Quoted by Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
"It's terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, branches off into a new world."

ISBN-1101904240-COVERI was introduced to the concept of the multiverse and the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics through the television series Sliders (1995-2000). In the series, we met four travelers traversing the seemingly unlimited worlds of the multiverse and trying to get back home. I found the concept intriguing, and when a story touches upon parallel worlds, I grab it and watch or read it (as evidenced by my last book review). But this review is not for Sliders (I will post reviews of its episodes when I start my rewatch.), this is a review for Dark Matter, a 2016 science fiction-thriller book by Blake Crouch, which, like Sliders, features the multiverse.

The book revolves around Jason Dessen, a college physics professor, a husband, and a father. He was abducted one night and then woke up and found out that he was now a famous scientist, just like he always dreamed, but he was not married to his wife, and his son had never been born. Realizing that this is not his world, he will find a way to get home to his wife and son by passing through world after world.

I liked the pace of the story. Though this is a science fiction book, you need not know the complexity of quantum mechanics and neurology to follow the plot, although I appreciated the well-placed info dumps. There is also a romantic aspect to it by way of Jasonโ€™s love for his wife, Daniela, and this love fuels Jasonโ€™s desire to get home. I found the scenes on their romance a bit offโ€”just a bit.

In this next section, I might get to spoil something (but not the bookโ€™s ending).

The many-worlds interpretation implies that all possible alternate histories are real, each realized in their world in their corner of the multiverse.

Itโ€™s terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, branches off into a new world.

In this book, the alternate world branched off fifteen years ago when Jason decided to continue the relationship and build a family with Daniela or continue his work as a scientist and make a breakthrough. I always play the โ€œWhat ifโ€ game: what if I did this? What if that happened? At the end of the game, I always tell myself, at least somewhere in the multiverse, that a version of me will get what he wants. In life, there are no do-overs โ€“ there are no time machines, yet โ€” but it is harmless to dream once in a while.

I liked how the central conflict of the book was written. I was surprised because I havenโ€™t seen the branching of worlds affecting the main character in other multiverse stories.

Quick rating:ย ๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ— (4.5 out of 5; I very much loved it.)

: https://promdigeek.blog/2017/09/07/review-dark-matter-by-blake-crouch-2016/

ASIN-B01096BO90-TN.jpgI always read more than a book at a time. Lately, I have not been satisfied with alternating between two long (longish?) books, so Iโ€™ll try reading shorter works alongside longer ones instead. This week, I picked The Disappearing Client, the first episode of Spirelli Paranormal Investigations, an urban paranormal series by Kate Baray, first published in 2015.

The story opens with Jack Spirelli, a junk shop owner who has soft-launched his investigating agency. He is human but connected to the magic-using community and the Inter-Pack Policing Cooperative that gives him gigs. He floated the idea of hiring an assistant investigator, and along came Marin, a human slash dragon, applying for the job. After she was hired, off they go for their first job together. Their supposed bodyguarding job was changed to search and rescue when their client was nowhere to be found. What happened to her, and could they find her in time?

Paranormal investigators, of course, remind me of the Harry Dresden series. The โ€œepisodeโ€ format fits because this is short, and like police procedurals on TV, the main story is self-contained. The character stories, I hope, might continue with the series as I am interested in revisiting the characters.

Quick rating: ๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ• (4 out of 5. I very much liked it.)

The Butterfly Effect (2004) TNContinuing my alternate timelines streak, I rewatched The Butterfly Effect, a 2004 psychological thriller supernatural fiction movie by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, starring Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart.

Evan Treborn, a college student, discovered he could time travel when he read journal entries around the time he had blackouts during childhood. But when he makes slight changes during his time travel, it causes a massive change in his present, for the better or worse. Each huge difference also damages his brain, which might prevent him from traveling further. Can he make his life or those around him for the better?

Spoilers ahead.

Let me quote the article from Wikipedia: The butterfly effect is a concept that states, โ€œsmall causes can have larger effects.โ€ This is a staple on all-time travel or alternate timeline stories I encounter. I also like this kind of story; it makes me think of โ€œwhat ifโ€ and its repercussions. Every small change must be considered, but sometimes, it is not feasible because of too many variables. When the main character, Evan, travels, he does not think things through. I know that he only has a small amount of time to affect the change, but, come on, when he decides to re-do things, he does so impulsively, thus affecting an even worse scenario. (โ€œAffected much?โ€)

The Butterfly Effect (2004) cast TN

I realized I was watching the directorโ€™s cut when I rewatched this. It contains extra scenes and a different ending from the theatrical edition that I initially watched more than a decade ago. I preferred the end on this cut. Not every movie should always have a feel-good ending.

Quick rating:ย ๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ— (3.5 out of 5 stars. I very much like it.)

Whatโ€™s next? I might rewatch Source Code (2011). More time travel!

: https://promdigeek.blog/2017/09/12/review-the-butterfly-effect-2004/