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"...being predictive, being right about the future, is not the point of any given story or novel. The point is about exploring as wide a range of possibilities as possible."
- Peter Watts

Multiverse  
  A set or series of universes in parallel with our own.  

Perhaps the first use of this word in science fiction; don't know of an earlier use of the concept in sf.

Yet within it there were many things, many intelligences who did not realise they dwelt in a multiverse since, within itself, it was comprised of many universes, each one separated from the other by dimensions, like leaves between the layers.
Technovelgy from The Sundered Worlds, by Michael Moorcock.
Published by Science Fiction Adventures in 1963
Additional resources -

The word "multiverse" was probably coined by William James in 1895, using it in a moral rather than astronomical sense:

But those times are past; and we of the nineteenth century, with our evolutionary theories and our mechanical philosophies, already know nature too impartially and too well to worship unreservedly any god of whose character she can be an adequate expression. Truly all we know of good and beauty proceeds from nature, but none the less so all we know of evil. Visible nature is all plasticity and indifference, a moral multiverse, as one might call it, and not a moral universe. [William James, "Is Life Worth Living?" address to the Young Men's Christian Association of Harvard University, May 1895]

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Sundered Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by Michael Moorcock
  Tech news articles related to The Sundered Worlds
  Tech news articles related to works by Michael Moorcock

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