The Paradox Paradox

By Daniel Hardcastle

A bit Star Trek, a bit Doctor Who, and a bit fucked up.

Monday, 26 September 2022

Chapter N-1

Happy three year anniversary of the launch of Paradox Paradox! To celebrate, I'm going to rip my cast out of their lives early, destroy reality, and hope they put it back together before the full release. 

And away we go!

*Sounds of a universe being destroyed, reality being erased, and a keyboard clattering to the ground ominously* 


Kez found herself floating in an endless void. This was a bit of a surprise considering that moments ago she had been sitting in her dorm room, revising using the usual strategy of pounding energy drinks and crying over complicated textbooks.

The void itself was white, featureless, and seriously void-y. It stretched out beyond Kez’s understanding and then some. If she had to describe its main feature, she’d probably go with just how featureless it was. A right bugger to navigate but wouldn’t wear your pencils down if you drew a picture of it.

‘Hello?’ she asked the nothing, hoping that something would reply. Nothing did. 

Aces, she thought, not to herself, but to her onboard, sentient AI. I’ve only gone and died. Six months of revision and I’ve copped it the day before the exam. Typical.

Her AI didn’t reply. The man that had just formed into existence in front of her did.

‘Hello,’ said the old man over the computer console that was with him. ‘I’ll have you sorted in a moment.’

Kez observed the man, mostly because he was the only observable thing in her universe right now. She couldn’t quite work out if he was that old or that exhausted. Maybe both. The bags under his eyes had bags under them, fractaling down possibly forever. 

‘I’m Osheen by the way,’ said the man. 

‘Kez,’ replied Kez.

‘Theo,’ said Theo, causing Kez to jump.

‘Ah,’ said Osheen, looking very worried. ‘Now there are two of you.’

‘Who’s the other one?’ asked Jack.

‘Me,’ said Eureka. ‘I think?’

Osheen’s console beeped gently, vibrated modestly, and exploded spectacularly. Then, quickly, it hadn’t.

‘Could you all float around to face me?’ Osheen asked the crowd. ‘We’ve only got a few minutes to sort this.’

‘What’s going on?’ Jack asked, each hair of his neat beard wafting slightly in the lack of gravity. ‘Are we dead?’

‘I thought we were dead too,’ said Kez, overshooting her rotation. ‘This has all the hallmarks of dead.’

‘I can’t be dead!’ Eureka exclaimed, her zero-g training kicking into great effect. ‘My wife will kill me!’

‘We’re not…’ Osheen began but stopped himself. Briefly, he tapped at his console. A green light lit up. He exhaled happily.

‘We’re not dead,’ he said. ‘I’ve just made a slight mistake with my time machine.’

‘What did you do?’ Theo asked, winking at the camera. ‘Delete System32?’ 

The audience laughed. 

‘Did anyone else here that?’ asked Eureka slowly. 

‘Wrong spelling of “hear”,’ said Jack, the words falling out his mouth before he could understand exactly what he was saying.

‘Oh,’ said Eureka bashfully. ‘Thanks.’

‘Oh, this is worse than I thought,’ Osheen said, jabbing at his console like a bubble wrap popping expert, mid-competition. ‘The time machine malfunction has caused a rip in the fabric of twenty-six-dimensional space. Meta radiation is pouring in through it!’ 

‘Meta radiation?’ said Eureka in a panic. ‘Where?’

‘It’s behind you!’ the group chanted.

‘Damn,’ said Osheen. ‘We haven’t got long left. Someone’s tampered with the timeline and we need to fix it.’ [1]

‘What can we do?’ asked Theo, shirtless for this one shot.

‘I can plot a course for us to get out of here,’ replied Osheen, leaning over his console. ‘Straight back through the hole the meta radiation left.’

‘Plot. Hole,’ said Kez. ‘Got it.’

‘All I need is one of you to let the radiation work through you,’ continued Osheen. ‘If you become engulfed in it, I can trace it’s trail back through the rift, and fix whatever caused the temporal discrepancy in the first place.’

‘Sounds easy enough,’ said Kez. ‘I’ll do it.’

With that, Kez opened her arms wide, a bright light emanating from her as she stopped resisting the radiation. Comparisons with Christ are obvious and encouraged.

‘Happy three years since I undertook this stupid book,’ she said for some reason. ‘To celebrate I’m announcing that it’s coming out next year instead. I know, I know, I said back in February it was going to be this year, but it turns out that ten months isn’t long enough to launch a book, and it being twice the contracted length raises some logistical issues. Who knew? Anyway, best be going now, got to wrap this dumb story up before the joke wears thin. Paradox Paradox. 2023. Bye.’

‘Found it!’ said Osheen. ‘For some reason my latest time travel experiment ricochet through the timeline and turned us all into saints!’

‘Saints? Like, religious figures?’ asked Kez, her glow now dissipating. ‘How?’

‘Never mind that,’ said Osheen. ‘The ripples in the timeline eventually destroyed reality. I must set it back.’

With that, he drew a gun from under his console.

‘You’re going to kill us!?’ gasped Jack dramatically enough to win an Emmy.

‘I can’t be killed!’ Eureka referenced back. ‘My wife will kill me!’

‘I’m not going to kill you,’ said Osheen. ‘This is an un-canonizer. It’ll remove any chance of us ever becoming holy in the eyes of the catholic church.’

‘Un-canonizer,’ said Theo, nudging Jack with his elbow. ‘I get it.’

‘Get what?’ Jack asked. 

The audience laughed. This time they didn’t stop, their voices shaking all of the nothing in the closest five or six postcodes.

‘Brace yourselves,’ yelled Osheen over the tumult. ‘If this goes well, we’ll all be back where we started with no memory of this. It’ll be like it never happened.’

‘What never happened?’ said Kez. 

With that, the group all laughed and pointed finger guns at Kez, before holding hands and singing the bit of kumbaya they could remember. Afterwards, Osheen fired, fixing everything incredibly neatly, and the author vowed to never write anything while high on vegetarian Haribo ever again.




[1]‘Can you hear me?’ Jack asked. ‘I think I’ve turned into a footnote.’

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Sophie Wyllie
 Sophie Wyllie says:

Well that was certainly one of the series of words I've read.

posted 26th September 2022

Mark Vent
 Mark Vent says:

Brilliant! looking forward to the book! :)

posted 26th September 2022

Jan-Philipp Voss
 Jan-Philipp Voss says:

I laughed, I cried, it truly was the most of a connected series of words.

posted 26th September 2022

Sophia Ufton
 Sophia Ufton says:

Wow, loved it.

posted 26th September 2022

Robin Kingsley
 Robin Kingsley says:

the most update of all time

posted 26th September 2022

Will Harding
 Will Harding says:

Truly incredible, a masterful execution of shitpost, update, and quality content. 10/10

posted 26th September 2022

Dylan Tavares
 Dylan Tavares says:


posted 26th September 2022

Anita Roberts
 Anita Roberts says:

Is this ever going to actually get printed? Have I completely wasted my money backing this project? Please tell me there is a light at the end of this 3 year tunnel...

posted 26th September 2022

Alex Brooks
 Alex Brooks says:

Absolutely hilarious regardless of this not being canon and I can't wait for the book to come out! [1]

The delay will be totally worth it as far as I'm concerned, because if it's rushed it won't be as good as it could be. I laughed several times (I couldn't be bothered to count) reading this. Keep up the great work, Dan!

[1] Not that I have a choice in doing so.

posted 27th September 2022

Darythe Hill
 Darythe Hill says:

I'm so hopeful for this book. I'm so excited to get to read it! I hope it doesn't take too long to get out to Canada after it's printed...

posted 28th September 2022

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