'80s or '90s - Authors' characters making appearances in other authors' universes


Active Member
Nov 18, 2021
This may take some explaining.

In the '80s and '90s, there was a flurry of authors writing stories of their characters making appearances in the universes of other writers. Usually in anthology books about the "base" universe (e.g. "Friends of the Horseclans"), but what made this trend somewhat unique was that the same character would make appearances in MULTIPLE different universes. It wasn't just (for example) Turtledove writing a story set in the Emberverse. It was (again, just an example) Turtledove writing a character SPECIFICALLY to jump around in multiple universes.

The one that I most-remember is NOT the one I am asking about. She was "Maureen 'Muffy' Birnbaum - Barbarian Swordsperson." A JAP teen from SoCal who kept getting transported to various sword-and-scifi settings. I remember her appearing in Adams' Horseclans universe, in Burroughs' Barsoom and Pellucidar and in Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, but there were lots of others. I think she had close to 2 dozen stories. She always went back to Earth at the end of the story, and recounted her adventures to her friend Bitsy. As I recall, Bitsy aged throughout the series, but Muffy remained a hot teenager forever.

Anyway, I am trying to remember the author and characters from another set of stories in this pastiche. Two stoner friends get swooped into various worlds, much like Muffy. In fact, I think that they even ran into Muffy in the Horseclans universe. The thing that I remember most about them is that one of them had a "signature move" when fighting. He would always make his kill by slashing the thighs of his opponent and letting them blood out. If I recall, one of the friends got killed along the way. Unlike Muffy, I don't think that they every got back to Earth.

Does this ring any bells?