In this thematic sequel to Gregory Benford's award-winning bestseller Timescape, a history professor finds that he is able travel back to 1968, the year he was sixteen—here, he finds a slew of mentors with the same ability, including Robert Heinlein, Albert Einstein, and Philip K. Dick and becomes a successful Hollywood screenwriter until some wicked time travelers try to subvert him.
It's 2002, and Charlie, in his late forties, is a bit of a sad-sack professor of history going through an unpleasant divorce. While flipping the cassette of an audiobook he gets into a car accident with a truck, and wakes up, fully aware as his adult mind, in his sixteen-year-old body in 1968.
Charlie does the thing we all imagine: he takes what he remembers of the future and uses it for himself in his present, the past. He becomes a screenwriter, anticipating the careers of Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg, and then, in a 1980s life of excess, he dies, and wakes up again in his bedroom at sixteen in 1968.
Charlie realizes things he didn't see the first time: that there are others like him, like Albert Einstein, Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein. In fact, there is a society of folks who loop through time to change the world for their agenda. Now, Charlie knows he has to do something other than be self-indulgent and he tries to change one of the events of 1968 in this clever thriller.