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Paths to Otherwhere
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Summary

The setting is a grim 21st century in which military power blocs grouped around China and Japan are on the verge of a major war to decide who will control the immense resources of the former Soviet territories.  When the conflict comes the West will inevitably be drawn in, since whichever side emerges as the new superpower will control two thirds of the world's population.  Its first priority then will be to settle old grievances, real and imagined, with the one-time imperialist oppressor nations.  As a consequence both Europe and the U.S. have militarized into authoritarian police states in preparation for a racial war of survival.

Amid all the restrictions and cultural decay,  Hugh Brenner and Theo Jantowitz are researchers at U.C. Berkeley involved in a branch of  recently established Multiverse (MV) physics that explains the impossibilities of evolution as accumulated information originating from a vast range of parallel realities, brought together by startling molecular-level properties of nervous systems. Other technologies derived from the new physics have immense political and military implications, however, and all work outside controlled government environments is terminated.  With no other option open for continuing MV-related research, Hugh and Jantowitz are reluctantly recruited to a secret program under military direction where all activity in the unraveling the strange new insights into the fundamentals of quantum phenomena field is being concentrated.

Here they become part of a small maverick group within the facility who begin working independently to pursue a vision they have glimpsed of a universe staggeringly more vast than anything previously imagined.  They find themselves "occupying" counterparts of themselves who exist in worlds where history has taken every course conceivable; worlds where the wars of the 20th century were fought with curiously different outcomes . . .

And even a world where they never happened at all.

 
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