In 1984-85 I read a short sci-fi story in a book of stories about a scientist who created a device that sends him to an alternate dimension. At first there is very little difference from our own but, I believe, he finds himself moving uncontrollably through dimensions that begin to differ substantially. The only other thing that I recall is that at the end he becomes an amoeba-like creature with pseudopods for arms. I can't remember the name of the book, story, or author.
A long shot that is a mismatch for most of those details, but just in case memory has distorted some of the plot, a long shot that partially matches two statements is
The only other thing that I recall is that at the end he becomes an amoeba-like creature with pseudopods for arms.
Not an exact match, but every time I read this description my memory shouts this story.
I suppose it is a mismatch to extend “purple blobs” instead of “pseudopods”, but check it out:
This is the ending speech by the government official conducting the study:
"—we are indeed ready for refraction. And that, I tell you, is good enough for those who billow and those who snap. But those who billow will be proven wrong as always, for in the snapping is the rolling and in the rolling is only truth. There need be no change merely because of a sodden cilium. The apparatus has rested at last in the fractional conveyance; shall we view it subtly?" They all agreed, and their bloated purpled bodies dissolved into liquid and flowed up and around to the apparatus. When they reached its four square blocks, now no longer shrilling mechanically, they rose, solidified, and regained their slime-washed forms. "See," cried the thing that had been the acting secretary to the executive assistant on press relations. "See, no matter how subtly! Those who billow were wrong: we haven't changed." He extended fifteen purple blobs triumphantly. "Nothing has changed!"
Partial match to
… through dimensions that begin to differ substantially.
There are no alternate dimensions or universes in this story. The entire story is about repeatedly sending a device back in time to measure earth conditions, and each sending back alters our timeline. It results in changes in the research room and the people in it each time the device is sent back, and the room and occupants do “begin to differ substantially”.
But Tenn sneaks his changes up on the reader. Just the ceiling lights change at first. Then....
So, not a match for other dimensions, but just enough of an arresting description, just in case it’s a match in which memory grabbed some details and garbled some others.