Warning! Spoiler Alert!!
In The Probability Broach, detective Win Bear lives in a world where oppressive government controls have turned America into a sleazy second-world country: Disney land, air conditioners and many mom and pop companies are declared illegal due to “conspicuous use of power during an energy emergency” (which was probably brought on by other government interventions); the air is polluted with out of date cars, as red tape created significant barriers to creating new vehicles; and meat rations have driven people to cannibalism.
While looking in a scientist’s laboratory for clues in a murder case, he is blasted into an alternate dimension in which these government interventions – and all other government interventions – never occurred. A complete lack of barriers to production and creative entrepreneurship had created a virtual utopia of the alternate-dimension America. There are small vendors and stores at every turn, and everyone buzzes along in pollution-free hovercrafts.
Meanwhile, back in our non-fiction dimension, the government is “picking winners” by pushing ethanol and imposing moratoriums to fix problems that for all we know, in the universe of sci-fi, might be its fault from day one.
Nat Hunt :: MCPP Intern