Blish bases this novel on a quasi-mathematical explanation of ESP and psycho-kinesis which was really not necessary and doesn’t hold together at all (“the activity of the psi mechanism as a whole may be that of an infinitely overlapping group of Fourier functions, in which the nerve impulses play the part of dynamical variables”). A newspaper reporter, Danny Caiden, starts discovering that he has extra-sensory powers, including limited precognition, some telepathy and PK. With the help of a researcher of paranormal abilities, he starts understanding his abilities when a ruthless group of people, each with a particular paranormal ability, kidnaps him to either make him join their “Brotherhood” or kill him. The Brotherhood is bent on changing the evolution of the universe to a timeline where they achieve unbridled power and control. The multiverse is considered to be a sheaf of potential timelines, separated by different values of Planck’s
Constant and accessible through the use of psi-powers. The Brotherhood wants to get our universe to choose the appropriate timeline where they become omnipotent. From there, the story devolves into a garbled fight between good and evil, with quasi-mathematical explanations of ESP. Heisenberg’s PQ – QP = i * ħ makes a couple of appearances, along with Blackett equation. Danny, who starts understanding Math and Physics at a reasonable level due to his ESP, leads the fight against the Brotherhood and wins after some surreal trips through the multiverse. Pretty bad, pulpy affair.