12

I read this novel back in the mid-80's but I'm pretty sure it was written in the 70's.

Strange things start to happen around a homeless man - like the laws of chance are changed.

The investigators discover that they can figure out what is going to happen next by interpreting the dreams/vision of the man.

One such dream is of a large body of water that is split into two pieces. Turns out that means that "C" (sea) - the speed of light has been halved.

The homeless man had become the embodiment of the creator essence. The creator was hiding, because it was tired of trying to keep the universe working and from the fight with is adversary - chaos.

At the end of the book, the creator allows the world to be destroyed and recreates it - except that planets are cubes and move in squares.

Yes - it was rather bizarre.

18

Could this be Daniel F. Galouye's The Infinite Man (1973)? Per the Wikipedia summary:

A research project, Project Genesis, searches for evidence confirming the Steady State Theory of continuous creation in the area within and surrounding an unnamed American Midwestern city, according to which, 125,000 newly created neutrons (also called neoneutrons, which decay into hydrogen atoms consisting of protons and electrons while giving off hard gamma radiation - here called creation-radiation) should be called into existence in an Earth-sized volume in a twenty-four-hour period. The monitored area is an equilateral triangle with thickness of 50 feet (15 m) and an area of 300 square miles (780 km2) which should, by a proportional estimate, register twenty-one neoneutronic creation signatures in that same period.

Suddenly, not merely twenty-one, but millions of neoneutrons are called into existence in this monitoring area, fusing some of the sensor equipment. After replacing and refusing of the sensor elements, the locus of the phenomenon is traced to a rail-yard on the edge of the zone, and further, apparently emanating from a young drug-user and hobo, Milton Bradford.

Five years later, Milton Bradford (or, "Brad" to his inner circle) has gone from drug-using poverty to the pinnacle of corporate power as the Chairman of Progress and Development Enterprises (P&D), a real-estate and industrial conglomerate who functioned as an important partner during the days of the Genesis Project...

The reality is that P&D Enterprises, while a real company, is solely devoted to providing a safe and contented existence for Bradford. For, earlier on, psychological probing has revealed to Project Genesis' staff that the phenomenon that led them to Bradford is in fact the Creative Force that brought the Universe into being in the first place, and (while not immediately clear to the Project staff) the Creative Force has sought Bradford as a hiding place from a Universe that has become tiresomely overwhelmingly complex and the Destructive Force whom the Creative Force had originally brought into being a self-made opponent to stave off ennui. The Creative Force now seeks shelter amongst its favored beings.

The Wikipedia summary also mentions the specific detail that you recall regarding the change in the speed of light:

Between the adoration of the cult, which its leader has increasing trouble restraining, and the staff of P&D, psychologically exhausted from years of maintaining the P&D fiction against the utter destruction of the Universe, the cracks in the cover story develop and widen, and the Creative Force arouses and begins to try to simplify the Universe in order to make it more manageable - though not uninhabitable for its chosen residents; from the original confirmatory nova of Proxima Centauri and destruction of Pluto, it deletes all quasars observable in the Universe; rationalizes pi at the 323rd decimal; halves the speed of light; and changes probability so that outcomes bracketing the mean become more likely than the mean itself. These revisions to physical reality typically happen after dreams; the quasars are seen in Bradford's dreams as "glowflies", as an example; and the halving of the speed of light is expressed as "half a sea".

If not the novel, you may be thinking of one of the novellas from which the novel was formed. Additional details of the novella versions can be seen in this previous answer.

  • Yes! That is absolutely it. I had forgotten about the connection to Steady State Theory. – mhhollomon Mar 29 at 22:25

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