Ah! An email from magazine xyz, where my story has been held for the last several months. My fingers hover over the mouse, anxious. In this moment, there are two possibilities – acceptance or rejection. Once I click and read the email, the possibilities will appear to collapse into one cold certainty. But while the email remains unread (and ignoring statistical information from the past, which veers heavily to form rejections), both are equally possible.
At last I can no longer bear the suspense. I click on the email, and the wave function appears to collapse. What really happens, according to the many-worlds hypothesis, is quantum decoherence. When I read the email, the universe splits into those where my story has been rejected by the magazine (boo) and those where it has been accepted (yay!). Just like Schrödinger’s cat, which is simultaneously dead and alive, I am simultaneously elated and depressed in different branches of parallel universes that are equally real.
You can tell that 1) I’ve been reading cosmologist Max Tegmark and 2) I’ve been racking up the rejections.
To end on a happy note, in this particular branch of the universe, I just sold my sixth story of the year. Ghosts of Englehart has been accepted by AE – The Canadian Science Fiction Review. Yay!