I'm looking for a book I read as a young adult. My Dad loved it and he recently passed away. It was kind of comedic/irreverent (Terry Pratchett-like).

It was told in first person about this guy trapped in the multiverse/other worlds and couldn't get home. He had discovered that you could get to these other worlds and brought his best friend from childhood with him. His best friend turned into a villain and they had to fight each other?

It was almost told like a detective agency story---I think. One of the things I remember is the description that the journey to your destination is never the same as the journey back. That everything around you is different, even the time it takes to get there. Once he realized that, he was able to find a way to travel between worlds. I'm not sure if I'm getting that right since it was a long time ago.

I read it in 2001 but it might be much older since my dad got his books from used bookstores.

  • 4
    One of the Amber books by Zelazny? Jul 30 at 3:11
  • this is unrelated, but that actually kinda sounds like Antman Quantumania. Janet gets stuck in the Quantum Realm (multidimensional world) with Kang, who she becomes good friends with, until she realises he's actually a supervillain. Jul 30 at 5:17
  • Reminds me a bit of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/221411/…, but his friend just winds up on a different dimension, not as a villain (there really isn't a villain, just kids who keep moving to different worlds as they throw the switches trying to get home).
    – FuzzyBoots
    Aug 2 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


This sounds like Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith, first published in 1994.

The narrator, Stark, and his best friend Rafe discover a way to enter Jeamland - the place people go when they dream.

From Jeamland they find a way to the City, an enormous city consisting of themed neighbourhoods.

Rafe goes insane and attacks people by stirring up their nightmares. Stark works as "fixer" of these nightmares, resulting in a conflict with Rafe.

Stark's tone is similar to a "hardboiled detective."

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