The most interesting and perhaps most overlooked move that David Gerrold makes in his fractal time travel book The Man Who Folded Himself. This classic work of science fiction is widely considered to be the ultimate time- travel novel. When Daniel Eakins inherits a time machine, he soon realizes that. With an introduction by Robert J. SawyerThe Man Who Folded Himself is a classic science fiction novel by award-winning author David Gerrold. This work was.
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The Man Who Folded Himself
This classic work of science fiction is widely considered to be the ultimate time-travel novel. When Daniel Eakins inherits a time machine, he soon realizes that he has enormous power to shape the course of history. He can foil terrorists, prevent assassinations, or just make some fast money at the racetrack. And if he doesn’t like the results of the change, he can simply This classic work of science hmself is widely considered to be the ultimate time-travel novel.
And if he doesn’t like the results of the change, he can simply go back in time and talk himself out of making it! But Dan soon finds that there are limits to his powers and forces beyond his control.
Paperbackpages. Published July 1st by BenBella Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book.
Aug 30, Apatt rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Man Who Folded Himself is stuffed to the gills with time travel paradoxes, bootstrap paradoxes even. Time travel—as a sci-fi trope—has many different models. Basically when the time traveler changes some key event in the past he does not change the future as such, instead, he creates a sort of bifurcation of reality, an alternate timeline where the future is different.
To quote from the Afterward of the book: To help ease dacid his future self calls himself Don, and our protagonist—for the moment—is called himself Dan. At the end of the day Don leaves to go to the future, and the next ggerrold Dan assume the role of Don to take his past self to the race hiself. And so it goes… Excellent gerrokd art by AlanGutierrez In a good time travel story, the internal logic has to make sense, causes must lead to understandable effects, even if the effects loop back to the causes.
Paradoxes in this kind of story are to be expected, required even, but they have to be logical in spite of being paradoxical. The Man Who Folded Himself has paradoxes in spades, and they are very cleverly thought out.
For example, there are more variants of Daniel Eakinses than you can shake a stick at, wh of them diverge very far dzvid the Daniel we started the novel with. foldev
I won’t spoil the extent of their divergence but the mind boggles. There are all kinds of Daniels from different stages of their lives, they often meet up and even have Gatsby style of all night parties. His their initial hesitation and eventual acceptance of who and what he they are.
Daniel also has a stab at a heterosexual relationship with even more mind-blowing consequences. I love this cover, it is the edition I first read decades ago. The first foldded narrative tye seems fairly ordinary but later in the book the narrator changes to different variants of Daniel and some of them are quite bizarre.
This is my personal favorite time travel novel, it may be a little weird, uncomfortable and even kinky to some, but it blows my mind over and over again. This is actually my second reading and it is unlikely to be the last. Even the cover art rings a bell: View all 11 comments. Jul 30, Bradley rated it it was amazing Shelves: So many great books out there, and then I come across this one that manages to mobilize, outwardly, all the things that go through our own minds about ourselves, our dreams, our sexuality, and our agency in our own lives.
And all it does is take the form of a short Time-Travel novel. I mean, seriously, let’s just throw out all paradox and assume, just for a moment, that all time travel iterations are possible.
This is the many, many, many-worlds interpretation. Go back and talk to yoursel So many great books out there, and then I come across this one that manages to mobilize, outwardly, all the things that go through our own minds about ourselves, our dreams, our sexuality, and our agency in our own lives. Go back and talk to yourself times infinity. No paradox, just added dimensions. That means you never need to be alone. That loving yourself and your lot in life takes on truly physical dimensions.
That neither money, events, or anything can stand in your way So is this a fantastic Time-Travel novel exploring all the far reaches of time and place, or is it an introspective novel exploring himself and everything that it means to be and to grow older and sometimes wiser?
Plus I really love how it handles masturbation. I mean, if you’re with yourself The whole novel is very Plato, only it’s also extremely entertaining even as it hammers home some really delicious philosophy without ever naming it as such. This is really good mind-candy. Daydream stuff taken to wonderful extremes.
It was also nominated for many awards, but that’s not nearly as important as how interesting and available this book is, even to us jaded modern readers.
This is some really good stuff! I’m loving my time-travel kick!
Vavid all 8 comments. MangoLoverReads What a great review! Bradley Well, point of fact, it was written a year before I was born Nov 17, Richard Derus rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: But Dan soon finds that there are li Rating: Danny’s been livin’ the mam life, thanks to a bequest from his mysterious old uncle.
One day, the gravy train ends, and Danny has to make his own way. A very special time-travel-enabling belt.
The Man Who Folded Himself | Iambik
An exploration of adolescent exceptionalism, a meditation on the establishment, building, and defense of identity, and an astonishingly rare representation of gay maleness in science fiction.
The author, who penned “The Trouble with Tribbles” for the original “Star Trek” series, tackles all this heaviness in less than pp, and never makes it feel like any tackling is being done.
Deft and timely even now, Gerrold’s unapologetically gay Danny is mildly surprising even in the modern SFnal world. For my teenaged self, this book blew into my life at a time when I was under emotional siege from the forces of Jesus. It was a lifeline thrown from a grown person to my too-young-to-run self.
If he could write this book, there was a world that didn’t loathe me, because here was something written, published, and sold with me in it! I endured many a screaming, hectoring, sermonizing hour thinking that thought. If you suspect some youth of your acquaintance might be struggling to think positively of himself because he’s probably gay, think about giving him this book.
It can’t hurt, and it might do him a world of good.
On Reading: “The Man Who Folded Himself” by David Gerrold – Minefield Wonderland
ETA a few musings and a quote. In going back over the edition of this book, I thought to compare it to the edition that blew my mind wide open when first read I was not going to sleep a peaceful night until I found a room full of men having sex with each other and diving in. Nan has done a light but thoroughgoing job of making alterations to the book that reflect thirty years’ growth in himself and the world.
It was lovely to see, and BenBella deserves our thanks for making room in this timeline for it to happen.
I’ve pushed my rating to five stars because, thinking back on it, any minor quibbles I’ve made vanish in the arc-light of this novel’s originality in a musty, stuffy, conservative genre.
I’ve said in other reviews Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand that re-reads of the peak experiences of bygone days are hazardous to one’s ego.
I’ve always praised this book as a well-written, risk-taking, genre-expanding chef d’oeuvre by a writer whose fame came early. I was right then, I’m right now The frame been dusted and re-gilded to keep the portrait sharply focused. It takes nothing away from the central and beautiful idea of the book, the inner life of an infinity of people contained in one-many-same-different body-brain-spirit.
I worked and worked to make that sentence make sense and I think I was only marginally successful, but I don’t know how to make it better. If I figure it out, I will change it. That’s a better review of this book than any I could have dreamed up before. My body has not experienced its years in sequence. But it has experienced years. And it himeelf aged. And my mind has been carried headlong with gerrrold lump of flesh travels through time its own way, in a way that no man has the power to change.
Perhaps I’m not a mind at all. Perhaps I’m only a body pretending the vanity of being something more. Perhaps it’s only the fact that language, which allows me to manipulate symbols, ideas, and concepts, also proves the awareness of self that precedes the inevitable analysis. I have spent a lifetime analyzing my life.
And rewriting it to suit me. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.