PJS wrote:If a universe explodes in the void,
and there's no one there to hear it,
does it make any sound?
Sound doesn't travel in a vacuum ("In space, no one can hear you scream"). So the answer to your question is indeed 42.
I think it was Stanislaw Lem who wrote a very funny and thoughtful short story about the instant (another time word) of the Big Bang. Of course, the brain cell that stored the memory of its name has long since perished. But I seem to recall that all of its characters shared the same "no-space" and existed in the same "no-time." And so everything happened contemporaneously.
Lem's story is apparently based on sound cosmology but is, of course, a conceit since all tales are sequential and thus firmly rooted in time.