Micaiah Johnson’s 2020 The Space Between Worlds is a science fiction novel.
Adam Bosch has invented a machine that gives Wiley City (and to a lesser extent the dystopian hellscape beyond its walls) access to the multiverse. New resources, new information … that’s the good part. But there is a catch. Indeed, a number of catches.
Adam’s machine will only work to connect timelines that are quite similar. Even though there are an infinity of possible worlds, Wiley City only has access to 380. Travel between timelines is physically challenging. Not only that: living beings who travel to parallel worlds in which they have a living analog will die horrible deaths.
Privileged people, important people, tend to have analogs in most of the other realities. They’ve led protected lives, as have most of their analogs. Traversing would surely mean death. But there are a lot of people who haven’t led protected lives. Beyond Wiley City’s walls live the poor, doomed to short and dangerous lives. Send such a poor person across the worlds and it’s just possible that the poor person may live.