Do you ever think about parallel universes in your favorite book worlds? Stephen King famously did it with his books Regulators and Desperation and it was fascinating. I also see it a lot in some book vs series/movies adaptations. (Top of my mind are Dexter and Bridgerton.) Today, author Darby Harn tackles this subject as well as sharing with us an excerpt from his speculative fiction, In Between: Stories of the Eververse. Take a look and share your questions and thoughts in the comments. Download your own copy and then follow the tour for more! Best of luck entering the giveaway!
Telepathic wolves. Zombie gangsters. Sentient houses. Just another day for Kit Baldwin.
Fifty years after an alien ship crashed in Break Pointe, the only protection in a strange new world is Great Power, a corporation of superhumans. If you can afford them. Most people can’t.
Enter Kit Baldwin, a young woman who helps people to help people. Except her power is the alien’s power, and she may be more of a danger to her city than she is a help.
This collection of stories and novellas follows Kit's journey in a series that's been called 'the next logical step after Watchmen.'
Someone keeps rewriting reality. Mostly it goes like this: one minute I’m talking to Abi about things we’ll never do, like go to New Zealand or just go to bed at the same time and then she disappears along with the rest of what passes for my life these days.
I write this to make some record. A way back.
2. Honestly, It’s Not That Different
Strange things happen around here.
There isn’t any life for me outside of waiting for the next shoe to drop, so I wasn’t too bothered at first. Now it happens all the time. On and off. In and out. Hours. Days. Minutes. Reality like summer floods. The strange always recedes back to a big, three story house on Severin St. American castle. Picture window.
Milk trucks inch down the street, lined with ’67 Chevys. Pig-tailed white girls swish in yards with hula-hoops. Boys play stickball in the middle of the street. Cops patrol the neighborhood, and keep black girls from smudging the frosted scenery in midtown.
The cop points back toward the fringes of downtown. “You took a wrong turn back there.”
I zip open my leather jacket. Crimson light illuminates the shock on the cop’s face. “Tell me about it.”
He takes off running. There’s a reason I know when reality changes. My reality is out of sorts, too. TL/DR: if I touch someone, I acquire their energy. Consciousness. They go into the jar of this glowing alien crystal suspended within my chest. Entire universes reside there. Infinite realities. Plus, I’m half-Irish, so.
The doors are always open.
Let’s say you have a parallel world for your book, like Stephen King’s Regulators vs Desperation. How would you change the characters/setting/plot?
Parallel worlds play a key role within In Between: Stories of the Eververse and in the larger fabric of the series. The first story in the book, “Post-Credits Scene,” features a man asking Kit Baldwin to bring his girlfriend back to life. She’s only able to do this thanks to her unique power. Kit fused with the alien power of The Ever in book one of the series, Ever The Hero.
The Ever zaps people and consumes them whole, memories included. They go in the crystalline jar bristling with light in Kit’s chest. As a result, she can embody anyone the The Ever acquired. The story revolves around the what if of the lives of this man, Charlie, and his girlfriend, Betty, who lost everything the day The Ever crashed in Break Pointe. Does Kit become Betty? What does that mean? Does Betty get another life now? Maybe Betty wanted a different life all along.
Another story, “Starter Home,” deals with a sentient house that alters reality to bring back its lost family. This leads to consequences for Kit and her own home. It’s also an opportunity for Kit to explore different versions of her own life, both past and future. I don’t want to say too much about it except to say it’s one of my favorite stories. “Starter Home” is the most experimental in the collection and the one I’m most proud of.
The series overall deals with the theme of parallel worlds. The Ever comes from the multiverse and the boundary between Kit’s universe and others is thin and porous. Book three, Nothing Ever Ends, really explores alternate versions of the reality of the series. Some things remain the same but a lot change depending on the circumstances. That continues as the series goes forward as the nature of what The Ever is and why it’s doing what it’s doing becomes clear.
I love the multiverse concept and I have since I read endless comics as a kid that toyed with the possibilities. I’m less interested in points of divergence than I am other aspects of the self. People hold many different facets within themselves. Many different universes. What brings a particular one to the fore? Environment? Circumstance? Upbringing? i can explore that in different ways in the stories in this collection, even if they don’t directly deal with the multiverse. What if Betty had broken up with Charlie? What if Kit’s parents were still alive? What if Kit lost control of her power because someone else in that jar got out?
A major story in the collection is “Bloodback.” This novella introduces a pack of telepathic wolves led by Siski. Siski represents a version of Kit - a shadow of her - that takes some twists and turns thematically in the story. I can’t wait for people to read it.
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/darbyharn
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Darby-Harn-255976537767428
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