Schr?dinger's cat...

Added on Thursday 17 Jan 2013

Photo: james and juliet. Quantum mechanics, in its most simple state, could be defined as the science of probability. In essence, something could probably be either in one state or the other. A cat in a sealed box, for example, could in probability either be alive or dead and until the box is opened this probability cannot be swapped for certainty. The question the theoretical scenario of Schr?dinger's cat asks, then, is at what point can the superposition of probable states be swapped for the certain state of the cat either alive or dead.

Great way to start an article, talking about a dead cat, and Juliet Landau is allergic to cats as well...

If the tale of the last three years, richly alluded to over the last few articles or so (most notably Last Night I Dreamed a Deadly Dream), means one thing, it means that the timeline created in the early hours of October 3rd 2009 is (in all probability, anyway) valid, but is in my opinion facing another pivotal moment where the superposition of probable states must now be swapped for one certain state via quantum decoherence, the term defining what may theoretically happen when the box is opened and probable futures become actual futures, consistent with Hugh Everett's "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics in which alternate futures are created where the cat is, simultaneously but separately, both alive and dead.

So I'll say it.

And probably get shouted at.

In one probable future anyway.

In one of Everett's many worlds, Miss Landau will make a decision and the timeline which began in October 2009 will peter out. This timeline, to clarify matters, is the one where I found Juliet's "lost" email and had to decide whether or not to answer it (Dear Miss Landau, chapter 25). If I had not done so, it is highly probable that the time line in which you, the reader, are now living and reading this article, would not exist.

There would in all likelihood have been no enduring correspondence between the Hollywood star and the Rain Man from Partick, no sequels to Roses and no Dear Miss Landau. The two trips across America would never have taken place, Juliet Landau and I would not have met that day on Sunset Boulevard, the possible unfinished story arc would never have been spotted by me and so on.

However, nothing more need happen. I've stolen the Enterprise for my Helen of Troy, crossed the world for my Hollywood film star, met Miss Landau on Sunset and published Dear Miss Landau.

By some reasonable interpretations, that should be enough for one lifetime and even earn me breakfast at Milliways...

However, in truth, I don't think that's all that is supposed to happen. So here is my probable scenario regarding the way I believe things should pan out:

a) Dear Miss Landau, with its melding of fiction and reality, was published in March 2012. I originally conceived the idea as a screenplay while walking down the hill from Candlewood Drive, and it can easily be turned into one.

b) My next published book should be the Drusilla trilogy - Roses, Redemption and Revenant. The three novellas which would make up this book would give it a nice, neat length of about 100,000 words - and the novellas are already, written, proofed and edited! They're all done! One signed set is sitting in my bookshelves in Glasgow, (I just got Drusilla Revenant signed at the Vampires Ball at Heathrow) and Revenant is waiting to be read. Chaplin and I are having trouble getting this to the attention of Simon Pulse (a division of Simon & Schuster) and we need help from the Buffy fanbase to do so.

c) Dear Miss Landau should be optioned as a film. During two trips across America, virtually everyone I met either had a friend or relative with autism, or knew of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - sometimes both. I've no doubt there is a large potential audience out there. The film version (with Juliet Landau's permission) would differ quite a bit from the book and is probably the only possible means in existence today by which some of the original cast of Buffy could return (albeit briefly) to their roles... Again, Chaplin and I need help to achieve this.

Incidentally, I'm also working on a fourth Dru tale, recently renamed Spike & Dru: the Graveyard of Empires, which should (I sincerely hope) be the romantic tale of love and bullets which James Marsters apparently always hoped would reunite the deadly duo.

So that's it. One possible future for the Buffyverse is sitting on a bookshelf in Glasgow like the Lost Ark of the Covenant, just itching to be revealed. A unique book which would make a unique film is waiting to be noticed.

It will be a great pity if such potential never fully saw the light of day, but I should accept everyone's right to exercise their own free will.

On the other hand, I do have a theory about why all this has happened.

As most fans will know, the 2009 Star Trek reboot featured a plot line wherein a bad guy from the 24th century came back in time and knocked the tapestry of Kirk and crew's 23rd century destinies askew.

As Spock put it:

"Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed."

And what I think is this:

It's as if, a few years ago, something went wrong. Maybe not a big thing. An opportunity was missed, a story arc unfinished, a character and a person's potential perhaps slightly overlooked. Even a small glitch can cause major alterations in a timeline. This is known as a ripple effect.

Something which should have happened, but didn't. Events and destinies not unfolding quite the way they should have. This concept was most recently explored in the 2008 Doctor Who episode Turn Left where Donna Noble's decision to turn right instead of left at a junction led to massive temporal changes and millions of deaths, including the Doctor...

Over the past three years, I've always felt that the probable scenario detailed here is the one that should be taken. The original timeline, if you will, which should be restored. It has already enabled me to change my life and redeem myself by becoming a published author. Until recently, I took a highly conservative position regarding this scenario, but not long ago something convinced me that this is the way to go and there is more to be done.

It feels like somebody up there is trying to do a repair job, and it's not finished yet.

To be clear but partisan about it, ever since Dear Miss Landau was published I've been able to say that if it all ended tomorrow, I would have nothing to complain about.

But I think fate or quantum mechanics has, sometimes subtly, sometimes blatantly, thrown us all a curve ball; and if we don't run with it, we'll regret it to our dying day.