Theories about parallel universes, black holes, and space-time singularities are nothing new to rabid fans of science fiction. But even fellow island blogger Steve “Linkmeister” Timberlake must have doubted reality for a moment when he discovered an unexpected, infinitely improbable link between his world and that of renown sci-fi editor and writer Teresa Nielsen Hayden.
Teresa and her husband Patrick run the immensely popular blog “Making Light,” brimming with creative and brilliant contributors and commenters. Topics range from the publishing business to politics to metaphysics, and most posts garner over 100 posts. If it’s not in your feed reader, it should be. Interestingly, I had recently boomarked this post on Ray Bradbury’s apparent change of heart over the message of “Fahrenheit 451.”
Well, on Thursday, Patrick posted an open thread, a post with no purpose that allows the community to respond with… well, anything they like. Random quotes, recent epiphanies, motherly advice, what have you. After a slow start, things really started rolling. Patrick had kicked things off with a list of memories from 1985, and many followed suit. But Teresa posted a more contemporary timeline entry:
Teresa Nielsen Hayden: “2007: Am stranded in Mesa, Arizona with a dead laptop and very little connectivity.”
Linkmeister, who had already been contributing to the conversation, keyed on her mention of Mesa. Turns out he knew someone who was in the area:
Linkmeister: “My widowed uncle is marrying a long-time friend who lost her spouse many years ago in Mesa tomorrow, if you’re in the mood for a wedding.”
Teresa Nielsen Hayden: “What is your uncle’s name? Unless there are two weddings tomorrow morning in Mesa that answer to that description, he’s marrying my mother.”
Linkmeister, Teresa, and the rest of the “Making Light” regulars were gobsmacked. Not long afterward, Patrick followed up with a new post, an official confirmation. “The fellow Teresaís mother is marrying is the uncle of one of our longtime commenters,” Patrick wrote. “I think there are exclamations appropriate to this, but my mind is so blown that I canít think of any of them.”
Linkmeister similarly blogged about it. “I’m still shaking my head at the coincidence,” he wrote.
Indeed, Patrick continued to stumble across other unexpected links, prompting him to declare, “I have now officially passed through the Bogglement Event Horizon and am descending to the Bogglement Singularity.”