverse. He has severe mood swings, is petulant and rebellious, not to mention sexually active. His relationship with Rimmer comes to the point of vulgar hand gestures at Rimmer's insults. They eventually leave htraE for their own Universe, after learning that they were hit by a missile after being detected by the United States "Star Wars" defence system. Once in space they set a course for a nearby wormhole, which will be three weeks away.
The Search for Red Dwarf
A New Home
- By his final appearance, Lister is biologically 15 years old. He has lived and de-lived a total of 107 years.