Malachi Constant, called Unk, the world’s richest and luckiest playboy, whose name means “faithful messenger.” Having inherited from his father, Noel, a previously infallible system for stock investment, Malachi is told by Winston Niles Rumfoord that he will lose his money, marry Rumfoord’s wife (Beatrice), have a child, and move to Saturn’s largest moon. Despite all of his efforts to the contrary, these events occur. Lawsuits deplete his capital; he is impressed into the army of Mars and fitted with a radio control; he rapes Mrs. Rumfoord while drunk; he engenders a son, Chrono; he is lost on Mercury; he returns to Earth, where he is vilified by Rumfoord’s new Church of God, the Utterly Indifferent; and he is forced to retreat with Beatrice and Chrono to Titan.
Winston Niles Rumfoord
Winston Niles Rumfoord, a former millionaire, member of the social elite, and explorer. He is now, with his dog Kazak, a collection of particles that materialize at regular intervals. Stylish, elderly, and possessing a winning smile, Rumfoord has had the power to foresee the future ever since he drove his spaceship into a time tunnel, or “chrono-synclastic infundibulum.” In an attempt to manipulate Earth’s history, he creates a suicidal army on Mars, whose destruction engenders global remorse and the formation of a new religion. All of this is done to force his wife and Malachi to marry and create a son whose good-luck piece must be transported to Titan, where it is...
(The entire section is 627 words.)