Author Feature – from Max and the Multiverse by Zachry Wheeler

The concept of parallel universes, also known as the multiverse, had always presented itself as a tantalizing yet unprovable theory. The quirky conundrum fell under the category of amusing speculation, something for geeks to discuss in the uncool corners of parties. However, Max was the second being in all of existence to discover the truth: that an infinite number of parallel universes do, in fact, exist. The first to verify the multiverse theory was Rumac of the Suth’ra Society, but he didn’t care enough to publish.
For the most part, parallel universes are almost as unremarkable as Max. As near identical copies of each other, it takes a keen eye to notice any difference at all. The only variation between one universe and the next might be that Han shot second. In the vast majority of universes, humanity remains unchanged. The tweak might only affect a species of space slugs in an adjacent galaxy, but whenever Max shifted, it altered his particular domain. Apparently this is a rule of shifting, but we’re only monkeysacking here (the equivalent of “spitballing” in another universe).
Max acquired his incredible ability in the dumbest way imaginable. He gamed, a lot, enough to alienate girlfriends and worry parents. On the second day of a spring break all to himself, he pushed the limits of a gaming marathon. The sun rose, the sun set, midnight came and went. As dawn loomed, his brain janitor clocked out and killed the lights. His face crashed onto the keyboard, mashing a sequence of keys not seen since the dark warring days of Galwock 36. This untenable turd of logic just so happened to match one of the governance updates sent between universes. Max’s faceroll gibberish tore through the ether and intersected that code packet. The rebound imprinted onto Max’s REM cycle, an event so improbable that it makes winning the lottery while being struck by lightning seem like a typical Tuesday. At that most fortuitous of moments, Max’s psyche switched universes. When he awoke, his cat spoke with a British accent. And from thereon after, every time he fell asleep, Max shifted to a new world.

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