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Fiction featuring many worlds is by no means a brand new invention, however in the last decade it has been really gaining in popularity.
Many worlds can mean sci‐fi or fantasy, it can be adult, YA or children’s fiction. It usually features a plucky main protagonist who begins the story unaware of other worlds. However it’s done, it is always exciting to see what unique slant each author gives the theory of multiple universes.
If you’re looking for a book like ‘Interworld’ you had better start with ‘Magids’. It is set in a ‘Multiverse’ very similar in concept to the ‘Altiverse’. The worlds stretch from ‘Ayeward’ (good, magical) to ‘Nayward’ (anti‐magic, generally bad).
Diana Wynne Jones writes simply and straightforwardly, her prose is full of colourful characters. She brings such life to her heroes and villains that reading ‘Magids’ or indeed any of her books for adults or children, is a delight.
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A masterpiece of multiple worlds. He uses so much detail and bases so much of the science in reality that you truly believe his version of travelling between worlds is possible.
Lyra and Will are two of the most loved characters in fiction. Combine their vivid complexity with daemons, armoured bears and witches, and you have a trilogy that will be considered a classic for centuries to come.
There are whispers, like here in the Independent, that the BBC is about to begin production on a series based on the books…
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Again, a classic. C.S. Lewis is as popular today as he as was half a century ago. If you have been putting off reading his series because they are ‘for children’, please don’t.
I recommend this one book over the whole series because it revolves around the idea of there being multiple worlds that are accessible from one ‘base’ world like the ‘In‐Between’ from ‘Interworld’ only calmer, with trees and ponds.
If you read the books on this list, and want to follow further down this rabbit hole, then find books like ‘The Chronicles of Narnia‘ here.
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The other books in the ‘Tiffany Aching Series’ include references to other worlds, and the odd visit, but the entire plot of ‘The Wee Free Men’ revolves around her visiting ‘Fairyland’ which is why it alone gets a place on my list.
It is also aimed at the YA reading audience, but I have read them as an adult and thoroughly enjoyed their spark and humour. You can’t go wrong with Terry Pratchett.
If you want to branch off in terms of tone and subject matter, but still stay in a multiple worlds adventure, then these books are also worth exploring.
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The original. The much studied, much discussed, much copied story of different worlds with different peoples.
The writing is old fashioned (I mean, the guy was writing in the 1700’s, give him a break) and there is nothing scientific about this story, but if you want to get to the root of the genre, I think this is probably it.
Lilliputians, giants and pirates. What’s not to like?
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If you read all of the books on this list, you will have read a lot of quick‐read, YA style books and might fancy something really meaty and dark to get your teeth into.
It is similar to ‘Interworld’ because it features another world, fairyland. Our hero travels through mirrors into fairyland, so there is little sci‐fi involved, but the book begins on our earth, in ‘reality’ as does ‘Interworld’. The similarities end there, so it didn’t deserve a place in my main list of books like ‘Interworld’.
Whether sci‐fi or fantasy, YA or adult, 18th or 21st century, there are many joys to many worlds fiction.
Something about the idea of parallel universes or invisible worlds just beyond our reach inspires and excites readers, writers and even scientists.
Have you ever visited another world? Perhaps not.
But have you read about one in a book I’ve missed off this list?
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