The Pleasure of Multiverses

I really like complicated stories. Some of my favourite books are kilopage novels or involved sagas, but complicated stories do not need to be long.

Three stories I have read in the last year strike me as being thematically connected through their use of multiverses. All of these are by authors who I follow.

Palimpsest is a novella by Charles Stross (collected in his short story anthology Wireless) which describes the many possible futures of humanity using a multiply braided lifetime of one man. It’s an invigorating read, and it’s easy to see why it won a Hugo.

Interworld is a YA novel by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves, is about a young man discovering his world-walking powers and being challenged to fight against extremism in multiple forms. This was originally conceived as a TV series, this book effectively being the pilot episode, and it would have been glorious.

Transition is a nominally mainstream novel by Iain Banks, but this is even more plainly science fiction than some of his other non-M books such as The Bridge. Transition describes a multiverse spanning organisation called The Concern whose mission is stability, but which may have a hidden agenda. This is the most difficult read of all of these since the narrative structure is the most complex, but this adds to the interesting complicatedness for me since a good deal of the fun is in figuring out just who is talking and when.

Any of these are great brain stretchers..

What are some of your most invigoratingly complicated favourites?

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