Friday, 6 March 2015

Emma's Recommendations: Multiverse Stories!

To anyone who's read any of my books, it should come as no surprise to know that I love stories involving alternative universes and fantastical worlds. The Alliance series came about because I had an idea for a particular kind of Multiverse I really wanted to read about, and that I hadn't seen before. It's not the typically-sci-fi use of infinite parallel universes in which it's possible to encounter doppelgangers of people you know - it's more like a fusion of portal fantasy and sci-fi technology. The multiple universes in the Alliance series are linked through a system of Passages and all are tied into the same magic system (though at different levels). So I thought I'd talk about some of the other books I've enjoyed that use multiple universe-systems.

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy was probably the first parallel-worlds story I read. It's also one of my favourite series of all time, one I reread at least once every couple of years. It's one of those series which I love just as much as an adult reader as I did when I was twelve. This vividly imagined story with wonderful characters can be enjoyed on so many levels.

Diana Wynne Jones's Deep Secret. I have a special love for this one. Magids are responsible for dealing with certain other worlds, mostly to do with manipulating the "fatelines" so that people make the right decisions at the right time. The best part of this book takes place at a fantasy convention - combine magic with cosplayers and you get absolutely hysterical results. There are other Jones books which use alternative worlds, too - I've been a fan of the Chrestomanci series since I was about eight, and I adore Howl's Moving Castle. (Side note: Markos the centaur is my tribute to Diana Wynne Jones.)

Stephen King's Dark Tower series. This is a huge, multi-world epic defying genres, and it's awesome. It's also seriously confusing to begin with, but stick with it - it swiftly becomes gripping.

The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy - parallel worlds aren't a major part of the plot at first, but the Faceless Ones come from another dimension and this takes on a more important role later on. I love this series for its hilarious dialogue and fantastic characters, so I had to mention it here!

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman is awesome. It's set in a magical library which has spies who collect certain valuable texts from different realities. It has adventure, magic, fantastic worldbuilding and dragons - what more do you want?

On the more YA SF side of multiverses, I really enjoyed Tandem by Anna Jarzab, Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke, and A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

And I'm currently reading Victoria Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic, which is historical fantasy with parallel Londons and rare magicians who can move between them.

Which Multiverse stories have you enjoyed?

7 comments:

  1. Northern Lights is my favourite book of all time.

    For fans of manga, you can't go wrong with CLAMP's Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. They leap between worlds regularly, and for long time fans of CLAMP, there are plenty of cameos to keep you entertained.

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    1. I've not read that, but I'm sold! *adds to list*

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  2. HIS DARK MATERIALS is one of my favorite series ever. I have A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC on reserve at the library and I can't wait to read it.

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    1. I'll never get tired of rereading that series! And ADSOM is sooo good! :)

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  3. I loved the Dark Tower series. I can't think of any others than what you named off the top of my head. It's Friday after all! :) Have a lovely weekend.

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  4. I love His Dark Materials, too; Gosh what a great series. Another older series I adored is the Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. Oh, to have the power to manipulate shadow...

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