The best multiverse books

9 authors have picked their favorite books about multiverse and why they recommend each book.

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Strangeworlds Travel Agency

By L.D. Lapinski,

Book cover of Strangeworlds Travel Agency: Volume 1

L.D. Lapinski’s incredible Strangeworlds series will definitely sweep you into another world – into as many other worlds as you can count! Step into your suitcase and go on a journey to somewhere beyond imagining with Lapinski’s amazing cast of characters. When Flick stumbles into a dusty old shop and meets a young man named Jonathan Mercator, it’s the beginning of a life-changing adventure – across the multiverse – for them both.


Who am I?

All my books (I hope!) sweep the reader into another world – it’s one of my favourite themes in the books I love to read, as well as write. When I was about seven, I first read some of the books which would shape my life, including Elidor by Alan Garner and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine l’Engle, which brought me right out of my own life and into worlds as varied as the frightening interstellar realm of Camazotz and the battlefields of Elidor. I’ve been trying to capture that sense of ‘being swept away’ in my own work ever since.


I wrote...

The Starspun Web

By Sinéad O'Hart,

Book cover of The Starspun Web

What is my book about?

When Tess leaves her orphanage home for a new life with someone claiming to be a distant relative, she hopes to find answers to her mysterious origins. But on discovering the truth of her past, she realizes she is the key to a terrible plan that will bring destruction to her own world and beyond...

Nine Princes in Amber

By Roger Zelazny,

Book cover of Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber

Amber is the first shadow of a pattern drawn in the blood of its creator. A magical place of colourful and princely characters, full of plots, and intrigue. Endless shadow worlds of Amber, ripple out through infinity, stamping the multifaceted order of existence into all-encompassing oblivion. The courts of chaos (primal  embryonic birth-place of the creator) span the void. Unstable, violent, full of chimeric royalty, intent on destroying the pattern, and re-establishing the dominance of existence. Earth shadow culture and technology, are imortant to the princely magician Corwin (pretender to Amber's throne) in his war aginst chaos...

Despite its complexity, Zelazny manages to lace his dreamscape with copious quantities of wise-cracking humour, and somehow, creates a mesmerising world that expands the senses yet, is easy bedtime reading.


Who am I?

Born in the era of the space race and The Sky at Night I was entranced by the moon shots, and avidly read sci-fi and fantasy. An atheist, I became fascinated with world religions, largely due to my increased interest in quantum physics. Which seemed, with its explosion of light and energy from the void, to validate intelligent design. I discovered Gnosticism along the way, and found that it mirrored some of my own conjectures: That a creator may be flawed, misguided, or malevolent, and may not be the most powerful entity, or even the devil, in a pseudo underworld, with an unknown, all-powerful, entity beyond.


I wrote...

Lucifer's Child

By Gideon Masters,

Book cover of Lucifer's Child

What is my book about?

"Expert bodyguard required. High possibility of Death. Leave for foreign parts within the week. Three months or less. Dependent on ability to survive. £75,000.”

John read the psycho ad with incredulity. Against all reason, he found himself considering the prospect: He met the criteria: Thirty years a cop. He was an “expert”. Foreign parts? Who cares! Six-month prognosis? Time enough! Early death? No issue! She would remember the man of action he'd always been, not a cancerous and feeble cripple. £75,000 would nicely replenish the savings he'd taken from Helen, chasing non existent cures. He was in..! And so, the irrevocable chain of events were ignited, that would, ultimately, resurrect and rebuild John's psyche, and thrust him to the forefront of the salvation of humanity.

Stormbringer

By Michael Moorcock,

Book cover of Stormbringer

This is the book that, more than any other, ignited my passion for alternative realities, what dwells within and what happens if those realities spill out. That was 45 years ago, and I still love all the Elric stories, but this one I feel captures the essence of who Elric is and the sacrifices he is doomed to make to bring back balance to the universe. Dark and moody, and featuring one of the all-time greatest sword and sorcery heroes in a complex, and collapsing universe, aided, and abetted by his companion Moonglum, and alternately empowered and betrayed by the rune sword Stormbringer.   


Who am I?

I have had a fascination with alternative realities since reading the stories of Michael Moorcock in my early teens. I spent years studying shamanism and occult practices so when I finally got my act together and started writing it was a given that a sizable amount of that would creep into my work. I also have a bizarre sense of humour and I like to inflict that on my readers where possible by creating unusual scenarios or interactions for my characters to get caught up in. I try to inject some science and historical fact into what I write although most should be taken with a large pinch of salt… 


I wrote...

Me and The Monkey

By Andy Darby,

Book cover of Me and The Monkey

What is my book about?

The life and adventures of The Monkey – recently reincarnated Vietnam Airborne Ranger, incarnate Monkey God, drinker of Jack Daniels, smoker of cigars, bringer of entropy, lover of chaos.

Conspiracy, magic, booze, guns, sexy partially dead girls, the Illuminati, bad TV, alternative history, international travel... What more could you want?

The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent

By Larry Correia, Adam Baldwin (narrator),

Book cover of The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent

Rifts happen, so you should be ready when universes collide. A policy with Stranger & Stranger can cover all of your interdimensional insurance needs. But Tom Stranger faces his greatest challenge yet. Despite being assigned the wrong—and woefully inadequateintern, Tom must still provide quality customer service to multiple alternate Earths, all while battling tentacle monsters, legions of the damned, an evil call center in Nebraska, and his archnemesis, Jeff Conundrum. It's time to kick ass and adjust claims. This is my go-to for road trips. Tom Stranger is such a straight man, but the humor never stops.


Who am I?

I am a writer of science fiction and fantasy, and a humorist. My husband and I fell in love over Star Trek and puns, and we both share a deep abiding hatred of people acting stupidly to further a plot. I read to escape, so I’m looking for laughs but also compelling characters who live their stories rather than act out the author’s wishes. I will toss a book as soon as it insults my intelligence or bores me. Thus, when I write, I let the characters run the show—and they never fail me.


I wrote...

Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1

By Karina Fabian,

Book cover of Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1

What is my book about?

If you love Star Trek and parodies... If the Orville and Galaxy Quest give you as much joy as Wrath of Khan... Then this is the book for you. Join the crew of the HMB Impulsive as we reverse the polarity on cliches, set phasers to Pun, and boldly go where no parody has gone before.

In Book 1 of this series, the Impulsive’s crew plays matchmaker to warring worlds, rescues the Ship’s Sexy from an environmentally paranoid planet, saves an alien ship by reversing its polarity, and nearly gets themselves killed on an amusement planet in a parody of ST: TOS “Shore Leave.” Plus, we follow a janitorial robot for a day.

Nightwatch on the Hinterlands

By K. Eason,

Book cover of Nightwatch on the Hinterlands

Combining a murder mystery with a colorful sci-fi universe that’s full of magic? Yes, please. Odd couple Lieutenant Iari and Ambassador Gaer (who, don’t let the title fool you, is actually an alien spy) have to team up to discover why a retired battle-mecha killed someone—an occurrence that should be impossible. The rapport between Iari and Gaer is a delight, and the plot quickly unfolds from a mere murder to something far more sinister. I absolutely love the world that Eason creates—it has the scale of a video game-like Mass Effect while simultaneously creating compelling characters. 


Who am I?

Growing up I devoured science-fiction and spy stories by the boatload—the only person I wanted to be more than James Bond was probably Han Solo. Of course, I couldn’t really become either of them, but I always knew the next best thing would be telling stories about those kinds of characters. Ultimately, I couldn’t decide whether to focus on space adventures or spies, so the only real answer was to smash those two genres together. Five years and four novels later, the world of the Galactic Cold War is humming along quite nicely. But I’m still always on the lookout for the next great sci-fi spy novel.


I wrote...

The Nova Incident: The Galactic Cold War Book III

By Dan Moren,

Book cover of The Nova Incident: The Galactic Cold War Book III

What is my book about?

When a bomb explodes in the bustling Commonwealth capital city of Salaam, responsibility is quickly claimed by an extremist independence movement. But after a former comrade, an ex-spy with his own agenda, is implicated in the attack, Simon Kovalic and his team of covert operatives are tasked with untangling the threads of a dangerous plot that could have implications on a galactic scale. And the deeper Kovalic digs, the more he'll uncover a maze of secrets, lies, and deception that may force even the most seasoned spy to question his own loyalties.

The Teachings of Don Juan

By Carlos Castaneda,

Book cover of The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Well, this book totally changed my view on the world and how reality is perceived! Whether you choose to believe that Castaneda met and was initiated by a Yaqui sorcerer, or whether you believe it is just a very convincing piece of writing by a college student studying anthropology is up to you. What shouldn’t be ignored are the underlying psychological truths and messages that make this a powerful story about seeing the world in which we live through new eyes. This book started my interest in shamanism and led to nearly 25 years of study and practice that has definitely influenced my life and writing.   


Who am I?

I have had a fascination with alternative realities since reading the stories of Michael Moorcock in my early teens. I spent years studying shamanism and occult practices so when I finally got my act together and started writing it was a given that a sizable amount of that would creep into my work. I also have a bizarre sense of humour and I like to inflict that on my readers where possible by creating unusual scenarios or interactions for my characters to get caught up in. I try to inject some science and historical fact into what I write although most should be taken with a large pinch of salt… 


I wrote...

Me and The Monkey

By Andy Darby,

Book cover of Me and The Monkey

What is my book about?

The life and adventures of The Monkey – recently reincarnated Vietnam Airborne Ranger, incarnate Monkey God, drinker of Jack Daniels, smoker of cigars, bringer of entropy, lover of chaos.

Conspiracy, magic, booze, guns, sexy partially dead girls, the Illuminati, bad TV, alternative history, international travel... What more could you want?

Deep Secret

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Book cover of Deep Secret

Deep Secret is one of my all-time favourite books; one I reread often. There are no spaceships here, (though there is a Land Rover that isn’t!) but much of the action takes place on distant worlds; chiefly Thule and the Koryfonic Empire. Rupert Venables, the youngest Magid, faces not only the fall of the Koryfonic Empire and his task of finding the hidden heir, but also the need to choose a successor for his dead mentor, Stan. There’s so much to love about this chaotic, tangled, wonderful book; not least the combative but ultimately loving relationship between Rupert and Maree, the least likely of the candidates on Rupert’s list.


Who am I?

I’m Tasmanian. I’ve loved books set in other worlds since I encountered Robert Heinlein’s juveniles in my teens. I often find books set in the mundane world of here-and-now implausible or dull, because the adventures seem contrived or else result from characters doing something stupid or bad. If characters venture to other worlds, or other planets though—that’s a different ballgame! I read a great deal of fantasy and sci-fi, and when I was fourteen, I started writing my own. I enjoy a wide variety of genres, but my favourite stories are those where I can follow relatable characters through wild adventures and believe every line.  


I wrote...

Elysian Dawn

By Sally Odgers,

Book cover of Elysian Dawn

What is my book about?

Marianne Arcadia expected to marry Jeremiah and raise a family. Edsen Balm had no more hope than to stay close to Marianne. Jameel Singh intended to travel home to Terra to meet his fiancée’s parents. Hanaka Moon was meant to oversee the next generation of ship-born and pass the mantle of healer to her daughters. Meera Singh wanted to prove herself as the brightest new diamond in Mother Shiva’s crown. Cornelia Conti hoped to get her embroidery done and to find a shampoo that didn’t contain Stay-colour. All their plans crash-landed with the starship Elysian Dawn but that, as they say, was just the beginning.

The City We Became

By N.K. Jemisin,

Book cover of The City We Became

Suddenly, for reasons no one can quite explain, five ordinary New Yorkers become-slash-embody the city’s five boroughs. For example, a newcomer named Manny discovers he *is* Manhattan; he feels and sees its streets and crowds. Through telling these five people’s stories—and chronicling their efforts to save the city from a powerful evil force—Jemisin tells the story of New York. It’s sort of sci-fi, it’s very funny. It’s also a portrait of the city today through regular, non-wealthy residents.


Who am I?

I have always loved cities, New York in particular. A few weeks after 9/11, I decided to study the rebuilding of the WTC site for my graduate thesis, compelled by the immensity of the project and the layers of conflict embedded in the reconstruction and memorialization. None of the books listed below are directly about 9/11, but the attacks and their aftermath thread through all of their stories. New York is an intense, fraught, sometimes fun, sometimes heartbreaking place, like these stories, which are listed from newest to oldest.


I wrote...

Battle for Ground Zero: Inside the Political Struggle to Rebuild the World Trade Center

By Elizabeth Greenspan,

Book cover of Battle for Ground Zero: Inside the Political Struggle to Rebuild the World Trade Center

What is my book about?

My book tells the story of the fight to rebuild the WTC site, from days after the Twin Towers collapsed, in September 2001, to the opening of the memorial on the 10 year anniversary of the attacks. It’s a portrait of clashing voices, belonging to victims’ families, local residents, wealthy leaseholders, first responders, and designers, among others, all of whom felt an intense sense of ownership over this sixteen-acre piece of land. For a moment, and due to extraordinary events, the city's most powerful people had to answer to an aggrieved public about the land’s future. My book chronicles the messy compromises and bitter feuds that followed—and that ultimately remade Lower Manhattan.

Ban This Book

By Alan Gratz,

Book cover of Ban This Book

I love that Alan Gratz, a skillful storyteller, takes the important topic of banning and censoring books for children, and shows its dangerous side effects from a child’s point of view. We meet a well-meaning mother who wants to protect her child from, what she feels, are unsuited books in the school library. But one of those is Amy Anne’s most beloved book. She is not going to let these books disappear without a fight. In a respectful but effective manner she ends up showing the adults the importance of letting children make their own choices. 


Who am I?

I’ve been devouring books for most of my life. When I was young, I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her – strong, free, and independent. Through books I learned about other people in other countries, times, and circumstances. I have been writing books for a long time (I wrote 40) and work in (international schools) with teachers and students on their writing. From specific stories, readers learn universal wisdom. Many books written for children should be everybody-books! Books, more than any other medium, can help you to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins'. The books I picked to share with you all do this.


I wrote...

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

By Margriet Ruurs, Nizar Ali Badr (illustrator), Falah Raheem (translator)

Book cover of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

What is my book about?

This powerful picture book is the universal story of people searching to live in peace in a place without war. It was illustrated by a Syrian artist with natural stones on the beach of Syria. Published in both English and Arabic, the book has been translated into many languages and is raising both funds and awareness of the plight of refugee children.

Shrouded Loyalties

By Reese Hogan,

Book cover of Shrouded Loyalties

This lesser-known gem was my favorite book of 2019. You take a World War II-style submarine war but throw in horrifying new supernatural powers, and then pitch it against Cthulu-style interdimensional monsters and you start to have an idea of the gloriously-insane trajectory of this book. That may sound over-the-top at a glance, but I promise this is a grounded read that’s flush with complex interweaving relationships, and an unrelenting pace that constantly throws new, bigger dangers at the characters before they’ve had a chance to catch their breath. This book is far better than it has any right to be.


Who am I?

As a stage combat choreographer myself, fight sequences are always important to me: they have to be believable but exciting, they have to keep up the pace so the reader is experiencing the action at the same speed as the characters—but most importantly, they have to tell a story. Action just for the sake of action always feels empty, but great fight scenes that are both exhilarating and bound to the forward momentum of the plot and emotion will stay with me for a long time. Here’s some that I still remember long after I finished the book.


I wrote...

Nottingham

By Nathan Makaryk,

Book cover of Nottingham

What is my book about?

Sure, the story of Robin Hood has been done over and over again, but somehow I’ve never seen the version I really wanted. I’ve always hated “good guys” vs moustache-twirling “bad guys.” I wanted a Robin Hood with questionable motives, and a relatable Sheriff of Nottingham with good intentions.

Nottingham is my answer to a more complex look at Robin Hood lore, in which we see the world from multiple points of view on both sides of the conflict. There are still plenty of famous tentpole Robin Hood moments that will keep the story familiar to a reader’s expectations, but there are just as many Robin Hood tropes dismantled along the way, in favor of something more realistic and morally ambiguous.

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