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Regarding Ducks and Universes

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  916 ratings  ·  152 reviews
On a foggy Monday in 1986, the universe suddenly, without warning, bifurcated. Fast forward to thirty-five years later: Felix Sayers is a culinary writer living in San Francisco of Universe A who spends his days lunching at Coconut Café and dreaming of penning an Agatha Christie-style mystery. But everything changes when his Aunt Henrietta dies, leaving Felix a photograph ...more
Paperback, 331 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by AmazonEncore
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Community Reviews

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I wasn't sure what to expect when this came up as a monthly read for the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club. I'd never heard of the book or author. But I'm always interested in trying new things and though I'd give it a try. And I'm really glad I did.

Set in an alternate-history where a science experiment duplicated the universe with the two universes being connected and people able to go between them. People born after the split were unique but those from before have an alter, an identical person in t
5 Stars

Regarding Ducks and Universes by Neve Maslakovic was an unexpected surprise that I owe all to Goodreads and their exploration section. This is a story that starts in 1986 when a professor creates and links an alternate universe. Universe A and Universe B are linked and travel between the two ensues.

Our story centers on Felix A, a cookbook and kitchen gadget writer. Without spoiling anything the plot revolves around Felix A traveling to Universe B in hopes to spy on his alter version of hi
We all assume from birth that we are one of a kind, but how would we react if we suddenly found out we weren't an original? There is someone out there with your name, your look, your interests running around? This is how Felix feels when he suddenly learns of Felix B. In the world Felix lives in, "alters", are common for older people in his world. But he recently found out he was old enough to have this doppelganger in a parallel universe (Universe B).

As Felix takes a trip to this alternate uni
The author has some interesting ideas, and I think the mechanics are competent. But there were 2 really big problems for me with this book: (1) the plot wandered; even though it's not a long book, it seemed to take forever for anything to happen, and (2) the characters didn't come across to me with much depth.

And there was one more problem, which goes back to my statement that author has some interesting ideas: some of the most interesting ideas aren't exploited; the book is full of missed oppor
Rick F.
When a novel as the following discription:"A smart and funny tale of a cookware writer, his alter ego, and a wayward rubber duck."one does not know whatto expect!! Happily in the case of Regarding Ducks and Universes by Neve Maslakovic, what one gets is an utterly delightful journey into the absurd and the sublim. Characters pop out and become immedaitely ingrained in the reader's consciousness. The plot, so very unique and inviting clearly puts Neve Maslakovic in the ranks of Adams, Pratchett a ...more
When I received Regarding Ducks and Universes I really had no idea what to expect. The blurb made is sound like a humorous romp with the feel of Christopher Moore. to a certain extent, it is. But what I ended up getting was a light mystery more in the vein of China Mielville.

When we start the book we are in a transporter that allows individuals to travel from Universe A to Universe B. Neither universe is ours although both have a striking resemblance. However, Universe A relies on computers and
I would classify this one as "solid beach read," which is a little disappointing given the high reviews it was given. It was supposed to be solid sci-fi and generally a good read. It was neither. Which is not to say that I regret reading it, after putting in a hundred pages I didn't have any real inclination to abandon the thing.

The sci-fi elements (diverging universes created by moments where decisions or happenstance events set off chains of significantly different events, and the linking of s
Nov 16, 2011 Stokat rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like slight science fiction
Recommended to Stokat by: Kindle
I came across Regarding Ducks and Universes while skimming book titles on my Kindle. It was $1.99 and involved multiple universes, which is right there at top of my guilty pleasure plots list (along with time travel). I indulged.

Felix Sayers is a culinary writer living in the San Francisco of Universe A. His dream is to one day write a mystery novel. He gets side tracked when he realized that there is, in fact, another Felix Sayers in the other universe, Universe B. Who is this other Felix Sayer
4.5 stars. This is a very charming, smart sci-fi mystery. The tone is light and old fashioned, reminiscent of the frequently referred to Agatha Christie. But it also reminded me very much of the old Asimov and Heinlein novels where they were more about the clever and charmingly told story more than about action; for example, I frequently thought of Asimov's The Caves of Steel, a murder mystery originally published in the 1950s but set in the future. The subjects were very different but something ...more
When I found out that I was one of the lucky few to win a preview copy of this book I couldn't wait for it to arrive. The title and brief synopsis had me hooked and I'm happy to say that the book lived up to its billing. I loved it. The thought that there could be parallel universes out there, with alternates of ourselves, which are very similar but also subtley different is an intriguing one and in this story that thought is brought to life in brilliant and amusing detail as we follow the adven ...more
An engaging what-if that fails to leverage its premise to flesh out the characters or the plot. At times it was difficult to discern the difference between grad students Arni and Pak, while Bean's defining characteristics are that she's the female grad student in the group, she drives fast, and our protagonist Felix has a chaste crush on her. Felix himself is a character with dreams and an ambitious spirit, however he displays little drive, motivated primarily by insecurity--his main reason for ...more
When the universe split into two in 1986, those who existed already found out they had an alternate being in the other universe. Felix, in Universe A, has just found out that his birthday was altered by his parents, now realizes that he has an alter and is on his way to Universe B to find out if Felix B has achieved Felix A's lifelong goal of writing a mystery novel. Felix soon finds himself embroiled in a mystery of his own; someone is trying to kill him. Add to that a rivalry between research ...more
It's not a good sign while reading a story that you continually ask yourself, "Why do I care about these characters?". That is one of many flaws with Maslakovic's first novel. There's a failure to really become emotionally invested in Felix's dilemma because he himself shows only a passing interest in multiple universes and the motives of everyone he runs into contact with. Another flaw is how it fails to really propel itself forward. Instead the reader is beaten repeatedly over the head with sc ...more
This book really has to be accepted for what it is. It is a work that does not take itself seriously, a satire of sci-fi.

An event that happened in the 70's caused our planet to split - now there is a duplicate Earth and everyone born prior to the split has an 'alter' on the duplicate planet.

Or rather, San Fransisco does - the world impact isn't considered, just San Fransisco, it's inhabitants and the impact on the production of sour dough bread. Which is why I say, accept it for a whacky comedy
I wrote a pretty substantial review for this and I accidentally erased it so here's the hastily-written cliff notes.

This is a sci-fi book where the best parts involves the very human desire to know if you could have lived you life better. There are two alternate realities and people can travel between them. Felix Sayres is doing so because he has to know if his counterpart is living a better life than him and has accomplished his goal of becoming a mystery writer.

The story breaks down when it tr
Brick ONeil
Science fiction/fantasy really hasn't been my area of interest, however, a friend suggested I read this split-universe book. I was wary at first but quickly became enamored with Mila Maslakovic's two worlds. An almost-identical version of the one but with minor differences. Different foods in the same restaurants, a bridge missing due to earthquake in one, complete in the other. Mila does a great job creating the two worlds and their `alters', as the duplicate universe people are called. Since t ...more
I was leaning towards a 2.5 star review, but the inconclusive ending made me round down to 2.

Some very good ideas underdeveloped, the feel of characters that should be interesting and quirky, and an unfinished book, is how I'd sum it all up.

There was a good book to be had in there somewhere, but it felt like a little more polish would have helped, maybe? I don't know how o explain it. Maybe an "A" for effort?

The characters felt like they should be better, and even though the narrator did a great
Løuis Frendo
Its an intersting book I would recommend it if you like books about mystries and a tinny bit of action
joseph R. Hylton
not for everyone

I found this book very interesting. Regarding Ducks and Universes was an exploration of one possible scenario involving the many-worlds interpretation in quantum mechanics. the book was written more from the scientific point of view. That interpretation is fairly widely known and used in many contemporary scify works. in tv, Star Trek:The Next Generation episode "Paralels" describes it very well. In that theory, every possible outcome of every decision made actually happens in an
Kristina Trawick
Not my cuppa

I tried so hard to like this book, but I had to give up at the 69% mark. The idea of a parallel universe isn't new, and I appreciate the author trying to give this story a go. But, I just couldn't get into the cutesy words in one universe, as though it was just enough different that fruit was somehow not the same, with almost dogs and giant squirrels thrown in the mix. I just lost interest in trying to figure out what the whole point of the story was. I hope others like it, just not
Dec 17, 2014 Tim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want a light, upbeat book
Although I loved the idea behind the central plot, I feel like this book kind of fell apart at about the 70% mark and ended with a whimper, not a bang. Kind of wrapped up too neatly and in quite a rush, but without a real sense of interesting closure. In addition, some of the side characters felt pretty interchangeable and not fleshed out, and a couple of the main mechanics of the sci-fi concepts didn't feel fleshed out or seem to make logical sense.
Overall a cozy and lighthearted read, but not
Great title, great concept, and a decent execution, but somehow it all just fell a bit flat for me in the end. There was something unbalanced about it that I can't quite put my finger on. Too much plot and not enough character development? Or perhaps just that the plot dragged and took longer than it should have. It just sort of felt like everyone was running around and not actually DOING very much. Also, any time the characters would all get together in the same room, they'd start trying to exp ...more
Bernie Gourley
As one might guess from the title, this is a lighthearted--dare I say whimsical--science fiction novel set around parallel universes. The light tone works to discourage one from being too much of a stickler about logical consistency and scientific validity. Parallel universes can raise almost as many troubling questions as time travel; but when the tone is comedic, it’s easy to set the these concerns aside and take it as a simple plot device. This isn’t to suggest that Maslakovic neglects the is ...more
What if the fact that you sneezed, went to a job interview or dropped something (or didn't drop it) would create a separate universe where your life would go on differently? What if it were possible to visit the other universe? And what if you had an 'alter' - an alternative copy of yourself in the other universe?

The main character of this story, Felix Sayers, a culinary writer (and wanna-be mystery-novel writer) from Universe A goes off to visit Universe B with a purpose (apart from sight-seein
B.C. Young
Regarding Ducks and Universes is a fun tale that spans two dimensions. There is a definite "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" feel to this book, though the humor is definitely not on par with that book. That being said, the atmosphere of the book is light and fun. The book doesn't take itself too seriously, but it is a little too self aware (the reference to print books and eBooks and the dilemma they pose on readers, writers, and publishers happened way too much).

The book is written in first pe
An entertaining, light read.

In 1986, the world splits in two, giving us Universe A and Universe B. Our hero lives on A but is traveling to B because he's just found out -- horror of horrors! -- his parents lied about his age. Instead of being born after the Big Split, he was born six months before!

This means Felix has an alter, a duplicate of himself in Universe B. Everything and everyone present for the split has a double. Of course there are rules about contacting alters and a lot of other thi
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
I recieved this for review from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Here's part of my review: From the moment I read the title, I thought that this novel was going to be very original and a fun read…my first impression was exactly right. This novel isn’t YA, but I think teen readers would like it. I think this novel falls under the adult category, but that’s just my opinion.

This novel presents the intriguing idea that the universe split into two different universes, Universe A and Unive
What if you knew, without a doubt, what could’ve happened in your life, if only this one thing, variable x, hadn’t happened? If you hadn’t gotten a serious sinus infection or missed that job interview? Would you be any happier knowing that somewhere out there in a different reality those little decision points hadn’t happened, and you were a reknowned chef or inventor? Better: what if you could travel to one of those alternate realities and meet your (possibly more successful) alternative self. ...more
Regarding Ducks and Universes is a light science fiction mystery with elements of social commentary thrown in just for good measure. The book’s central character is Felix Sayers, an instruction manual writer and an aspiring mystery novel author, who travels to a known parallel universe to investigate his “alter” in Universe B. Along the way, Felix meets a research team that explains how Felix himself may be the creator (“prime mover”), in essence, of the alternate universe. Meanwhile, he also su ...more
Desmond Shepherd
Regarding Ducks and Universes is a fun tale that spans two dimensions. There is a definite "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" feel to this book, though the humor is definitely not on par with that book. That being said, the atmosphere of the book is light and fun. The book doesn't take itself too seriously, but it is a little too self aware (the reference to print books and eBooks and the dilemma they pose on readers, writers, and publishers happened way too much).

The book is written in first pe
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Neve Maslakovic is the author of the Incident series (time-travel whodunits) as well as a standalone novel, Regarding Ducks and Universes. Neve’s life journey has taken her from Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) to a PhD at Stanford University's STAR Lab (Space, Telecommunications and Radioscience Lab) to her dream job as a full-time writer. She currently lives with her husband and son near Minnea ...more
More about Neve Maslakovic...
The Far Time Incident (The Incident Series, #1) The Runestone Incident (The Incident Series, #2) The Bellbottom Incident (The Incident Series #3)

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“ occurred to me that I was stuck somewhere in between, with neither the blind confidence of youth that everything would turn out as imagined nor the experience that builds up as years pass that i wouldn't matter if it didn't.” 1 likes
“I spent a few minutes fully engrossed in the textbook, having forgotten where I was and why I was there, the highest compliment one can pay a book, I suppose.” 0 likes
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