Danny Eakins, 19 and attending college on a $400 a week stipend administered by his uncle Jim, learns that his parents left him fabulously wealthy and his stipend will be raised if he keeps a journal. Uncle Jim dies shortly after, and Danny learns he is worth only $6,000 after all. Or is he? Among his uncle's effects is a belt for time travel. Soon Danny is using it to win big at gambling on horses and investing through history, as well as to visit historic events he always wanted to see ("The guy who was supposed to pound in the gold spike slipped and fell in the mud"), but he also starts meeting different versions of himself -- older, younger, even female! This short, early novel of Gerrold's is somewhat simple but plays engagingly with the issues and paradoxes of traveling through time.
This report prepared by David Loftus
The main character mysteriously receives a device called a 'time belt.' As he learns to use the belt, he discovers the plasticity of time. He also: falls in homosexual love with past and future versions of himself; falls in heterosexual love with an alternate female version of himself; screws up history; unscrews history; and ultimately dies. Upon his death, his other selves send the time belt back to his youngest self to begin the cycle.
This report prepared by Brian R. Hughes