What would you do if your doppleganger suddenly walked up to you and offered to show you the parallel universes that existed right outside the thin fabric of your reality? One day when Ohio teenager John Rayburn heads to the barn to do chores, he is confronted by an identical man who claims he is actually JR himself, but from a parallel world. He calls himself John Prime, and offers JR a deal—a 24-hour vacation in a parallel universe, free of charge. What red-blooded adolescent wouldn’t take such a proposition? To travel to another time and place while your twin guards your life here? Except, that’s not exactly what happens. Turns out Prime’s device only works one way, and that’s forward. Once JR jumps ahead to another universe, he can no longer go back. And now Prime is living his stolen life and JR has no choice but to find a new place in the universe. At first JR stumbles around multiple universes (universi?), making newbie-universe-traveler mistakes like losing his money, accidentally bringing alien species into other universes, and referring to objects or technology that haven’t been invented yet in the universe he is currently visiting. But finally JR settles down in a universe not unlike his own and decides to study physics in order to learn how the device works—so he can throw the lever in reverse, kick Prime’s butt and take his life back. But first he’s going to finance his college education by inventing a little game called pinball…This mind-bending and thoroughly entertaining sci-fi will leave you pondering the possibilities of parallel worlds and appreciating the little things like reality TV, root beer and Rubik’s Cubes that make THIS universe so frickin’ awesome.
The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko