Author : Gray Blix

The theory of fiction is similar to the theory of gravity in that it’s the best explanation for what we observe as reality. The average person knows that gravity is not a wishy-washy “theory” but rather an immutable force that must be reckoned with. Who among us has not felt the pain of a heavy object dropped on their toes or witnessed the anguish of a senior who has fallen and cannot get up? Gravity is happening all around us every day!

You never read “The Theory of Fiction,” did you Brenda? I self-published that treatise before you were born, after it had been rejected by every scientific journal to which I submitted it. And if there were not already enough proof back then, my explanation of the relationship between fiction and fact has been confirmed many times over the years. To make a long story short, fiction and fact are one in the same, merely separated by time and space and branes. Branes. Short for membranes. If I had only thought to call them membranes. I went with “balloons.” They laughed me out of graduate school.

Etu Brenda? No, no, it’s all right. Go ahead and have a laugh. Those peer reviewers, my caregivers here at the institution, my own family. All against me. Against reality. But denying the theory of gravity does not protect one from bird poop or meteors dropping from the sky, nor does denying the theory of fiction plug the leaky branes separating parallel universes. An infinite number of universes, invisibly pressing against one another, bringing fiction in one near fact in another. You might say, fiction inevitably catches up to fact.

How can I explain this to you in words you can comprehend and in the short time allotted for your visit? Ok, ok. Think of it as another kind of gravity. If a work of fiction in our universe has sufficient “mass,” and if our journey through space and time brings it in close proximity to a corresponding fact of sufficient mass in another universe, then the two are strongly attracted. They move towards each other, faster and faster, until they simultaneously pop that balloon, blowing their branes out, you might say, in glorious collision. At that instant, fiction and fact become one across two universes.

Take, for example, Morgan Robertson’s fictional “Titan,” about an 800 foot ocean liner, supposedly unsinkable, which went down in the North Atlantic one night in April after being struck by an iceberg on the starboard side. That fiction was written 14 years before the sinking of the Titanic — which it described in minute detail, right down to the gross tonnage, the speed it was steaming, and the high death toll because of the lack of enough lifeboats — made it a fact. And don’t get me started on Jules Verne or H.G Wells. Stories about submarines diving deep below the sea and space ships taking astronauts to the Moon. Science fiction until it became fact. And… and those reports yesterday about metal cylinders landing in England and people being burned up by some sort of laser ray, and then the communication blackout. What do you think about that?

You don’t think about that? Yes, banana bread is my favorite. Yes, it smells great. Thank your mom. And Brenda. When you get home, clear out some space in the basement. I think the family may have to take shelter there from a coming storm.

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