Terri Bruce, the ringleader of the Blog Ring of Power, recently started a new blog meme called This and That Thursday. Each week, bloggers discuss two books with a common theme, comparing and contrasting how the books handle the theme. This week, the theme is Books Set in an Alternate Universe/Timeline. I can't resist picking one of my own books, Twinned Universes, and one written by a friend of mine, With Strings Attached by Aviva Rothschild. Both books were directly or indirectly inspired by the Beatles, and of course, both books involve alternate universes. However, the journey to the other universe is handled differently in the two books.
Twinned Universes takes a science fictional approach to alternate universes. The two universes are connected by a wormhole, and they're very similar to each other. Time flows at identical rates in both universes. In fact, traveling through the wormhole (via the spaceship Sagan) is a type of time travel, taking the characters nearly a century back in time so they can meet a famous rock musician. The characters are well informed about the nature of the alternate universe and the consequences of altering the timeline.
In contrast, With Strings Attached draws on both science fiction and fantasy elements. Aliens effect the transfer of characters from one universe to another without the heroes' conscious knowledge, and computers are involved in monitoring the protagonists. However, the four heroes are transported from Earth to a world where magic works and are dropped into a society unlike anything they've experienced. Part of the fun is watching them not just survive, but learn to thrive on this new world. Their actions do cause great changes in their new world but not back home. The universes are not connected, and time flows at different rates in them.
What books have you read that deal with alternate universes? If you'd like to discuss them in your own blog post, sign up in the linky on Terri's blog. Please feel free to check out the themes for upcoming This and That Thursdays as well.