Malcolm Peevey, a professor of chaos theory, sets out to test the “butterfly effect” in everyday life by performing what would appear to be an inconsequential act. As he carefully documents the resulting web of events, little does he realize what catastrophic global changes he has triggered, propelling him and everyone he meets into a slightly off-kilter world where household appliances penetrate multiple dimensions. As Malcolm recounts to Alex – over a great deal of coffee – the progression of his two-year experiment, odd things begin to happen as time disappears and reappears, sunsets speed up, and the characters populating Malcolm’s account begin to materialize – usually in the vicinity of Alex’s kitchen.
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One ranch. Three sons. Only one will inherit...and on one condition. Tired of waiting for his sons to settle down, Arizona-territory rancher Angus McKettrick announces a competition: the first son to marry and produce a grandchild will inherit Triple M ranch. Now, three distinctly different, equally determined cowboys are searching…
Over the course of a few days, more or less, Malcolm and Alex develop a close and oddly familiar friendship. Alex finds himself inexplicably drawn to Char, Malcolm’s insomniac girlfriend, as if he’s known her for years. Could this be deja-vu? Proof of fractal time? Or simply the toxic effects of too much caffeine?
Eventually these three find themselves stranded in a virtual desert along with Alex’s vacuum cleaner. Somehow, through the use of deductive logic as well as the vacuum cleaner, they must restore life, time, and the universe to normal.