probability world n.

an alternate universe, viewed as one of many such which have differing probabilities of existing


  • 1943 A. E. van Vogt Search in Astounding Science-Fiction Jan. 53/2 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    He lived in this probability world of his own until his death in 2874.

  • 1948 C. Harness Time Trap in Astounding Science Fiction August 21/2 page image Charles L. Harness bibliography

    She had the ability to project herself to other probability worlds.

  • 1950 C. D. Simak Time Quarry in Galaxy Science Fiction Dec. 118/2 page image Clifford D. Simak bibliography

    You and I may be no more than puppets in some probability world that will pinch out tomorrow.

  • 1958 A. Budrys Never Meet Again in Infinity Science Fiction Mar. 33/2 page image Algis Budrys bibliography

    He had suspected that the probability world his apparatus could most easily adjust him for would be one in which Germany had lost the war.

  • 1967 B. Aldiss Report on Probability A in New Worlds SF Mar. 76 page image Brian W. Aldiss bibliography

    I’d say this probability world, if that is what it is, is several degrees from ours. Even the names of the places we’ve been given are entirely foreign.

  • 1990 G. Dozois Playing the Game in Slow Dancing Through Time (Afterword) 159 Gardner Dozois bibliography

    This started off as a story by Jack called ‘The Alpha Tree’™, about a boy who could see into alternate universes…. I skewed Jack’s idea somewhat, building the story instead around a concept that had long fascinated me—an intuition of how easy it would be to become lost among the billions of probability-worlds that are born and die around us every second of every day.

  • 2012 L. Tidhar Great Game xlii. 306 page image Lavie Tidhar bibliography

    [T]hese semi-scanners worked on broken frequencies, on quantum probability pocket worlds not seen or even remembered by any but the oldest of antiquarians. Like those tripod machines. This, the observer felt, could not go on. There were rules or, if not exactly rules, there was such a thing as decorum. Which meant those probability world incursions had to stop. The observer felt quite cheerful now. Soon it would be all over and he’d be back where he belonged.

Research requirements

antedating 1943

Earliest cite

A. E. van Vogt, in Astounding

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1950 cite from Clifford D. Simak's "Time Quarry".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1958 cite from Algis Budrys's 'Never Meet Again'.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1991 reprint of Poul Anderson's 1951 story "Earthman, Beware!
Mike Christie submitted a reference to a cite from the August 1948 Astounding, 21/2; Jesse Sheidlower verified it in the original.
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1943 cite from A. E. van Vogt in Astounding.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2012 cite from Lavie Tidhar.

Last modified 2021-11-24 19:51:41
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.