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 Post subject: Parallel universe books
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:06 am 
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It occurs to me that I've never read any sci-fi books about parallel universes / alternative realities, and can't even think of any books on this subject that have been recommended to me. Surely there must be loads of them out there ...

Can anyone tell me what the best or worst ones are?

I'm specifically interested in fiction about people travelling from one universe to another, rather than "alternative history".

Any ideas?

Frank

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:32 am 
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As you say loads of them
Sidewise in Time was one of the first.
More about it hereand, after Leinster, Keith Laumer, Fritz Leiber, H Beam Piper used the concepts extensively. Charles Stross has a series using it, Harry Turtledove multiply ditto and also from wiki
Quote:
The Neanderthal Parallax is a trilogy of novels by Robert J. Sawyer published by Tor. It depicts the effects of the opening of a connection between two alternate Earths: the world familiar to the reader, and another where Neanderthals became the dominant, sentient hominid. The societal, spiritual and technological differences between the two worlds form the focus of the story.

"Our own" Aliette de Bodard also uses the concept in her stories and probably does again in thenext Interzoneso maybe you should order a copy.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Also take a look at Bob Shaw's "The Two-Timers".

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Frank

the latest big name one is The Merchant Princes series by Charles Stross which has recently seen the sixth and final installment. Its a rattling good read. The White House gets blown up and all sorts of things.

There is also an element of alternate worlds in Alan Garner (most were written for children but now read mostly by adults). Anything by him is well worth reading.

I can also say the Robert Holdstock Mythago Wood sequence is worth looking at.

Little Big by John Crowley is quite monumental

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:55 am 
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Cool, thanks a lot guys - I now have a lot of things to take a look at.

Originally I was trying to draw a distinction between alternative realities and alternative history, but I suppose the two things can't really be separated.

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:18 pm 
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Frank Burton wrote:
..trying to draw a distinction between alternative realities and alternative history, but I suppose the two things can't really be separated.


They can, and should... Alt. history, by definition, is set in our world/ universe... while alt. reality could involve entirely different laws of physics that enable something quite impossible in our world.

To muddy the waters, though, does futuristic SF (like 2001) that's now set in our recent history deserve to be viewed as alt. history, even though it wasn't created to be read as that?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:53 pm 
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Another well known example is He Walked Around the Horses by H. Beam Piper from 1948. It is a pu and an ah.
Whereas Stephen Baxter's Raft from Interzone way back when (1989) is a pu but not ah.
I don't know that the latter link is legal but I assume the Project Gutenburg is.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:12 pm 
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I stand corrected - thanks a lot :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:31 pm 
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There was an Anthony Burgess title on the tip of my tongue but I forgot it.

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