Normalverse

“Don’t read this in a public place, you won’t be able to stop yourself laughing out loud. It reminds me of Douglas Adams, the careful plotting mixed with those absurdities and jokes that sneak up and make you snort tea through your nose. Hilarious.” Goodreads.

What if you really were the centre of the universe?

Norman Mi’s house is shrinking. He’s sure of it.

But that’s the least of his problems, even if he doesn’t realise it yet. There’s also the odd time dilation effects at the office, the invisible spiders that no one else can see, and the eccentric neighbours who insist on eating his bacon sandwiches.

In spite of all of this, Norman is a completely average man; a man so bland he would disappear in the middle of Ikea. The trouble is, Norman doesn’t want to be an average man, he wants to be unique, he wants to be somebody, and he wants to amount to something.

And he’s about to get exactly what he wants; whether it’s good for him or not.

Normalverse is the first part of a trilogy about normality and pan-galactic rent disputes.

You can buy it now on Amazon, because you want to.

You can even buy it now on Google Play, also because you want to.

Science Fiction: Schrödinger’s Cat In A Hat

You’ve heard of Schrödinger’s Cat. It’s the thought experiment that illustrates the problem with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Seal a cat in a box, along with a Geiger counter, some poison and some radioactive material. When an atom is released, the flask of poison is shattered and the cat will die. That’s assuming it’s not chasing a ball around the box of course.

The point is, at any given moment the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. You know, like when you have a deadline and your cat has curled up to sleep on your keyboard, but looks too cute to move.

Stop looking at the cuteness

Now, where did I put my cesium?

You can never know what state the cat is in (livid probably), until you actually look in the box. Or you see cat shit oozing out from under the lid.

It’s all about things existing in all their theoretical states – called superpositions, and you can make your own Spider-Man sex jokes.

Unsurprisingly, this thought experiment has inspired a number of authors and writers to work it into their fiction. You’ll remember Dirk Gently talking about it in his holistic detective agency, unless you haven’t read it of course, in which case, that may make it a superposition itself. He claims to have used clairvoyance to look inside the box, only to discover the cat was neither alive nor dead, it was just missing. It had got bored with waiting around.

If Sam Beckett had quantum locked his accelerator, he would have never got lost in time

Quantum Locked Out Of The House

The Weeping Angels from Doctor Who are described as “quantum-locked” which probably means nothing, but it suggests that they are in some sort of superposition. They can only move when not being observed. The Doctor also claims to have met Schrödinger’s Cat, but since it’s a thought experiment, we can conclude that the Doctor is a lying shitbag.

According to Wikipedia, there’s an episode of CSI all about String Theory, which features a headstone marking the grave of Schrödinger Martin. I haven’t seen it, but I wonder if they exhumed the coffin to find out if anybody was in it.

Meeow

Here Kitty …

But as always, it’s down to Futurama to make the best use of a scientific principle in its storytelling. In Law & Oracle, Fry apprehends Schrödinger after a lengthy car chase, and the physicist explains he is transporting a cat, some cesium and some poison. Fry asks if the cat is alive or dead, and Schrödinger replies, “it’s a superposition of both states, until you open it and collapse the wave function”.

So Fry opens the box.

And the cat jumps out and attacks his face.

There’s also a lot of drugs in there.