Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Tiger (1953)
First published in Fantastic Universe, June/July 1953 and collected in ‘Tales From Planet Earth’. Originally entitled ‘Refutation’, this story was re-titled by Sam Merwin, editor of Fantastic Universe, as a nod to Frank Stockton’s classic but now forgotten ‘The Lady or the Tiger’.
As it’s coming up to the anniversary of Clarke’s birth (16 Dec 1917). So I’m reading some of the stories I missed over the years.
The first is a very short story (1.2K words) based on the multiple universe theory:
‘Well, let’s be perfectly logical and see where it gets us. Our only assumption, remember, is that the universe is infinite.’
‘Right. Personally I don’t see what else it can be.’
‘Very well. That means there must be an infinite number of stars and planets. Therefore, by the laws of chance, every possible event must occur not merely once but an infinite number of times. Correct?’
‘I suppose so.’
It’s rather silly and in the end, everyone is eaten by a tiger.