Talk:Parallel universe (fiction)

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Archive 1

Merger and Major Rewrite[edit]

I merged in information from a duplicate article, and did some major work on the lead paragraphs. I imposed a structure, but everything is still a bit of a mess. I'll continue working on the thing, but help would be appreciated :) --Saswann 21:11, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

IMHO-- officially no longer a mess. Still needs work --Saswann 14:05, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Still a good read. Maybe a mention of The Matrix in the movie section? An obvious example of parallel realities. -Jason —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:49, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
The whole article needs to be rewritten so the literary works are mentioned in their proper chronological order. Right now it is a big mess, and leaves out a lot of "parallel world" stories between 1950 and 1980. Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 23:09, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


I don't think the references to Buffy the Vampire Slayer should be there. Barring two episodes (Doppelgandland with the Vampire Willow, and the one in the later season where Buffy imagines(?) that she is in an insane asylum), I can't recall there being parallel universes in any episodes, and certainly not as a recurring sub-plot. However, I'm not sure, could someone more knowledgable about the Buffyverse help out? Satan's Rubber Duck 22:22, 26 February 2006 (UTC)


As with the alternative history article, a major task is the classification of subcategories and the drawing of lines between parallel universe fiction and closely related but separate subgenres. For instance, is the Michael Crichton novel really cross-time fiction or a conventional time travel tale? Is Piercy's "A Woman Out of Time" really cross-time fiction when it portrays alternate possible futures only one of which will end up actually existing depending on the heroine's actions in the here and now? Lots of fun (or pro-fun[d]?) questions to be answered here. Excuse the bad pun. -- dking, 1 march 06

INTRO - Multiverse Vs Multiverse (science)[edit]

Having just made the above substitution,

  1. Hitting a disambig page by itself is somewhat annoying. The question is always raised "what am I supposed to consider", as such, is a type of non sequitur 'experientially' in the mind of the reader. As such it is similar to changing the narrative voice or POV in the middle of a fictional paragraph— a no-no to avoid.
  2. Listing some major varients gives an opportunity to gradually introduce the meat of the article.
Best regards, FrankB 15:39, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Alternate histories[edit]

Do they belong in here if there's no connection between them and another world? Both CSA and Fatherland strike me as not parallel universes because they have no connection -- as described. (And if there is interaction, that's what needs to go in the description.) Goldfritha 17:06, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

IMHO I think they don't belong here. The overlap between alternate history and parallel universes occurs only when the fictional universe acknowleges that there exists more than one (universe) Saswann 02:45, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Places existing in several parallel universes[edit]

Apart from Michael Moorcock's Tanelorn and "variants on Earth as we know it" are there any examples of places existing in more than one parallel universe "layer" but not being interdimensional portals? Jackiespeel 21:19, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Demon Plane in the "Buffyverse"[edit]

The Buffy/Angel references leave out a lot of information. The entire series rests on the premise that there is an alternate plane, usually called the "demon plane", from which most of the monsters Buffy and Angel fight originated. The idea is that in ancient history, the world was ruled by demons and that they were banished to the demon plane. The demon plane is the source of demons who are magically conjured to this world. A lot of story arcs that culminated in season finales involved plots by demons from that realm to conquer Earth (check out the finale episodes "Becoming" from season 2, or "Graduation Day" from season 3, for example). A few episodes featured characters travelling directly to the demon plane, establishing, among other things, that time runs slower there and that vampires can survive in the daylight in that plane. The first instance of this happening, I believe, was the episode "Anne" from season 3.

This is not a "demon plane" article. It is a "parallel universe" article. The information about the "demon plane" belongs in a separate article except insofar as it may help illuminate the general concept -- and even then only if it is among the best examples, and does not confuse by implying that the "demon plane" is somehow unique or inordinately important. Goldfritha 16:06, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I removed the oblique mention of Glory's world ("The Gift") from the passage about alternate timelines. The series postulates that there are many other universes inhabited by demons, but these are not parallel in the sense of that passage, as in "The Wish", "Doppelgangland" and "Normal Again". That is, there's no hint in the canon that any of the demon worlds (including Acathla's, Ken's, Glory's, that of the Hellmouth, Pylea, and the one where Connor grew up) have a history resembling ours up to a divergent event. —Tamfang (talk) 20:54, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

On looking at the article again, I see it is not (no longer?) limited to the branching concept. —Tamfang (talk) 02:37, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Merge from Alternative universe (fan fiction)[edit]

The Parallel universe (fiction) is well written and more or less complete. In addition, this article repeats a lot of information there. In all reality, a parallel universe is a fictional motif first and a fan-fic motif second. What can be salvaged of the fan-fic article should be, and then it ought to go into this article. - Che Nuevara: Join the Revolution 18:08, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, this should definitely be the primary article. However, I'm not sure if the fan-fic article should be more than pruned of the general information, with a reference to this article. Length considerations. . . Goldfritha 20:11, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, like Alternate history, just the fact that fan-fic alters some other fictional universe doesn't necessarily make it a parallel universe story if no other universes come into play in the story. I did add Alternative universe (fan fiction) to the Parallel universe disambig page.Saswann 16:29, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

This article doesn't look at all like an encyclopedia article.[edit]

Someone please tag it accordingly or clean it up.

Alternate future[edit]

Just letting the editors of this article know that there is a discussion on Talk:Alternate future about the encyclopedicness of that article in which I think editors of parallel universe (fiction) might be interested in participating. —Lowellian (reply) 20:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

ATTENTION, new Article: List of fiction employing parallel universes[edit]

Half of this article was taken up by a list, so I moved the list to its own article: List of fiction employing parallel universes

Parallel VS. Alternate[edit]

I am rather surprised that nobody has yet mentioned this, but there is a significant difference between parallel realities and alternate realities in the same way that there is a difference between parallel coordinates (lines) and alternate coordinates (lines). Obviously, the two different sets of coordinate data that describe parallel lines will never be able to share even a single point in common with each other. That is the nature of being parallel: they can never touch, no matter where, when or why, or else they are - by definition - not parallel.

Likewise, two different universes existing in parallel along the time/space dimension (aka. the fourth dimension) can never share even a single point of contact or information exchange or else they cease to be parallel! It doesn't matter wether the point of exchange is a person, a wormhole, or a De Lorean DMC-12; once contact is made with another universe the two cease to be parallel.

I use the phrase "cease to be", but it is arguable that in such a situation you could never truly have considered the two parallel to begin with once contact is made. The argument would be:

  • "Side One" - since both universes' timelines are already defined, they are necesarrily 'fixed' in space-time (a requirement of all "true" parallel universes - or else you'd never know they were parallel). However, since they are fixed in their 4-D positions with one or more points of contact shared somewhere along their timelines, were you able to look along the time/space dimension (i.e. look down the timeline) you would see that they were going to eventually touch in the future. Since the touching is unavoidable, the timelines were never parallel to begin with.
  • "Side Two" - since space-time is not universally constant, any given "area" of space-time has the potential for change (or modification). Essentially, the fourth dimension is assumed NOT to be described by lines connecting points, but RATHER by vectors describing direction away from any given point. Thus, the "timeline" becomes a timevector, and instead of having fixed points connecting one another in a linear progression from "past" to "future" one would have points in time drawing arrows to each other that are subject to influence from overtaking vectors (able to be pushed in a different time/space direction - potentially on purpose by intelligent beings: i.e. Time Travel). Timevector A might be genuinely parallel to timevector B to start and share no points of contact, but shifts in one or both vectors (either from cause/effect within the "flow of time" itself, or from an external source) could cause their corresponding realities to change position on the 4-D plane and come into contact with each other.

However, I digress. The semantics of when and how it is decided that two given universes are parallel/not parallel do not change the fact that when two universes are agreed to be parallel, it is because they DO NOT TOUCH. Once they touch, they can not be considered parallel - merely "alternate".

Sadly, I have no clue how to trick someone into re-writing the entire article to accurately reflect the difference between parallel = separate, alternate = simply different(maybe). Arguing with myself on the Talk page is fun, completely overhauling the presentation of an article: not so much. --Museerouge 09:27, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I think you're making a semantic error. The "parallel" of parallel worlds refers to social development, not the physics of their interaction. They are parallel because they developed more-or-less the same, except for the one or two changes that set them apart from one another. That's because the term "parallel universe" is one that originated in fiction, not in science, and was coined to let people know that most things on these worlds will be the same, except for a few details here and there. In fact, almost every work of fiction that includes parallel worlds DOES have them touch at some point, because if they didn't, then the parallel world wouldn't actually be part of the story. Therefore, in common practice, parallel worlds can and do have interaction with one another, or else this entire article would be nonexistant. Whether the fact that they touch meshes with a hard definition on "parallel" is meaningless. --Ig8887 (talk) 22:54, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


Further to the 'Parallel VS. Alternate' discussion, surely the word 'alternative' is a better description of what the main article conveys? 15:51, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Alternate is often used by illiterate oiks when they mean alternative. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:22, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure, I think it may be correct American English (similar to 'orient' as opposed to 'orientate'), but certainly not international English... although I fear it may become cromulent. And American English is just a bastardised form anyway. ;) (talk) 21:19, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Heinlein-Number-of-the-Beast.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Heinlein-Number-of-the-Beast.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 23:13, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Vs. Fictional universe[edit]

What is the difference between a Parallel universe described in this article an a fictional universe, as described in that article? They seem to be the same, albeit the explanation is much clearer in fictional universe. hateless 04:59, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

A fictional universe comprises every single place visited, named, or referenced in that work of fiction, including places that are intended to be part of the "real world". An alternate or parallel universe is just the part of a fictional universe that is separate from whatever the "core" reality is determined to be. For example, Oz is an early alternate universe to the "real-world" early 20th century Kansas that Dorothy lives in. The fictional world of the Oz books, however, includes the events that take place in that alternate universe AND those that take place in Kansas, because that Kansas isn't really the Kansas that we know in reality, and sometimes Oz magic spills over into it. Likewise, the DC Comics fictional universe of superheroes is composed of many separate parallel universes, including the "main" version of Earth with the Batman and Superman that they tell stories about every month.
By contrast, Harry Potter takes place in a fictional world without any parallel universes; everything that happens in Harry Potter takes place in a (heavily fictionalized) version of the real world. The same can be said for Lord of the Rings; while the world therein bears no resemblance to ours, there is no in-universe acknowledgement of the existence of other universes or realities. Therefore, we conclude that within the fictional universe of LotR, there is only one reality: the one with the hobbits in it.
In short, what makes something a parallel or alternate universe is that it needs to be parallel or alternate to something else within the context of the story. Without that juxtaposition, then you're just dealing with a single fictional universe. --Ig8887 (talk) 23:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with your argument, Ig8887, but suggest that LOTR isn't a good example of a universe "with no resemblance to our own." In the Prologue, Tolkien explicitly asserted that LOTR is set in "the North-West of the Old World" (i.e. the Western European part of Eurasia) in "days . . . now long past" (about 6,000 years BP, according to a later-published letter): 'Middle-Earth' is merely an Anglo-Saxon expression meaning our own world (as opposed to Over-Heaven and Under-Hell). Moreover, in Book 1 Chapter III this is reinforced by a description of the night sky closely consistent with our own (though I haven't yet checked it against equinoctial precession). To avoid topic drift, I'll shut up now. (talk) 18:20, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Scientific Perspective[edit]

There needs to be a section documenting what physicists/mathematicians think of the concept of parallel worlds. (talk) 04:30, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Rating and tagging[edit]

I rated this article as C, and added 2 tags: 1. This seems too long (39 Kb readable prose) - a lot of text is just listing examples without any particular discusion, especially the later sections. Other media are already discussed throughout the article, why are large extra sections needed? Also the sections that summarise other articles don't need to go into so much detail. Hyperspace is rarely considered as a parallel world in fiction, just a currently unknown phenomenon of this world, it doesn't need so much discusion. 2. Many more refs are needed for an article of this size. Most of it's claims are uncited at the moment.Yobmod (talk) 12:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Appeal for Help[edit]

I know this is not relevant to the article, but I need a book for some research and I have had trouble finding it as I have forgotten the name. The book is about a group of children who travel to a parallel universe to find their father. They encounter a dystopian world, where its inhabitants are controlled by a single powerful entity, I think his name was the One or something. Well, they end up rescuing there father and destroy is powerful entity and return to earth. I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could name the book. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:49, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Please disregard, I have found the book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:21, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

So, what is it? —Tamfang (talk) 16:55, 27 January 2009 (UTC)


An article whose link is given below removes confusions about existence of parallel universes.

refer section 6 of this article.

Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy[edit]

The parallel universe fantasy trilogy, comprising "The Northern Lights" (1995), published as "The Golden Compass" in the United States, "The Subtle Knife" (1997) and "The Amber Spyglass" (2000) have been significant works of the turn of the millenium. I believe they should be allotted some attention in this article.

Among the accolades for the trilogy, "The Northern Lights" won the Carnegie Medal for Children's Literature in 1995 and "The Amber Spyglass" took the 2001 Whitbread Prize for best children's book and the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year prize. The series of books came third the BBC's Big Read poll in 2003, and the trilogy was made into a two-part play in 2003-2004 by the Royal Theatre. ( A Hollywood film based on "The Northern Lights" ("The Golden Compass") was released by New Line Cinema in 2007, directed by Chris Weitz and starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Ian McKellen. ( The film won an Oscar the following year for its visual effects,( by which Lyra's parallel world of zeppelins, gladiatorial armoured polar bears and flying Arctic withces was brought to life, and in which every peron wore their soul on the outside, as a spirit-animal called a daemon.

The entire first book is set in this parallel universe, and in the second and third books, the teenage protagonists, each from different universes - Lyra Belacqua ( from the world of the first book) and Will Parry (from our own world)- learn the mysteries and burdens of travelling between parallel universes, how such universes are created. A bifurcation creates two universes every time a decision is made. The longer ago the bifurcation, the less like our own is the planet Earth. Their struggle to save all these universes from a mysterious, draining physical force is on a monumentual, Biblical scale.

The trilogy has been described as a retelling of Milton's "Paradise Lost", but from an opposite perspective. (Robert Butler (3 December 2007). "An Interview with Philip Pullman". Intelligent Life (The Economist). Retrieved on 10 July 2008.) This is a work written for young adults, but of enormous appeal to adults also. A discussion, or at least a mention of this important work, would give greater completion to this article.

Anthea Whitwell 21 July 2009 (talk) 10:02, 24 July 2009 (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

    • Thanks for wasting space with a pointless endorsement. (talk) 20:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Existence of Beginning by Shekhar P. Sinha, Guwahati,India[edit]

Dear Sir / Madam,

                I have a pleasure to mail to you.

I believe that there has to be an existence of the beginning for which reason /

reasons everything begins. Now, how to catch or find the

" Existence of the Beginning ", I have bit thought of it.

My thought " Let us take a dead living thing either human or animal or

plant from earth to mars and moon then will the dead living thing will get

decomposed or not, because for any dead living thing to get decomposed

air and water is necessary. If the dead living thing do not get decomposed then

we can be sure of existence of miracle and if the dead living thing get

decomposed then we can be sure of existence of life which is yet another

feet of miracle, but, only we have to find out the form"


Shekhar Sinha.,

mobile no: +91-98640-63046 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 13 August 2009 (UTC)


look, i dont think that many examples of parallel universes should be given, the more there are, the more likely someone will get them wrong. for example, in the wizard of oz, the world Dorothy went wasnt a parallel universe at all, it was simply a dream Dorothy had the only examples given should be specific and helpful examples of parallel universes, such as The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, or Marvel Zombies, where parallel universes is acually a term used in the book, movie, etc., not speculation by someone else on what they think COULD be a parallel universe... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:30, 6 September 2009 (UTC)


Not a single mention of Murray Leinster or Jack Williamson, the first writers of fact or fiction to popularize the idea of alternate universes. An incredible oversight! (talk) 20:15, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Merge from Multiverse "In Popular culture" section[edit]

Discussion for merging the section §In popular culture (and its subsections: §Literature, §Film, §Television and §Other fictional uses) from the Multiverse article to the Parallel universe (fiction) article.
The scope of the Multiverse article is: the Multiverse hypotheses in physics; in philosophy and logic; and in religion and spirituality. Whereas, the "Multiverse#In popular culture" section should explain the subject's impact on popular culture, a topic which seems to be treated in depth by the Parallel universe (fiction) article, the section has been tagged since May 2010 as having accumulated a list of appearances and trivia. Arguably, the section has become unmanageable within the scope of the Multiverse article and it should summarize Parallel universe (fiction) with a {main} link and with any non–duplicated, notable content having been integrate there.
The two articles are both in Category:Science fiction themes. Other current inclusions:
CC: "Talk:Multiverse#Merge Pop Culture section to "Parallel universe (fiction)" article" and "Talk:Parallel universe (fiction)#Merge from Multiverse "In Popular culture" section".Machine Elf 1735 (talk) 17:35, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Removed the tag, no response either way.—Machine Elf 1735 (talk) 06:07, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

It's unclear why the article is given a fiction name. If the article is suppose to be about it's use in ficiton then the article could be renamed to Parallel universe in fiction otherwise I think Parallel universe is the correct name and the disambiguation page would be moved to Parallel universe (disambiguation). Regards, SunCreator (talk) 22:20, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree with SunCreator, the article is focusing on the subject as a scientific concept, not as a literary device. I would like to propose that the article be either moved to Parallel universe or be changed to reflect this topic as a literary device. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:35, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Khestwol (talk) 13:11, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. per noetica and 65.92 below. --regentspark (comment) 21:18, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Parallel universe (fiction)Parallel world – --Khestwol (talk) 06:47, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

There is no reason to put the word "fiction" in the title as per the comments in the above section "Article name". I agree with the title "parallel universe" too, but in my opinion, the title "parallel world" is most suitable for this article. --Khestwol (talk) 04:16, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Technically a parallel world is like two continents, while a parallel universe is something you can not get to from the other. There are more uses of parallel universe than parallel world, but depending on the focus of the article either could be more appropriate. Apteva (talk) 05:56, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose – no new target proposed. The present disambiguation seems sensible enough. Dicklyon (talk) 06:30, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
    • What??? There are no other articles that could be named parallel universe, so clearly no disambiguation is needed. The two choices are parallel universe or parallel world, with the suggestion that parallel world is more appropriate for this article. Apteva (talk) 06:45, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment there are parallel worlds without having parallel universes, and some of those properties also have parallel universes. (if you look at the original Star Trek, there are several parallel Earths in the primary universe (the communist victory world, the Roman did not fall world, the biotech destruction world, etc; but also the parallel universes - the mirror universe, the Lazarus universe, the Defiant universe, etc)) -- (talk) 10:32, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Parallel worlds or universes are not systemically distinguished, except in rigorous philosophical treatments. Anyway, this article focuses on fiction, not on any of the other domains in which possible, parallel, or alternative worlds or universes come up. See the DAB page Parallel universe, as I have now amended and supplemented it. NoeticaTea? 07:17, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Judging from the dab page, almost all of the topics are some sort of fiction, making this article basically the main article for all of them, and there should instead be a Parallel universe (disambiguation) page, with this at either Parallel universe or Parallel world. Apteva (talk) 07:57, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
      • "Almost all of the topics are some sort of fiction." False, and irrelevant if it were true. NoeticaTea? 08:15, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Support: I've had a look at the articles, and I'm not at all convinced that the concept of parallel universe is anything but fictional. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 14:08, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Comment MWI is not fictional. I find the characterization of a widely held view in physics as "fiction" a very poor description indeed. Unless you are referring to only the article Parallel universe (fiction), and not the articles found at Parallel universe -- (talk) 02:10, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Same for modal realism, which is directly contrary to the idea of all those other worlds being fictional. Modal realism holds there is nothing special about this world. All worlds are equally real. NoeticaTea? 03:47, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Buckaroo Banzai[edit]

An almost exactly parallel use of the idea is presented in the campy cult film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, where the "8th dimension" is essentially a "phantom zone" used to imprison the villainous Red Lectroids.

That's not how I remember it. The Red Lectroids are exiles living in New Jersey, and plan to return to Planet Ten through the eighth dimension (now that Doctor Banzai has demonstrated technology to penetrate the eighth dimension safely). —Tamfang (talk) 20:52, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Sliding Doors, Groundhog Day (film), The Family Man[edit]

i added Sliding Doors (1998), Groundhog Day (film) (1993), The Family Man (2000). in Films section. but SuperMarioMan deleted it by reverting to last version. --Qdinar (talk) 07:57, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Sliding Doors and The Family Man had already been added to the section. And Groundhog Day seems to deal primarily with time travel – that rather stretches the definition of "parallel universe". SuperMarioMan 02:53, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Clifford Simak "Ring Around the Sun."[edit]

Someone who knows the Simak story should include it.