72 votes

Story Identification: Fantasy world that is "the one true world"

If you are misremembering a few details, you may be partially remembering the first book of Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber series. The first book is 'Nine Princes in Amber' (1970). The 'Childhood ...
K-H-W's user avatar
  • 58.8k
69 votes
Accepted

A universe not quite like ours

The Forest of Time by Michael Flynn. I read it in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifth Annual Collection: The story is told from the perspective of Oberleutnant Rudolf Knecht, Chief Scout of the ...
John Rennie's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

Is there a depiction of Superman where he is an African American?

There are at least five. (and an unnamed one) Sunshine Superman First appeared in Animal Man #23 (1990), as an illusion of sorts (generated by Psycho-Pirate's mask), along with other twisted versions ...
Jenayah's user avatar
  • 56.3k
45 votes

Was there an original and definitive use of alternate dimensions/realities in fiction?

Maybe not exactly what the OP is looking for, but we'd be remiss if we went without mentioning Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions Published in 1884, Flatland depicts a 2-D world inhabited by ...
Arcanist Lupus's user avatar
44 votes
Accepted

Movie with two parallel universes, each of which is a television show in the other's universe

This is The Frame (2014). Sam, home after her therapist visit, sits eating dinner in front of the TV and watches Alex's recent heist and escape with the intensity of a true fan. Alex's show is called ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 685k
42 votes

What's the most recent specific historical element that is common between Star Trek and the real world?

The International Space Station...in the opening credits of Enterprise. Construction started 1998 and completed 2011. Certainly latest 2009 as, per Wikipedia The truss and solar panels are also a ...
Paulie_D's user avatar
  • 22.6k
39 votes
Accepted

Can Marty McFly ever truly return home?

To your question "Does the original version of the universe still exist where Marty simply disappears", I would say the answer is "no". I think I'm not really disagreeing with ...
Hypnosifl's user avatar
  • 56.8k
38 votes

Was there an original and definitive use of alternate dimensions/realities in fiction?

1928: "The Blue Dimension", a short story by Francis Flagg, published in Amazing Stories, June 1928, available at the Internet Archive. The first-person narrator's friend, a retired ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
35 votes
Accepted

2018-2019 short Netflix series about a world that splits into two identical halves

Counterpart (2017–2019). From Wikipedia: Counterpart is an American science fiction thriller television series starring J. K. Simmons. It was created by Justin Marks and was first broadcast on the ...
LogicDictates's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Sci-fi novel involving parallel universes and possible time travel

Robert Heinlein's 1984 Job: A Comedy of Justice features a main character who unwillingly is shifted from alternate universe to alternate universe - in one universe he sees traffic lights, which his ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
32 votes
Accepted

SF book about people trapped in a series of worlds they imagine

Eye in the Sky, a 1957 novel by Philip K. Dick; also the (unaccepted) answer to this old question. Does any of these covers ring a bell? The inside-out cat is in section XIII. The cat-hater is a woman:...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
32 votes

Book involving a metaverse of many parallel worlds, a section of which is known as "The Blight"

Could be Worlds of the Imperium by Keith Laumer Plot summary Brion Bayard, an American diplomat on assignment in Stockholm, Sweden, attempts to evade a man following him, only to find himself ...
Yaroslav  Kornachevskyi's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

A novel about a group of scientists who think they've invented a teleporter

The Fold by Peter Clines (2015) The second in The Threshold Universe series. It's the story of Mike Erikson, a man gifted with an eidetic memory, who is recruited to join a team of scientists who have ...
Arr Bee's user avatar
  • 489
30 votes
Accepted

First instance of a universe being "close enough"

Preceding Kube-McDowell's Alternities (1988) and Back to the Future (1985) is "Mandalay" (October 1979) by John M. Ford. A company named "Alternities Inc." had sold vacations in ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 127k
29 votes
Accepted

First occurrence of a character being philosophically overwhelmed by the multiverse

1968: "All the Myriad Ways", a short story by Larry Niven, first published in Galaxy Magazine, October 1968, available at the Internet Archive. Parallel universes have been discovered, and a ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
28 votes

Was there an original and definitive use of alternate dimensions/realities in fiction?

According to the Wikipedia article on Parallel Universes, In one of the stories-within-a-story of Thousand And One Nights, "The Adventures of Bulukiya", the protagonist Bulukiya [learns] of ...
Nzall's user avatar
  • 4,121
28 votes
Accepted

Book where Earth is invaded by a future, parallel-universe Earth

The SYLO series by D. J. MacHale. The first book is called SYLO, so it is a single word title as you remembered, and it was published ten years ago in 2013: Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to ...
John Rennie's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

90's TV series where a boy goes to another dimension through portal near power lines

I'm pretty certain that this is an Australian TV show from the 1990s called Spellbinder. It has power suits which can throw balls of lightening, and are recharged by rubbing the cuffs together. In ...
Moo's user avatar
  • 6,209
25 votes
Accepted

Man transported from Alternate World into ours by a Neutrino Detector

Sounds like the Neanderthal Parallax by Robert J. Sawyer to me, which is a trilogy composed of Hominids, Human, and Hybrids. From Goodreads: Neanderthals have developed a radically different ...
Vanguard3000's user avatar
  • 8,756
24 votes

Boy meets female version of self from alternate dimension after his mother dies

A Crack in the Line by Michael Lawrence, 2003, first book of the Aldous Lexicon? Alaric It's been two years since his mother died in a terrible train crash, and Alaric's life continues to unravel. He ...
Frock's user avatar
  • 10.9k
24 votes
Accepted

TV Alternate World Story - No WW2

This sounds a lot like "Random Quest", a short story that was indeed by John Wyndham. It has been dramatised several times, in particular in 1969 in season 3 of the BBC TV series "Out ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
21 votes

What's the most recent specific historical element that is common between Star Trek and the real world?

The latest people referenced that match our reality were George W. Bush and Tony Blair, shown in the ENT episode Future Tense: This was part of a historical database that included Bush's 2003 State ...
nmclean's user avatar
  • 359
21 votes

80s-90s novel about reptilian overlords, with "east" or "west" in the title

Not much to go on here, but this might be West of Eden (1984) by Harry Harrison. The protagonist is a human(ish) who was raised by the dinosaurs who had recently discovered and begun to colonize what ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 22.8k
20 votes
Accepted

How come an older Jadzia Dax appears in DS9 ‘The Visitor’?

The main theme of that episode (DS9: The Visitor) is that Jake's father was trapped in time. By freeing him, Jake caused that particular timeline to cease to exist. JAKE SR: You see, Melanie, after ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 685k
19 votes

What's the most recent specific historical element that is common between Star Trek and the real world?

Films I'm not sure you could strictly describe the creation of a music track as an historical event, but nuKirk playing the 1994 song Sabotage (by the Beastie Boys) on his Nokia phone would have to ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 685k
19 votes
Accepted

Book - Man returns from Vietnam and opens portal to another world with his ham radio

Although some of the details are a bit off, this sounds like Conquistador by S.M. Stirling. From the Wikipedia description: John Rolfe VI is an infantry captain who comes back from World War II with ...
starpilotsix's user avatar
  • 31.4k
18 votes

Parallel universe where an engineered bacterium consumes all petroleum

The question snippet matches with practically the only thing I remember about the 1993 made for TV movie Doorways. Cat, a fugitive from a parallel Earth ruled by aliens, lands on "our" ...
Jontia's user avatar
  • 18.8k
18 votes

First occurrence of a character being philosophically overwhelmed by the multiverse

Paul Nahin did a lot of research on the history of time travel in fiction for his books Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction and Time Machine Tales: The Science ...
Hypnosifl's user avatar
  • 56.8k
17 votes

Was there an original and definitive use of alternate dimensions/realities in fiction?

Wikipedia has this to say: One of the first science fiction examples is Murray Leinster's Sidewise in Time, in which portions of alternative universes replace corresponding geographical regions ...
NdieCIty's user avatar
  • 610
17 votes
Accepted

Sci Fi short story about characters exploring an alternate pocket universe

This could be Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys, published in 1960. The story concerns an alien labyrinth on the Moon. In order to progress through it, an explorer has to performs sets of completely ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar

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