The World She Wanted

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First published in Science Fiction Quarterly May 1953

“The World She Wanted” illustrates the best of all possible worlds theory: infinite timelines allow for mostly positive outcomes for everyone as the reality one person experiences in their timeline doesn’t necessarily have to correspond to anyone else’s timeline. Allison Holmes believes this when she spots Larry Brewster at his favorite run-down jazz club and decides she is going to marry him. It appears the theory she subscribes to is correct as she is able to avoid restaurant bills and win at the casino with almost no effort.

Larry goes along with this for a while even as it becomes apparent the life Allison wants for herself with expensive cars and McMansion homes doesn’t line up with Larry’s desire to one day live a peaceful life on a farm. Luckily for him this story isn’t told from her point of view. When they return to the jazz club a few days later and Larry finds that it’s been converted into a fancy bistro because Allison prefers it that way, Larry makes Allison disappear since we’ve been in his reality, and not hers, all along. 

I always enjoy a good multiverse story. The best of all possible worlds isn’t a bad principle to organize your life around as far as I’m concerned.

Cast of characters

  • Larry Brewster
  • Allison Holmes