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The 22nd Century was the Age of Time Travel. The 23rd, the Age of FTL Drive. Mankind conquered time and space. In the 24th Century, travel to possible worlds opened. In the 26th, physically—then logically—impossible worlds became accessible. Unscrupulous banks and companies relocated ‘offshore’, to worlds where 1=0, for tax purposes. Modal derivatives markets, intended to stabilize markets by spreading risk over all possible worlds, triggered an intergalactic financial meltdown when the pool was expanded to include tranches of sub-possible ‘junk realities’, bundled together with AAA-rated worlds. But we survived. By this point, dear reader, the human race had changed in its essentials, past the point of recognition by the likes of you. But, for purposes of the story, go right on imagining I am talking about strong-jawed men in ships like long, silver cigars. By the 27th Century, thanatonauts reported back from the afterlife … [continue]