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Regarding Ducks and Universes
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Regarding Ducks and Universes

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,201 Ratings  ·  174 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, 344 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by AmazonEncore
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I’ve been curious about the title of this book since I first saw it. I tend to like the odder titles that make me speculate about the contents of the book. By the end of the first page, the “Universes” part is clear. The story is about two alternate universes that, as a result of a scientific experiment that happened several years before the book began, have become linked together. It’s even possible for people to travel between the universes. The “Ducks” part of the title doesn’t really become ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophical
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
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: have-for-kindle
Not too much to say about this one. It was one of the first books I ever got for the kindle and quickly got lost in the shuffle. Much like a (insert major plot device from the story here), the idea of it has been resurfacing since November 4, 2011.

Yes, it has been in my queue for 5 1/2 years and I just now read it. That said, due to the long wait, I feel that I owe this book at least a short review.

Characters: 4.2*
Plot: 3*
Universes: 4*
Ducks: 5*
Overall: 4*

This was a fairly quick, light, and engag
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2014
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
Jan 18, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 16, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, sci-fi
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
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I have not yet, up until now had a less than 3.5 rated book be a success. I am not entirely sure why it is rated so low, even after reading the other reviews.

Multiple universes is a hot topic amongst writers and actual physicists, not coincidentally I think. This book does the idea justice, two universes connected by a random, unidentified event. Connected enough to send objects and people back and forth. I loved the concept of alters, those people who were born be
Feb 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
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
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
A fun, quirky little story. Parallel universe fiction written by a physicist. A good self-published book? Apparently so. (Though I am not sure that something published by Amazon Encore should qualify as self-published. Apparently it was originally. I refuse to say "indie" in this context, so please don't go there.)

Anyway, this was light and enjoyable. I thought at first that it might be popular science about the toy ducks that fell off a boat bound from China, but no. I admit, the cover sucked m
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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
Løuis Frendo
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Its an intersting book I would recommend it if you like books about mystries and a tinny bit of action
MB (What she read)
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Connie Willis fans may enjoy this
3.5*s. That was different. I enjoyed it. Her writing style made me think of Connie Willis' a bit.
I think for a book about alternate universes this was really fun and somewhat light. The science I felt was fed in a manner not to be too overwhelming as the reader is learning things just as much as Felix A is. I really liked Bean but I'm not sure if it was her as a character or the lens of Felix A's regard for her. I honestly don't know how I'd feel if I'd grown up in a world where alters exist thinking I was a unique and then suddenly finding out I was actually not. I kind of like that Felix ...more
Rating: 3.5 stars

This was a quirky little tale of alternate universes, murder mystery, cooking, and ducks. The story focuses on Felix A who has just discovered he has an alter in universe B, so he decides to visit and check up to see if they have competitive interests.

He quickly finds himself embroiled in a wacky adventure to discover the true genesis behind the bifurcation of the universe. Along the way he encounters some colorful characters.

This was a fun read. The story was mostly engaging, a
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
In 1986, something happened to split San Francisco into two universes. Felix's aunt dies and leaves him a picture that proves he was alive when the universe split. He goes on a trip to SF-B and gets caught up with some new friends who are researching what caused the split and somehow believe he's involved. Someone also seems to be intent on killing him.

A bit odd, but some interesting differences in the universes and a look at multiple universes.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, sf
How could I not like a book that includes a copy of "The Nine Tailors" as part of the plot?
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
In my senior year of college, I had saved up a few elective courses to take. I made sure I saved them for the end of my collegiate career, sort of an “eat your veggies before dessert” philosophy. In my case, the veggies were twentieth-century Irish poetry. The dessert happened to be science fiction. Now, I have to admit that I wasn’t necessarily a sci-fi fan before taking the class (though I had watched Star Trek: The Next Generation religiously, as any good early ‘90s kid did). I just figured i ...more
Bernie Gourley
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Desmond Shepherd
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
B.C. Young
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
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Neve Maslakovic is the author of the highly praised debut novel, "Regarding Ducks and Universes," and the Incident series (time travel, mystery and history). Neve’s life journey has taken her from Belgrade, Serbia to a PhD at Stanford University's STAR Lab, to her dream job as a writer. She lives with her husband and son near Minneapolis/St. Paul, where she admits to enjoying the winters.

Find out
More about Neve Maslakovic...

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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.” 2 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.” 1 likes
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