Cast a cursor about on any book sales webpage these days and you’ll invariably land somewhere near to a parallel universe novel. They’ll promise to take you on journeys far and wide, stretching the limits of your imagination. One may explore a world where Nazi’s won WWII (The Man in the High Castle-Philip K Dick) others make use of invented contraptions to slip between worlds, such as Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter. To the fiction weary, they yield reviews of ‘ridiculous premise but entertaining’, to ‘not another scientific plot hole’.
But therein lies the rub. It’s called science fiction for a reason. It requires the reader to take what is known about our universe and extend it to beyond what can currently be proven. What many reviewers fail to comprehend, is just how much time goes into researching the latest scientific hypotheses from which to base new stories.
Often times, what was classed as fiction in one decade, becomes science fact in another. Doesn’t it make sense to view all possibilities as equally viable, given the enormous dearth of facts to support a fully comprehensive unified theory?
A brave new world.
Take the sub-section of scientific research into the concept of Mirror Matter. Although research focuses primarily on sub-atomic particles, the latest theories and experiments could have a revolutionary impact on how we view the entire universe if proven correct.
In 1933, Swiss astronomer, Fritz Zwicky observed galaxy clusters with a stronger rotational pull than could be attributed to gravity of nearby matter. It suggested that something beyond plain sight was exerting a colossal force. Vera Rubin, an American astronomer, noticed the same effect in the 1970s. Now, scientists believe that this pull force could be due to dark matter, although our inability to measure this absence of something, makes it extremely difficult to prove. For every one unit of matter from our universe, equations suggest that there could be as much as five times that amount of dark matter.