Basing his work on the strange legend that Ts’ui Pên had intended to construct an infinite labyrinth and on a cryptic letter from Ts’ui Pên himself stating, “I leave to several futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths,” Doctor Albert realized that the “garden of forking paths” was the novel and that the forking takes place in time, rather than space. In most fictions, a character chooses one alternative at each decision point and eliminates all of the others. In Ts’ui Pên’s novel, however, all possible outcomes of an event occur simultaneously, all of which themselves lead to further proliferations of possibilities. Albert further explains that the constantly-diverging paths sometimes converge again but as the result of a different chain of causes.

Wikipedia: Garden of forking paths