When Winston Niles Rumfoord flies his spaceship into a chrono-synclastic infundibulum he is converted into pure energy and only materializes when his waveforms intercept Earth or some other planet.
As a result, he only gets home to Newport, Rhode Island, once every fifty-nine days and then only for an hour. But at least, as a consolation, he now knows everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will be.
He knows, for instance, that his wife is going to Mars to mate with Malachi Constant, the richest man in the world.
He also knows that on Titan - one of Saturn's moons - is an alien from the planet Tralfamadore, who has been waiting 200,000 years for a spare part for his grounded spacecraft ...