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David Gerrold

Author of The Man Who Folded Himself

136+ Works 11,054 Members 175 Reviews 20 Favorited

About the Author

David Gerrold is one of the most popular science fiction writers working today. His first professional sale, the Star Trek episode "Trouble With Tribbles," won a Hugo Award. He has written for television, published more than forty books, and had columns in six different magazines. In 1995, his show more novelette "The Martian Child" won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. Gerrold lives in San Fernando, California, and teaches writing at Pepperdine University show less


Works by David Gerrold

The Man Who Folded Himself (1973) 1,050 copies
The Flying Sorcerers (1971) 699 copies
Encounter at Farpoint (1989) 654 copies
A Matter For Men (1983) 635 copies
The World of Star Trek (1973) 618 copies
A Day for Damnation (1984) 523 copies
The Trouble with Tribbles (1973) 498 copies
A Rage for Revenge (1989) 441 copies
The Galactic Whirlpool (1980) 437 copies
A Season for Slaughter (1993) 417 copies
The Voyage of the Star Wolf (1990) 374 copies
Starhunt (1972) 331 copies
When Harlie Was One (1972) 308 copies
Jumping Off The Planet (2000) 243 copies
Chess With a Dragon (1987) — Author — 229 copies
Middle of Nowhere (1995) 197 copies
Enemy Mine (1985) — Author — 192 copies
Space Skimmer (1972) 182 copies
Under the Eye of God (1993) 173 copies
The Trouble with Tribbles [photo comic] (1977) — Author — 152 copies
Bouncing Off the Moon (2001) 129 copies
Leaping To The Stars (2002) 129 copies
A Covenant of Justice (1994) 123 copies
Hella (2020) 105 copies
Moonstar Odyssey (1977) 96 copies
Blood and Fire (2003) 86 copies
Martian Child [2007 film] (2007) — Author — 67 copies
With a finger in my I (1972) 65 copies
Deathbeast (1978) 63 copies
Protostars (1971) — Editor, Contributor — 45 copies
Tales of the Star Wolf (2004) 42 copies
Science Fiction Emphasis 1 (1972) — Editor — 41 copies
Alternate Gerrolds (2004) 41 copies
Generation: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction (1972) — Editor; Contributor — 32 copies
Alternities (1974) — Editor — 32 copies
Ascents of Wonder (1977) — Editor — 27 copies
The Involuntary Human (2007) 25 copies
Die neuen Abenteuer des Raumschiffs Enterprise (1994) — Contributor — 18 copies
Babylon 5 Other Voices (Volume 1) (2008) — Author — 17 copies
Planet of the Apes Omnibus, Volume 2 (2017) — Author — 15 copies
Jacob (2015) 11 copies
In the Quake Zone (2005) 11 copies
A Method for Madness (2012) 8 copies
Winter Horror Days (2015) 7 copies
Ganny Knits A Spaceship (2011) 6 copies
Zwischen den Welten (1992) — Author — 5 copies
Babylon 5 #9 (1995) 4 copies
In the Deadlands: Stories (2014) 4 copies
thirteen o'clock (2011) 4 copies
Entanglements And Terrors (2015) 4 copies
Chester 3 copies
G is for Gerrold (2022) 3 copies
A Promise of Stars (2014) 3 copies
Read My Shorts (2013) 2 copies
Guacamole (2021) 2 copies
Home On Derange (2021) 1 copy
Babylon 5: Believers (1994) — Scriptwriter — 1 copy
Rex 1 copy
Hellhole 1 copy
Sampler 2015 1 copy
The Dorktionary (2013) 1 copy
Turtledome (2011) 1 copy
1986 1 copy
F&SF Mailbag 1 copy
Der galaktische Mahlstrom (1981) — Author — 1 copy
Spiderweb 1 copy

Associated Works

Again, Dangerous Visions (1972) — Contributor — 989 copies
Trials and Tribble-ations (1996) — Introduction — 285 copies
Sherlock Holmes in Orbit (1995) — Contributor — 245 copies
Alternate Presidents (1992) — Contributor — 241 copies
The Classic Episodes 2 (1991) — Introduction — 241 copies
The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume 1 (2007) — Contributor — 222 copies
Elemental (2006) — Contributor — 177 copies
Serve It Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey (1996) — Contributor — 142 copies
Alternate Kennedys (1992) — Contributor — 141 copies
Nova 1 (1970) — Contributor — 139 copies
Down these Dark Spaceways (2005) — Contributor — 136 copies
Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern (2013) — Contributor — 131 copies
Alternate Warriors (1993) — Contributor — 130 copies
Stars: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian (2003) — Contributor — 126 copies
Witches' Brew (2002) — Contributor — 126 copies
Witch Fantastic (1995) — Contributor — 124 copies
Constellations (2006) — Introduction — 122 copies
Dinosaur Fantastic (1993) — Contributor — 121 copies
Isaac Asimov: Science Fiction Masterpieces (1986) — Contributor — 101 copies
Alternate Outlaws (1994) — Contributor — 86 copies
Night Screams (1996) — Contributor — 82 copies
CYBERSEX (1996) — Contributor — 77 copies
A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison (2017) — Foreword — 72 copies
Aladdin: Master of the Lamp (1992) — Contributor — 66 copies
Her Husband's Hands and Other Stories (2013) — Introduction, some editions — 66 copies
Deals with the Devil (1994) — Contributor — 65 copies
More Whatdunits (1993) — Contributor — 63 copies
Star Trek: The Next Generation Manga: Boukenshin (2009) — Contributor — 60 copies
Star Trek, Volume 3 (2012) — Introduction — 55 copies
Christmas Ghosts (1993) — Contributor — 49 copies
These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three (2015) — Foreword — 48 copies
Ten Tomorrows (1972) — Contributor — 46 copies
Men Writing Science Fiction As Women (2003) — Contributor — 46 copies
More Stories from the Twilight Zone (2010) — Contributor — 45 copies
By Any Other Fame (1994) — Contributor — 42 copies
Return of the Dinosaurs (1997) — Contributor — 41 copies
Space Cadets (2006) — Contributor — 30 copies
Berserkers (1973) — Contributor — 27 copies
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2019 Edition (2019) — Contributor — 25 copies
Funny Fantasy (2016) — Contributor — 24 copies
Isaac Asimov's Adventures of Science Fiction (1980) — Contributor — 21 copies
Spaced Out (1977) — Contributor — 19 copies
Unidentified Funny Objects 5 (2016) — Contributor — 19 copies
Univers 03 (1975) — Contributor — 14 copies
Unidentified Funny Objects 8 (2020) — Author — 13 copies
More Alternative Truths: Stories from the Resistance (2017) — Foreword — 12 copies
The Unquiet Dreamer: A Tribute to Harlan Ellison (2019) — Contributor — 12 copies
Galaxy's Edge Magazine Issue 2, May 2013 (2013) — Contributor — 11 copies
Release the Virgins (2019) — Contributor — 10 copies
The Future Embodied (2014) — Author — 9 copies
Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 2 (2009) — Contributor — 8 copies
How to Save the World (2013) — Contributor — 8 copies
Galileo Magazine of Science & Fiction September 1979 (1979) — Contributor — 8 copies
They Keep Killing Glenn (2018) — Contributor — 8 copies
The Zaks and Other Lost Stories (2023) — Contributor — 7 copies
Asimov's Science Fiction: Vol. 39, No. 7 [July 2015] (2015) — Contributor — 7 copies
Galileo Magazine of Science & Fiction July 1979 (1979) — Contributor — 7 copies
Galileo Magazine of Science & Fiction November 1979 (1979) — Contributor — 6 copies
Monsters, Movies, and Mayhem: 23 All-New Tales (2020) — Contributor — 6 copies
Alternative Truths III: Endgame (Alternatives) (2019) — Contributor — 3 copies
Galileo Magazine of Science & Fiction January 1978 (1978) — Contributor — 3 copies
Asimov's SF Adventure Magazine Fall 1979 (1979) — Contributor — 3 copies
The Four of the Apocalypse (2024) — Author — 3 copies
2020 Visions (2010) — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge




This is nothing but a has-been boomer's attempt at being PC and woke. And fails utterly at both.
While Hella's backdrop of, well, Hella is very interesting, it's not used beyond "Hella is bad for humans".
Gerrold spends a lot of time berating the trope of autistic people as dry, unfeeling automatons. His first blunder is that he writes his main character Kyle as a dry, unfeeling automaton. While he do sprinkle some emotion on the character through the first half of the book, by the time of a major event in the middle you have exactly zero empathy for the character to even care.
His second blunder is that he spends a lot of time mentioning something called "the noise". Besides calling it an implant a couple of times, he doesn't actually tell you what it is. So I'm going to tell you; it's a neuropathic brain implant that connects to the internet.
Which leads to the third blunder: Hella can't communicate with Earth. But apparently Kyle can connect to the internet on Earth with his implant. Yet nobody knows what's going on back home.

And then there's the fourth. The biggest one.
Everyone is bi. Nobody is really male or female. You're a dude and want to be pregnant? Go to the medics and swap out your penis with a fully functioning set of female reproductive organs. You're a woman and can't pull off those cargo shorts? Just grow a penis. Easy as that.
When Kyle gets a "boy friend", which is what Gerrold calls a boyfriend (and what the rest of us calls a male friend), Kyle literally says "Do you want me to be a girl? I used to be a girl. I can change back."
And people having multiple spouses as if the mormons took over the galaxy.
Gerrold tries to please everybody, and fails at everything.
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Dracoster | 5 other reviews | Feb 21, 2024 |
Time-travel is a popular storytelling device; fascinating, flexible and a natural crowd-pleaser. It's quite a feat, then, that in The Man Who Folded Himself author David Gerrold makes it so tedious and joyless. The story itself is a strange one, veering in its prose between trite juvenilia and dry discussion of paradox, but it's also not much of a story at all. The protagonist Daniel inherits a 'time belt' from his uncle, but where this device came from or why is never addressed (the twist towards the end is also predictable). Daniel immediately jumps into the back-and-forth of time-travel shenanigans with nary a second thought, and the reader doesn't have time to get on board. When the story ends, having paradoxically felt both hasty and interminable, we have motion-sickness despite not having once been moved.

The haste in the set-up of the premise might be forgivable if something interesting was then done, but the protagonist's time-travel amounts to a few soulless summaries of visiting various historical events (witnessing the Crucifixion, he notes only that Jesus "looked so sad" (pg. 52) – and that is one of the more flavourful examples). Mirroring his protagonist's unwillingness to let alone, the author released an updated version of the book in 2003 (the original was published in 1973). This version mentions things like 9/11 and Apple Computers, but they are only mere mentions – a bit of slapdash colour. When not in these time-travel adventures (which are apparently plentiful, though Gerrold does not grant the reader any taste of them), the protagonist is hyper-analysing the various 'copies' of himself that have been created each time he loops back in time, or travels forward. By the end, there are hundreds of versions of Daniel running around. This, unfortunately, is what Gerrold does submit the reader to.

Those who credit Gerrold's book describe this as a thoughtful and meticulous exploration of the effects of time-travel on our protagonist's sense of identity. My reaction, which appears to be shared by many reviewers, was rather different. It's confusing from the start, with our perhaps-autistic protagonist relentlessly going back to remedy insignificant events of the previous day – "Danny had to go back in time and become Don to his Dan" (pg. 44) is one example of this nonsense. Even the young boy in Bernard's Watch found more interesting things to do with time-travel, such as saving a goal in a football match, and I had hoped Gerrold would soon move on to more interesting time-travel terrain. Unfortunately, he commits to it fully for the rest of the book, stifling at birth anything that would make The Man Who Folded Himself compelling.

Our protagonist could better be described as 'The Man Who Loved Himself', for he immediately has sex with the first copy of himself that he meets in a time loop, and later has gay orgies with multiples of them. This is not done out of boredom or curiosity, but because he is the only person he feels can understand him. Daniel alters time so much he encounters a female version of himself, who he also has sex with. When he gets this copy pregnant, he doesn't feel joy at the child (or even any sort of conflict over its conception), but is instead "bothered that someone else is inside of her, someone other than me" (pg. 90).

The protagonist, dull from the start, reveals more and more his autism and narcissism, retreating deeper and deeper into his own world of copies of himself. The world outside his own mind might as well not exist – but Gerrold does not even appear to register the pathetic tragedy of this. Instead, he presents it as a sort of path to self-actualization, only the result is a rather depraved facsimile of character growth rather than anything genuinely rewarding. Lamenting the end of his relationship with his female copy, Daniel says it was because he could never experience the feelings from her side (pg. 93) because he has not been her in the past, in the way that he has with his male copies. This will be perplexing to any reader of even a basic level of emotional maturity, who don't need a 'time belt' and multiple physical copies of themselves to practice simple empathy in a relationship.

In The Man Who Folded Himself, there's no sense of joy or wonder at life, and the book as a whole feels like a bank accountant minuting his ayahuasca experience. To gift a 'time belt' to the protagonist of this novel feels like a sick joke on the reader, who craves adventure and experience but instead finds themselves locked in a room with a man who has been given the whole world to see – past, present and future – but instead chooses only to gaze in the mirror.
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1 vote
MikeFutcher | 40 other reviews | Feb 4, 2024 |
This is a novel of classic science fiction, and I gather it is considered very influential in the time travel genre of science fiction. It is not one in which a character travels to the past or the future, and a whole and cohesive world is created in that past or future for the character to act in. Instead, there's constant travel to and from various times, as the novel explores some of the paradoxes and anomalies created by the concept of time travel.

As he comes of age Daniel inherits from his uncle, a "time belt", which allows him to time travel. Rather than coming into a fortune, Daniel has discovered that he is penniless, so his first act of time travel is to go one day in the future to the race track to get results so that he can strike it rich when he returns to the past. When he arrives in the future, he meets himself, one day older than when he left. And so Daniel learns the first of many consequences of time travel. Each time he travels, he creates a new "time stream," and in each time stream a version of Daniel exists and continues to exist. As he time travels, Daniel is constantly coming across himself, sometimes multiples of himself. And sometimes they don't get along, or are jealous of each other.

The thing I didn't like about this book is that there is a lot of emphasis on sex in the book. I'm not a prude, but I feel like when I chose to read a time travel book, I didn't sign up for a lot of sex scenes. The book was very controversial at the time it was published because Daniel is homosexual (as is the author), and things weren't so open at the time. To complicate matters, it turns out that Daniel is somewhat narcissistic, and "loves" himself and wants to have sex with himself, which he does (including with a female version of himself in one of the time streams).

Overall, I would not recommend this book unless you are a serious science fiction reader, and perhaps could recognize how this book may have influenced later books. I'm just a casual science fiction reader, usually just in it for the story, so it didn't work for me.

2 stars
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arubabookwoman | 40 other reviews | Sep 28, 2023 |
The main character is an autistic boy with a chip in his head that helps him navigate the world—which is a giant planet on which everything grows bigger than it does on Earth, though that doesn’t turn out to be as significant to the plot as you might have thought because the colonists are trying not to interact too much with the ecology for fear of disrupting it. But some colonists want to start colonizing and capitalizing, driving the conflict of the book, which also includes the protagonist starting to date and considering whether to transition back to being a girl. It felt like a bunch of interesting ideas both about humanity and about what “colonizing” really means were being squished under the YA format.… (more)
rivkat | 5 other reviews | Jun 28, 2023 |



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Pamela Sargent Contributor
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Edward Khmara From the screenplay by
Barry B. Longyear Original story
James Tiptree Jr. Contributor
Alice Laurance Contributor
Roger Deeley Contributor
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