Multiverse Idea

Discussion in 'General Writing Discussion' started by starwarskicksass1234, Mar 1, 2012.

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    starwarskicksass1234

    starwarskicksass1234 New Member

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    Hey guys, when I was a kid I read some of Dianna Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci books, and my favourite thing was her series of worlds concept. The worlds were all different, and had may POD's, but all had certain things in common. In this multiverse will be our own world, my two-moon universe from my other thread, and some other worlds, perhaps a steampunk-esque Earth with countries from a century or a few ago... Perhaps a universe where humanity developed elsewhere (not sure where). Maybe throw in some magic?

    Is this considered ripping off someone else's idea completely?
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    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    It wouldn't be a breach of copyright, you can't copyright ideas. but readers might cry foul if they recognise an idea having come from an already established author.

    It depends on the idea, some are often found in many books, those ideas are just taken as granted. I don't think this one in particular will be much of a problem for you.


    I seem to remember a conversation we already had about this somewhere...

    *wanders off to search the forums*


    Edit: Here we go...

    Anyone write all of their stories in the same universe?
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    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    Robert A. Heinlein had this in The Number Of The Beast. Some of his characters travelled to other universes -- some he had written himself, some written by others (including, IIRC, Oz and Barsoom). Right at the end, there was a kind of convention of heroes from various SF writer's work, including Larry Niven (I assume the other SF writers had given Heinlein permission to mention their characters by name -- that's where you might get into trouble.

    But the whole multiverse idea has been written about by Robert A. Heinlein, Michael Moorcock, Robert Sawyer and no doubt by a whole bunch of others I can't think of right now.
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    Abernovo

    Abernovo Accident-prone, allegedly

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    Oz and Barsoom were included in The Number of the Beast, one of the books I go back to when I want a nice, easy chuckle of a read. A bit of Heinleinian conceit, but a fun read and all the bad guys have names that are anagrams of the author and/or his wife.

    To get back to the question, there's no reason you can't have a multiverse of your own. So long as you avoid too many similarities to other authors' stories, there should be no issues, as the concept goes back quite a way.

    By the way, what's a POD?
    This is why I'm not keen on acronyms. When I'm having a dense moment (like now) they confuse me. When someone answers this, I'll probably kick myself for missing the obvious.;)
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    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    Your not the only one Aber. Maybe it was supposed to be PoV (Point of View).

    POD in writing is an acronym for "Print On Demand". That's all I know.

    in everyday slang it means "Passed Out Drunk".... :rolleyes:
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    If you are really unsure you could always ask the author and/or put a credit to them in the book dedication. I have seen this done many times. Classic example would be Daved Weber's Honor Harrington books. Very clearly, obviously and openly inspired by C S Forester's Hornblower and in the first book of the series he says so in a dedication to him.

    Just a thought though, if you do that do put it in the front somewhere; when I read Tanya Huff's Valor's choice, I was getting seriously miffed by the fact that it was so obviously a rip-off of the Zulu action at Rorke's Drift. Then finally in an afterword she says that that is what the book was intended to be. Had I known that up front I would have been much much happier whilst reading it.
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    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    I'm certain the multiverse idea has been trawled extensively by both Marvel and DC comics, in the latter's case in order to "spotlight" some of their Golden Age heroes alongside their current crop. For Marvel, the Crisis on Infinite Earths series was their way of trying to make the number they'd created more manageable while DC rationalised all of theirs with a similar-but-different series shortly afterwards. Also, I think the Micronauts series featured it significantly and, of course, Dr Strange made journeys to one or another in his hey-day.

    I'm currently enjoying Fringe, the TV series, whose McGuffin appears to be an alternate Earth. If the now somewhat elderly TV series Sliders hasn't already visited every kind of alternate Earth then it was only cos their budget ran out. And there are one or two feature films and novels galore which feature, usually, an alternative history for our own world, mostly focussing on the importance of Adolph Hitler's antics half a century ago.

    Perhaps someone will assist my swiss-cheese memory (cwIdt?) with the name of the author whose series of short stories featured a time traveller collecting mythical and extinct creatures for a zoo who discovered that he wasn't travelling in time, but to different Universes. Larry Niven???

    In a way, we create a new Universe every time we write a story, even those we set in the "real" Universe. Believability seems more to do with consistency than strict credibility :)
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
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    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    Although this blurb -
    - suggests worlds separated in space, I think Down the Bright Way, by Robert Reed, involves a multiverse, in that the "worlds like our own" are, by my recollection, parallel Earths, that become less similar to our Earth the "further", in either direction, along the Bright Way one goes.
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    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    And Jack Chalker's G.O.D. Inc. stories feature a machine (and for technical reasons not fully explained, there can be only one machine, perhaps no other machine can occupy the "space" this one already occupies) that acts like a railroad between alternate worlds. It is run for profit by a company buying and selling resources and trinkets between realities. And like every hierarchy, there are those who wish to climb the corporate ladder by any means...
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    starwarskicksass1234

    starwarskicksass1234 New Member

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    Point of Divergence. When an alternate historical timeline differs from our own. Eg: Germany wins WWII for a cliche example.
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    Abernovo

    Abernovo Accident-prone, allegedly

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    Hmm. Ow!!! Just kicked myself. Hard. ;):)
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    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    Me too, for forgetting Mirror, Mirror (and its derivatives) on Trek.

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