Graham Paint is a downsizing consultant, and sick of it. One morning he misses his bus when he stops to put a strange caterpillar in a matchbox. As the bus passes he's shocked to spot himself inside. Like Schrödinger's Cat in the famous quantum thought experiment, the caterpillar's spawned parallel possibilities. This comic novel explores Graham's search for a better life among the various overlapping alternatives. Another clone, Grim Dupeint, is a loathsome international arms dealer. Graham infiltrates Grim's corporation, then embezzles cash for charity. When a furious Grim realises, Graham must act fast. And right now he's acting like fish food. Graham launches upon a new lifestyle (and sex life) as he dons the designer suits of power. But sinister figures soon see through Graham's clothing. Now Graham's under attack from the corporation, the police, his ex-wife's private detective, and an infuriatingly pompous water-colourist who Graham might have been if he'd gone to art college rather than business school. To survive (and steal the artist's wonderful woman) Graham needs to find hidden resources. By definition Dopplegraham's equally resourceful. Bugger...
Zane Stumpo is the younger, more successful version of an old fart who refuses to face reality. It's not obvious why he's coy about his real identity, since he normally grabs any opportunity to leap up and down shouting 'Look at me!'
The whiskery wrinkly version had a bizarre student lifestyle for many years. He did a degree in Architecture (failed), then English. He worked for a year in London as a trainee stockbroker, then did a postgraduate degree in Business Administration. Following this he accidentally did a PhD in Operations Research which involved computer programming and developing new pure mathematical approaches to sub-gradient optimisation. (Or sub-gradient optimism, according to his mother.)
His mum then suggested he should apply for a summer job with the BBC while he was deciding what to do next. His plans came unstuck when he inadvertently went for a permanent post, so he spent some years working in radio. He would have left, but they tried to get rid of him, so he had to stay. After years of idleness and occasional showing off on the telly he set up his own independent TV production company. Over the years he's spent more time looking for work than doing it, but on the rare occasions he bagged a commission he did at least get to visit remote and disreputable places.
He presented loads of programmes in America, which seemed like a good idea at the time.
He now makes short films in the forlorn hope that one day he'll direct a movie. His company has one member of staff. That's him.
Zane drew the pictures and designed the cover for Schrödinger's Caterpillar, although Zane said it was him. And he drew the animated trailer, and did the voice.
His doppelganger Zane Stumpo has all the experience and wisdom of the old git, but is many years younger and less frayed around the edges