“The Bomb in the Bathtub,” Thomas N. Scortia, 1957

“The Bomb in the Bathtub,” Thomas N. Scortia, 1957 — Caedman Wickes, an eccentric, somewhat abstracted private investigator Specializing in Odd Complaints is approached by Sidney Coleman.  Coleman has a problem: There’s a man in his bathroom who says the room is at the center of a probability matrix and now there’s a bomb in the bathtub.  When Wickes investigates, he meets the bomb, which is singing and insisting that it is the best of all possible worlds.  Eventually Wickes discovers that a neurotic has been allowed to live out a fantasy of destroying the best of all possible worlds. But the neurotic’s fantasy-fulfillment is thwarted by a company that offers other neurotics the option to save the world.  Finally, Coleman is murdered by someone from a company called “Hindsight, Unlimited. You too can change a world.”

Comments:  Themes of multiple universes, probability, psychiatry.  Humorous.  Another detective cross-over.  Read in The Fourth Galaxy Reader.

Author: Wikipedia: “Thomas Nicholas Scortia (August 29, 1926 – April 29, 1986) was a science fiction author. He worked in the American aerospace industry until the late 60s/early 70s. He collaborated on several works with fellow author Frank M. Robinson. He sometimes used the pseudonyms ‘Scott Nichols,’ “‘MacDow,’ and ‘Arthur R. Kurtz.'”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1946-1959, genrecraft, humor, multiplicity, psych/mind/madness, time/history/causality. Bookmark the permalink.

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