“The universe is broken”: The story behind the story

Electric Literature does a weird thing where they give a Feynman diagram that I found on the internet. This is the sort of diagram with squiggly lines and Greek letters that’s referenced in the storydifferent title to the webpages that have their stories than the story actually has and use that in their promotion for the story. A couple years ago, they did this with Elizabeth Campbell’s story, “The Big Bang” giving an alternate title of “A busted family in a broken universe.“

That phrase, “broken universe,” caught my imagination and I began with the title, “The universe is broken” and began imagining what, exactly, this might mean. At about the same time, there was a news story about some subatomic particle coming back with a different mass than theory predicted and mashing those together with a dose of emotional angst left me with this story.

Feedback on drafts of the story came from Lori Barrett, Aaron Frankel, Diane Gilette, Davy McNell, Laura Nelson and Dan Portincaso.


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