“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.'”