Malachi Constant is a selfish billionaire until he meets Winston Miles Rumfoord. Rumfoord ran his space ship into a phenomenon that turned him into a timeless wave,
materializing regularly at different points in the solar system. He is being manipulated by a robot society on a distant planet to deliver a spare part to their messenger, Salo, on Titan.
Rumfoord does some manipulating himself. He tells Constant that he will have a child with his (Rumfoord's) wife, Beatrice. Malachi doesn't like Mrs.Rumfoord and doesn't want to leave earth. In attempting to escape his fate, he loses his fortume. Moneyless, he is easy to recruit for the army of Mars being assembled by Rumfoord who, unknowingly, is doing it for the robot society. Beatrice is tricked into going to Mars with Constant. Their son Chrono is conceived on the trip.
After going to Mars, Constant is sent to Mercury and then back to earth where he is reunited with Beatrice and 11-year-old Chrono who has a "good luck piece" from Mars that turns out to be the spare part for Salo. Rumfoord (during a materialization) sends all three to Titan. There, Rumfoord is spun off to somewhere else in the universe, Chrono joins a bird society, and Constant and Beatrice grow old together, falling in love at last.
When Beatrice dies Salo flies Constant to earth, landing in a snow storm. Constant dies waiting for a bus.
The review of this Book prepared by Shelagh Pratt Mooberry
A wealthy old money aristocrat took his spaceship and flew it right into something that spreads him all across time and lets him see all of human history and future. However, he only occasionaly appears on Earth. During one visit, he meets with a very rich young man who inherited all his wealth. The old man tells somethings to the yound man which cause him to ending bankrupting himself. His last resort is to fall back on a strange offer he recieved to go to Mars. It turns out that an army is being build on Mars for the purpose of invading Earth. But by who? No one seems to know, not even the officers. There appears to be no central ring leader, yet here they are somehow, with a very organized military buildup on Mars.
The Mars invasion goes as planed and is an abysmal failure, as planned. However, the ship of the main character and his friend ends up going to Venus instead of Earth. The main character does eventually end up back on Earth, and finds society vastly changed as a result of the Mars invasion. He also later ends up on the moon Titan with his son, wife, and the millionaire aristocrat who is scattered through time.
The review of this Book prepared by Isaac Brown