The Worlds of If

The Worlds of If

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The Worlds of If by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum

Published:

1949

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The Worlds of If

By

4
(1 Review)
Produced from A Martian Odyssey and Others.

Book Excerpt

it, but he exaggerated when he said I'd never been on time. He forgets the occasions when he's awakened me and dragged me down with him. Nor was it necessary to refer so sarcastically to my missing the Baikal; I reminded him of the wrecking of the liner, and he responded very heartlessly that if I'd been aboard, the rocket would have been late, and so would have missed colliding with the British fruitship. It was likewise superfluous for him to mention that when he and I had tried to snatch a few weeks of golfing in the mountains, even the spring had been late. I had nothing to do with that.

"Dixon," he concluded, "you have no conception whatever of time. None whatever."

The conversation with van Manderpootz recurred to me. I was impelled to ask, "And have you, sir?"

"I have," he said grimly. "I most assuredly have. Time," he said oracularly, "is money."

You can't argue with a viewpoint like that.

But those aspersions of his rankled, especially that about the

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A classic short story from one of the early masters. An engineer visits his old physics professor and tries out his new invention, which allows the user to view alternate realities in his life: the "If only--" worlds. Things happen, and he wonders what his life would be like if they hadn't. And so forth.

It's a somewhat light story, with a bittersweet ending. Worth reading.