Matthew Munson: What if there were parallel dimensions?

A parallel universe

The subject of parallel dimensions fascinates me; it’s an entirely fictionalised fascination, I’ll grant you, but it’s still interesting. I worked on a parallel dimensions story a few years ago, but couldn’t make it work – I was trying to write three separate stories or, more accurately, one story but from three different perspectives, and I just didn’t have the skill to make that work. I still don’t.

The same person existed in all three dimensions, but the story took different twists and turns because of their experiences, life histories, and current situation – all of those things will influence how you respond to any given situation. Think back through your own life; how did you react to a situation at 21, and how would you respond to the same situation now at 37?

Imagine, now,  you’re 37 with all of your current knowledge, and then try to imagine yourself with knowledge and wisdom based on entirely different experiences. That’s impossible, of course, since the only knowledge you have is that which is currently in your head. But at least try for this theoretical thought experiment; if you had different experiences, then would you react differently to the same situation? Well, it’s entirely possible – probable, in fact – so that’s why parallel universes fascinates me. What would I be like with different life experiences? A better person? A worse one? About the same?

Scientists can’t prove the existence of parallel dimensions, but there seems to be a determination amongst a small number to find out the truth. One thing makes me wonder; if we did find out that there were other parallel dimensions, with duplicates of us in each (or most) of them, then would we find one where parallel universes didn’t exist – that, somehow, is shut off the rest from the deck of cards? A strange thought, granted, but one that I’ll leave you to consider.

A new story I’m currently drafting is on the subject of parallel universes, and it’s come out of the fertile recesses of my strange and dark mind. I’d been thinking about part of this story for a long time and have always been oddly fascinated by alternate versions of my own life … and of those around me who have lived eventful lives and could have easily experienced different forks in the road.

I was inspired to finally start writing this long-considered story when I was talking to a fellow writer and columnist for the IoTN – let’s call him Seb, as that’s his name – and mentioned I was waiting for edits to come back on my current book from The Lord & Master of Inspired Quill, the publisher I’m currently signed to. Knowing me as he does, he immediately knew what I was working on whilst I waited. I told him how I was writing my blog, but that I was thinking (as I did regularly) about this parallel universe concept. I then mentioned that I would work on it one day when I had the chance.

Of course, he told me that “one day” and “when I had the chance” might never come, and why was I waiting for that day when I’d got some free time right time? There wouldn’t be enough time to complete the entire project – writing a book can take six to nine months, at least for me – but I could at least draft something that would allow me the chance to consider where I could take the story.

So I have indeed spent some time on it, planning a rough outline that – even at this early stage – made me consider what would work and what wouldn’t. I then went through a slightly less rough second version of the draft outline and came out with a twist to the ending, which pleased me. I’ve also been able to name the main character after a friend of mine, the inimitable Charlie Evans, so that’s a pleasant turn of events.

I’ve received the edits back from the Archbishop of Writing herself at Inspired Quill for my novella coming out this year, and they’re done. She’s now working on edits for the next book in my Elysium series, so whilst she works on that, I can go back to my dimension-shifting story for a few more weeks. How lovely – and my mind can imagine how life changes on a flip of a coin. The “what if” is always a pleasure to consider.


  1. The idea of ‘parallel ‘ universes has been around for a while, and stems from aspects of Quantum Physics.
    The idea is that at every momeby, for every particle, when a situation arises when there are two possible outcomes (heads or tails, for example) the universe splits in two (in one, it’s heads; in the other, tails)
    Indeed it is currently true to say that “Scientists can’t prove the existence of parallel dimensions” – at least, not in this Universe.

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