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[PDF / Epub] ★ The Man Who Folded Himself Author David Gerrold –

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 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

10 thoughts on “The Man Who Folded Himself

  1. says:

    Rating 5 of fiveThe Publisher Says 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 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.My Review Danny s been livin the high life, thanks to a bequest from his mysterious old uncle One day, the gravy train ends, and Danny has to make his own way With a belt A very special time travel enabling belt.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 200pp, 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 The ewww ick they do WHAT homophobes need fear nothing, there s no raunch in Danny s journey of self discovery of a sort I ve never seen again.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.ETA a few musings and a quote In going back over the 2003 edition of this book, I thought to compare it to the 1973 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 Gerrold 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 Books 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 And world.I ve said in other reviews see 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 nowthis book s genre bending continues because, despite the presence of many other QUILTBAG characters in current SF F, the main character of this book remains unique and speaks with an evergreen honesty The frame has 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 there s a better review of this book than any I could have dreamed up before.And that quote My body has not experienced its years in sequence But it has experienced years And it has aged And my mind has been carried headlong with it this 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 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 Living it And rewriting it to suit me.

  2. says:

    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non linear, non subjective viewpoint it s like a big ball of wibbly wobbly time y wimey stuff Doctor WhoI have reviewed several time traveling novels, but this is the first time I feel the above DW quote from the fan favorite episode Blink is appropriate 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 In some novels time is immutable The Time Traveler s Wife for example in others changing the past will lead to catastrophic changes Ray Bradbury s A Sound of Thunder springs to mind One of my favorite variants of the time traveling trope is the timestream model 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 You cannot use the timebelt to stop the Holocaust by murdering Hitler when he was 20, you can only create a universe where the Holocaust never happened The above mentioned timebelt is the time traveling device used by David Gerrold in this novel You may think A belt, how silly , but given that time traveling is impossible the size of shape of the time machine should not matter too much.Daniel Eakins is the eponymous Man Who Folded Himself , his uncle Jim bequeathed the device to him His first time traveling trip is just twenty minutes into the future, to verify the device works, on his second ambitious trip is to his tomorrow , he meets his future self To help ease confusion his future self calls himself Don, and our protagonist for the moment is called himself Dan Don and Dan go to a race track and win thousands of Dollars, thanks to Don s foreknowledge of the winners At the end of the day Don leaves to go to the future, and the next day Dan assume the role of Don to take his past self to the race track And so it goes Excellent cover 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 variants of Daniel Eakinses than you can shake a stick at, some of them diverge very far from the Daniel we started the novel with 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 One side of The Man Who Folded Himself is the fun thought experiment of the implications of time traveling and meeting oneself, but a different aspect of the book is Gerrold s exploration of homosexuality a theme close to his heart, based on his own sexual orientation Daniel s bizarre romance with his male partner gives a new meaning to that clich platitude Learn to love yourself 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 mind blowing consequences I love this cover, it is the edition I first read decades ago The Man Who Folded Himself literally breaks my brain with its timey wimey weirdness, but there is also a surprising degree of sadness, pathos, and philosophical musings The first person narrative initially seems fairly ordinary but later in the book the narrator changes to different variants of Daniel and some of them are quite bizarre The twist at the end literally knocked me for a loop 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 ________________ A bee in my bonnet view spoiler There is only one character in the entire book hide spoiler

  3. says:

    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 Amazing.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 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 except your PoV grows older, naturally, and so if you re trying to revisit your own youth, you can, but your youth may not really appreciate YOU 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 Well, both Plus I really love how it handles masturbation I mean, if you re with yourself lol anyway of course there s a couple of really great spoiler moments, too, but even those become a dialogue of what it means to be a man or a woman and the ultimate absurdity of it all, and I loved that, too 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 Well, 1973 isn t that old This is some really good stuff I m loving my time travel kick

  4. says:

    When Daniel Eakins s Uncle Jim dies, he inherits a belt that allows him to travel through timeI haven t had a ton of time to read since my son was born In fact, I m typing this with him asleep in the crook of my arm The two or three weeks it took me to finish this are no indication of the book s quality It was pretty fucking good.In The Man Who Folded Himself, David Gerrold uses Daniel Eakins to explore the nature of time and of man himself The way he handles time travel has been used by other writers since this book s original publication changing the past creates a parallel universe and the time traveler is the only one who knows of the existence of the previous timeline.Daniel travels through time, meeting other versions of himself, and sometimes having sex with them., sometimes with multiple versions at a time Is it gay if you re having sex with another version of yourself Joking aside, Daniel goes on a journey of self discovery and ultimately winds up back where he started, as I suspected he might The Man Who Folded Himself may be the best time travel story I ve ever read 4.5 out of 5 tribbles.

  5. says:

    There s genres, sub genres, and sub sub genres Science fiction is a genre the time travel story is a sub genre and, I would argue at any rate, the time travel story where you end up having sex with yourself is a sub sub genre Someone must have written a dissertation on it by now I m guessing that All You Zombies is marked as the first time the idea is used by a well known SF writer no doubt the author of the dissertation has managed to locate several unknowns who got there before Heinlein And Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me is presumably the point where it went mainstream Perhaps The Man Who Folded Himself is some kind of milestone too The first time someone wrote a full length SF novel in which the main theme is using time travel in order to have sex with both male and female versions of yourself I think I d better leave this to the experts If you have opinions, feel free to answer my poll

  6. says:

    Actual rating 2.96642203659 stars This started out to be Super Extra Good SEG but turned out to be Super Extra Meh SEM Which is Slightly Very Outrageous since the book was written the glorious year I was born Which should have obviously guaranteed its Super Extra Goodness SEG Which it didn t Which is Slightly Very Discombobulating SVD , if you ask me.

  7. says:

    Dec 28, 2009 David Gerrold uses time travel to develop an extended metaphor for human life The potentials of time travel take the loneliness, the quest for self knowledge, and the futile quest to understand why we exist as ourselves to the most literal and profound extremes The almost omnipotent protagonist Eakins constantly reshapes the timestream he exists in to suit his changing personality, and thus all his character developments become quite literally reflected in the world around him The tone is lonely and almost tragic near the end, showing that nothing not money, not love, not even time travel, can protect us from the oft unbearable aloneness of being, nor spare us the inevitable changes and losses Time imposes The book is written in somewhat subdued diary format, which helps communicate the central issue of the plot the developments of Daniel Eakins character It is very simple, and reads phenomenally quickly While many issues are only treated briefly, and the mechanics of time travel are perhaps wisely only alluded to, I was fascinated by the implications of time travel that were explored It was also one of the most personal, intimate, and philosophical books I ve ever read It spoke to me resonated with things I ve thought many times before, and gave a strong impression of the sense of hugeness The Big Questions have for us, which to me is quite spiritual and enjoyable Truly a strange and wonderful book.

  8. says:

    I can t say enough good things about this book, but I can definitively narrow down all the bad things into one simple sentence Too short.I ve read this book twice maybe actually three times and both times, I ve read it in one single sitting about three hours It s highly energetic and very entertaining The pages all but turn themselves.The story is about a boy who opens a box, and finds a belt in it, and a journal The journal is a collection of entries by all the people who have worn the belt The belt allows the wearer to time travel Gerrold thought of every angle here Every paradox, every enigma and every puzzle you can think of tied to the time travel question is in this book Yes, you will run into other versions of yourself Yes, you could kill your grandfather and wipe yourself out of existence He covers every bit of that to the point that it sufficiently wipes out any doubt you have about the validity of the story Like I always say, if you give me enough science even a science you made up specifically for selling me the story of your book and make it believable enough, I ll buy the fiction I don t believe in time travel, but yet it s my favorite sub genre And this is my favorite time travel book That s close to saying it should be my favorite book of all time Well it s not that, but it s in the top three or four.Please remember one thing when reading this book The book starts with one simple sentence paraphrasing from memory In the box there was a belt and a book Just remember that as you turn the pages of The Man Who Folded Himself you are reading the book that was in that box I was wondering why the perspective and point of view changed so drastically occasionally, until I finally realized I was reading that book The book in the box If you keep that in mind from the first page, you ll enjoy and understand the book a lot better.

  9. says:

    This book wasn t what I was looking for.I wanted a book about time travel, about changing the past and the future, and about some sort of time machine device That s what I was expecting based on the cover and the description And yes, I got that, but I also got a lot of ruminations on how time travel works, how it affects the world, and how it affects Dan This book is full of lots and lots of internal monologue Not much action Not even much time travel, when compared to the amount of thinking that goes on.A very large portion of that thinking was with respect to sexuality If that s what you re in the mood for, then yeah, read the book But it didn t meet my expectations, and that is reflected by my rating.And now, I have to give you the spoiler tag view spoiler The main character, Dan, goes backward and forward in time enough, and returns to the same places enough, that he encounters himself a lot At first that was interesting Then the the book took a turn that was odd for me, when he has sex with himself Not just once, mind you he repeatedly has sex with himself Seduces younger versions of himself Has orgies with multiple copies himself.Then he changes enough about the world that, in at least one variant, he was born as a woman And you guessed it he has sex with her He spends some time thinking about how sex with his female self is different from sex with his male self.Although I was a tad uncomfortable with the repeated sex with himself, I could maybe accept that there might be a natural curiosity there I would have been fine with it had it not continued on and on and on It got a little weird hide spoiler

  10. says:

    This is a lovely little mindbender of a book not hard science, for those who are so inclined But a true literature of ideas, looking at identity and self through the lens of time travel, through one man and all the versions of himself and how he chooses to use it.He is not a representative man, that s for sure He is self absorbed to a fault, choosing, once he has acquired a time travel belt, to socialize only with himself.Note The rest of this review has been withheld due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook