Today we would like to publish the list of fiction employing Parallel Universes or Alternate Realities.
Some of them are World famous novels, but more are absolutely unknown.
Good for you. At least you have new books to read while you are stoned.
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, wrote The Blazing World (1666), a book far ahead of its time, in which the heroine passes through a portal near the North Pole to a world with different stars in the sky and talking animals.
Edwin Abott Abbott, mathematician and theologian, wrote Flatland (1884), also known as Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. It recounts the story of a two-dimensional world inhabited by living geometric figures: triangles, squares, circles, etc., and explores concepts of other dimensions (or universes) including Pointland, Lineland, and Spaceland. A feature film adaptation of this novella was made in 2007 called "Flatland" Flatland (2007 film)
Murray Leinster's story "Sidewise in Time" (1934), showing different parts of the Earth somehow occupied by different parallel universes, was influential in science fiction.
Piers Anthony wrote the "Of Man and Manta" series (Omnivore, Orn, and Ox) in which a group of three scientists explores worlds in parallel universes.
H. Beam Piper, the author of the Paratime series, wrote several stories dealing with alternate realities based on points of divergence far in the past. The stories are usually written from the perspective of a law-enforcement outfit from a parallel reality which is charged to protect the secret of temporal transposition.
Fredric Brown's What Mad Universe recounts the adventures of a science-fiction editor of the late 1940s who is thrown into a parallel universe that reflects the fantasies of his most annoying letter-to-the-editor writer (an adolescent male, naturally).
Isaac Asimov's novel The Gods Themselves depicts scientists in our universe who find a way to "import" small amounts of matter from a universe having different physical laws, with unforeseen consequences. "The End of Eternity," also by Asimov, likewise deals with the existence of and interactions between multiple timelines, though these multiple interacting universes are depicted as the result of meddling in a single timeline by outside entities (the "eternals"), and therefore do not exist simultaneously, as do those in "The Gods Themselves."
K. A. Applegate's series, Everworld (1999–2001): Several teenagers travel into a parallel world occupied by the mythological beings of Earth.
Brandon Mull's series, Beyonders (2011-2013): Depicts the multiverse as being divided into an enormous set of "normal" universes, including ours (the beyond), and one intelligently created universe set apart from all others (Lyrian). It's strongly implied in the novels that it's only possible to travel from the "beyond" to Lyrian, or from Lyrian to the beyond. The only thing connecting the individual universes of the beyond is the possibility of traveling to Lyrian. This would mean that the only possible place for things from different universes within the beyond to meet is Lyrian.
Stephen King's series The Dark Tower has doors that send travelers to different parallel Earths, or, as termed in the story, different levels of the Tower. King also frequently utilizes this idea in other stories, such as The Mist, From A Buick 8, The Talisman, Black House and Insomnia.
Robert A. Heinlein's novel The Number of the Beast is focused around a 'time machine' that also proves to be able to travel sideways and other directions in time, allowing for crossing into other realities, even ones previously considered fictional by the protagonists.
S. M. Stirling's novel Conquistador is based on travel between parallel universes, with a group of 20th century Americans having found a means to secretly colonize a world where civilization never advanced past the classical era.
Globus Cassus is a book describing a utopian project for a universe contrary to ours; it describes an antipode to the 'real' world.
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan series features not only one cyclic universe, but many. In one particular instance, Rand al'Thor's, the main protagonist's mind, is deluged by possibilities for his own life, and in all of these possibilities he dies before defeating the Dark One and is taunted by him a moment before death. Also in the Wheel of Time universe, Tel'aran'rhiod, the world of dreams, is said to touch this world and also many other worlds. Dreamers, those who walk the dream and can control the world of dreams to some extent, can go to a place where they see a vast darkness filled with countless pinpricks of light. These pinpricks of light are said to represent not only the dreams of those sleeping in this world but also the dreams of sleepers from other parallel worlds. Some of these parallel worlds are called Mirror Worlds, and represent what could have been had various events in history happened in different ways. Mirror Worlds can be physically visited through the use of a device called a Portal Stone, but the less likely the existence of the Mirror World was the less substantial and real it felt to the visitor.
Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series revolves around the duty of the Chrestomanci to regulate magic in the twelve related worlds. These worlds have alternate histories, in which some people may exist only in a few worlds. It is necessary that the Chrestomanci must exist in only one, because this gives him the nine lives needed for his role. Other works of Jones' that include parallel universes: The Magid series; Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy in which the multiverse is shaped like an infinity sign and contains Ayewards and Naywards. The Derkholm series: Dark Lord of Derkholm and its sequel Year of the Griffin in which Pilgrims come from a parallel world for Mr. Chesney's offworld tours. In Howl's Moving Castle, though it does not play a major part in the plot, the wizard Howl is actually from our world. In A Tale of Time City, the main character, Vivian, is kidnapped and taken to Time City, a city out of time and space. Along with her new friends and past kidnappers Jonathan and Sam, she hunts through time and space for the polarites that are gradually being stolen. In A Sudden Wild Magic a group of benevolent witches set out to stop the magicians of Arth who steal ideas, technology, and innovations from Earth. In Hexwood, the machine Bannus sucks potential Reigners from all over the universe into the Wood. In The Homeward Bounders Jamie is made into a Homeward Bounder by "Them" which means he must constantly travel from world to world until he finds his home again.
John DeChancie's Castle Perilous series tells of a huge magical castle containing portals to 144,000 worlds, including Earth.
Stephen R. Donaldson's Mordant's Need series, which includes The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through, follows a heroine who can pass into another world through mirrors.
In The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series, also by Stephen R. Donaldson, main character Thomas Covenant is transported to another world called The Land. Each time he travels to The Land corresponds to an injury in the real world that leaves him unconscious. While in The Land, time passes at a different rate from that on Earth: where a year may be spent in The Land, mere minutes will have passed on Earth. In The Land there is great power and magic wielded by the Lords of Revelstone, the rulers of The Land, who fight against The Land's ancient enemy, Lord Foul. Lord Foul was imprisoned in the Land by the Creator after corrupting the Land during its creation. He constantly seeks to use Covanent's Wild Magic in order to break the Arch of Time and gain his freedom. In the First Chronicles, Covenant finds another man, Hile Troy, from his world who has entered the Land. Troy worked for the Defense Department for the United States, and employed his knowledge in leading the armies of the Land against Foul. In the Second and Last Chronicles, he is accidentally accompanied to the Land by a doctor, Linden Avery. Linden is forced to accept what Covenant tells her about the Land, as she has never been there before.
H. G. Wells wrote what is apparently the first explicit paratime novel, Men Like Gods (1923), complete with a multiverse theory and a paratime machine.
In C. S. Lewis' classic Chronicles of Narnia series (1950–1956) children come and go between our world and Narnia, a land populated by talking animals. In The Magician's Nephew the Wood between the Worlds gives access to several worlds. In The Last Battle it transpires that all the worlds are joined together by a form of heaven.
Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series (1995–2000) deals with two children who wander through multiple worlds, opening and closing windows between them. The final book elaborates the same idea (as C.S. Lewis') that all the worlds share a common heaven, and in this case, underworld.
Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series is set in a parallel universe which is very similar to ours but has (amusingly) different history. For example Britain and Russia are still fighting the Crimean War in 1985. As the story develops, the world of fiction also emerges as another parallel universe and the characters learn how to move between them.
The German series Perry Rhodan sometimes deals with parallel universes and "pararealities." Each universe has a "strangeness" value that indicates to what extent its physical laws differ from those of our universe. Travel to another universe results in a "strangeness shock" that can disable electronics and leave intelligent beings unconscious for some time.
In L. Neil Smith's The Probability Broach series of novels' characters from several different universes end up in one universe where American history took a different turn in the aftermath of the Revolution, with Albert Gallatin assisting the western Pennsylvania farmers of the Whiskey Rebellion, which culminates in George Washington's execution and the rise of a libertarian republic under a revised Articles of Confederation.
In James P. Hogan's Paths to Otherwhere (1996), scientists at the Los Alamos Laboratory create a machine QUADAR which allow them to swap conscious with people in parallel universes. They explore various parallel universes.
In Kia Asamiya's manga novel Space Battleship Nadesico, written alongside the series Martian Successor Nadesico but altering severely as the course of the story runs, the Jupiterians that are attacking Earth come from a parallel universe, the portal of which is in the red storm visible on Jupiter as a red spot. In their world, Japan won World War II, and because of their strong religious Shinto beliefs, their Gods did not die out, and they were able to use this magic to help strengthen their technology. However, their sun died out prematurely, and so they have come to our world to steal the energy from our sun to save their world.
Neil Gaiman's novella Coraline deals with a parallel universe called the "Other World" in which Coraline's surroundings are the same but the people who are supposed to be her parents are actually evil impostors. The novella spawned a film of the same name that deals with the same plot and use of parallel universes.
Sergey Lukyanenko's novel Rough Draft (2005) takes place across the multiverse of at least 22 worlds (it was implied that there were actually more worlds that haven't been discovered yet) linked together by a series of tower-like transfer points.
I, Q is a 2000 Star Trek novel by Peter David and John de Lancie in which God attempts to destroy the multiverse in a large multi-universe maelstrom which the protagonists attempt to stop from within a newly created universe caused by the maelstrom.
In D. J. MacHale's The Pendragon Adventure series there are ten different parallel universes (including our own), called territories, that are part of Halla, which is described as being every time and place that ever existed. Certain people, called Travelers, are able to go between the territories through portals known as Flumes. It is claimed that by traveling through a Flume, Travelers land on their destination territory exactly when they need to be there, suggesting time travel.
In Robert J Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax series (2003) a parallel historical universe exists in which it was Neanderthals not Homo sapiens who survived to become the dominant species. In a quantum physics experiment gone wrong a Neanderthal scientist is accidentally transported into the universe of Homo sapiens. Eventually a portal between the two universes is established and travelling to an alternate universe becomes a controlled event.
Michael Lawrence's The Aldous Lexicon (2005–2007), comprising A Crack in the Line, Small Eternities and The Underwood See, concerns comings and goings between initially two, later many parallel realities.
In The Man Who Folded Himself (1973) by David Gerrold, paradoxes caused by time travel result in the creation of multiple universes.
In Mirror Dreams (2002) and Mirror Wakes (2003) by Catherine Webb, there are mirror universes, one a magical universe where technology barely works, the other a scientific universe where magic barely works. The inhabitants can physically visit each other's worlds in dreams.
In the Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman various people travel between present-day England and an alternative, somewhat magical Renaissance Italy called Talia.
In the Alastair Reynolds novel Absolution Gap, (2003) a race called the "Shadows" drives the action. They claim to be from a parallel universe which has been overrun by a rogue terraforming system that has destroyed their entire universe. They have sent instructions to our world on how to build machinery to let them across. The characters eventually decide not to do so as a race which tried previously was wiped out by alien races aimed at stopping the Shadows. It is implied at the end that the Shadows are in fact from a future version of our own universe.
In The Divide trilogy by Elizabeth Kay (2002–2006), Felix Sanders crosses into a parallel universe where magic and magical beings exist while science and human beings are considered mythical.
Andrew Crumey's novel Mobius Dick (2004) features a parallel world in which Nazi Germany invaded Britain and Erwin Schrödinger failed to find the quantum theory equation that bears his name. The parallel worlds become connected due to experiments with quantum computers. The same alternate world (in which post-war Britain falls under Communist rule) also appears in his novels Music, in a Foreign Language (1994) and Sputnik Caledonia (2008).
In Darren Shan's Demonata series (2005) a boy can open windows to parallel worlds with his hands. A part of the story also plays in one of these parallel worlds, the Demonata.
Harry Turtledove's Crosstime Traffic series of books (2003–2008) by Harry Turtledove centers on an Earth that has discovered access to alternate universes where history went differently. "Crosstime Traffic" is the name of the company with a global monopoly on the technology.
Pet Force, a series of children's books by Jim Davis and a spinoff of Garfield, one of his comic strips. The series contains five novels and takes place in a parallel universe and features alternate versions of the comic strip's main characters.
Michael Crichton's Timeline (1999) tells the story of historians who travel to the Middle Ages to save a friend of theirs who already traveled back in time before them. The book follows in Crichton's long history of combining technical details and action in his books, addressing quantum physics and time travel. The time travel mechanism incorporates the concept of the multiverse.
Brad Fear's novel A Macabre Myth of a Moth-Man (2008) features a definition of "The Butterfly effect" just after the prologue, stating that the events of the book take place in an alternate version of the year 2001. It further explains that the 'defining moment' which caused this parallel universe was a polish scientist being stung by a bee in 1944. A new timeline stemmed from this event.
Mark Ian Kendrick" in the novel "The Rylerran Gateway" (2008) tells a story in which the protagonists go through a mysterious gateway to another Universe where, among other things, Spain defeated England under Philip II and became the higher power on Earth and in the Galaxy.
In Diana Tavares's Sacred Maiden novel, the characters fight a war that occurs between our world, the Scientific World, and the Mystical World, where all creatures of myth exist and live with magic, instead of technology.
Tonke Dragt's novel "The Towers of February" (De torens van februari) is a coming-of-age novel in diary form for young adults, about a boy who slowly discovers that his memory loss is due to having passed into a parallel universe. The reader slowly discovers that the book is not set in our world. The difficulty to travel between both worlds can be seen as symbolic for reaching adulthood and can be taken literal at the same time.
Greg Egan's Diaspora (novel) is a novel about sentient software intelligences living inside computer "polises" who undertake expeditions throughout the multiverse.
Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series concerns a 20th-century college student who finds himself transported to a world populated by sentient animals and featuring magic, which he learns how to perform himself through a guitar-like instrument.
Alan Dean Foster's Parallelities is a novel about a tabloid reporter whose interview subject inadvertently infects him with a condition making him shift between alternate versions of Los Angeles seemingly at random.
Richard Bach's One (2001) is a novel where Bach and his wife Leslie are catapulted into an alternate world, one in which they exist simultaneously in many different incarnations.
Michael Coney Charisma 1975 A murder mystery which involves the main character John Maine traveling to different parallel worlds, but the only worlds he can travel to are the ones in which his 'other self' is dead.
The protagonist of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber belongs to a royal family of magician-types whose principal distinguishing characteristic (aside from their fratricidal tendencies) is their ability to manipulate the stuff of Shadow. They acquire this ability by virtue of successfully negotiating an inscribed labyrinth called the Pattern, and are thereafter able to alter details of the world around them at will. These alterations are known as "walking in Shadow" and must be performed while in motion – i.e. while walking. The farther the desired Shadow-world lies from one's present reality, the more details need to be changed and the longer the walk. While there is only one true world – Amber, the royal family's seat, of which all other worlds are but reflections – there are an infinite number of Shadow worlds: As many worlds as it is possible to imagine. Thus, rather than a set of parallel universes separated by quantum events, Shadows actually constitute a multiverse of alternate realities centered on Amber. Zelazny reveals that events in these realities are sometimes able to affect each other; the borders in the circle of worlds closest to Amber are especially porous.
The conceit of Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series is that the ability to travel between worlds is a recessive trait possessed by a clan of narcotics runners (at least, that's the source of their wealth in the USA) who shuffle between their late-medieval world of origin and our own (the point of divergence seems to be in the early centuries B.C.E. – early enough that Christianity never took hold but Rome still fell and the northeast coast of North America has been settled by Norsemen who still swear by the Sky Father). The mechanism which facilitates the travel is a knotwork pattern – frequently engraved in lockets and tattooed on forearms for easy access, but the source is irrelevant; visual contact with the pattern itself causes the world-walker to translate to the other dimension (along with whatever they can carry on their backs, including other humans). The process of world-walking induces a splitting headache, is hazardous for pregnant women, and cannot be attempted more than perhaps twice or three times a day without risk of permanent injury or death. The Clan are the titular merchant princes whose monopoly on this ability has enabled them to rise to prominence in both of the worlds they inhabit. The Clan consists of Inner Family members, who possess two copies of the allele so can world-walk, and Outer Family members, who possess one copy of the relevant allele so cannot world-walk – but their children might. That's why the Clan keeps them around. The Clan is, of course, necessarily inbred to a much greater extent than populations in either the United States or the Gruinmarkt generally are. Up until recently it has been believed that the United States and the Gruinmarkt are the only two worlds there are – that is, the only two national entities to occupy the northeast chunk of the North American continent – but it has been discovered that this is not the case. This particular knotwork pattern allows the bearer to travel between the world of the Gruinmarkt and the USA. However, the slightest variation in the design will produce a different destination (it is implied that the greater the variation between designs, the greater the variation in endpoints – not all potential worlds have developed human civilization! or human beings). Moreover, the knots describe a vector relationship between worlds rather than a linear movement. This means that where a specific knot takes you depends not only on the design of the knot, but on your starting point. The same knot which, when starting in World A deposits you in World B, will NOT deposit you in World B if you are starting in World C. Instead, it will take you somewhere else, call it World D.
Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker describes God (called the Star Maker) evolving by creating many cosmoses, each more complex than the previous.
Jonas Samuelle’s Ghosts of a Tired Universe depicts an alternate earth that has been created and destroyed many times by two immortal men. The book’s protagonist travels into a parallel, metaphorical universe in order to find the power to save his world from yet another annihilation.
Den 4. parallel (2009-2011) (The 4th Parallel), a series of four novels by Norwegian writer Kjetil Johnsen. A parallel world where the infrastructure has collapsed and where America is struggling with war, each side of the war has built their own technology to come in contact with alternative timelines; one by sending a scanned version of a soldier to another reality where the original person will find itself in a new body, and another by establishing mental connection between the minds of different versions of the same person, allowing the numerous version to cooperate between the different worlds. Both sides has the same mission; to find and capture a 17 year old girl named Emma, who has been given the ability to jump between parallel worlds without any other tools than her own mind.
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