Places in Between

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Wed Oct 25 12:33:02 EDT 2000

Jennifer, quoting me:

> Jack Chalker describes it as a "sea" in the Dancing Gods series.  This makes
> sense, but is not very interesting IMHO.
> Any more Places Between, in DWJ and elsewhere?
> I like the Spiral, in Michael Scott Rohan's (6?) books- that's accessed by
> crossroads, or sea, or air- places where people have been going in different
> directions for a long time, or where all directions could lead anywhere-
> they can become gateways to an "outer" world, the Spiral, of which our
> nonmagical world is the Core. It gets stranger the "further" you go. Close
> to our world are places very like it but where magic does work- where the
> myths came from. (It's implied that time isn't as fixed as it is here, so
> you might bump into Odysseus).

Yes, I agree.  I hadn't seen it in terms of a Place Between, though.  Come to
think of it I hadn't even really seen the Spiral as a multiverse.  (I must be

While we're on the subject, I have (or have read) Chase the Morning, Gates of
Noon and Cloud Castles.  Any more titles in this series to look out for?

> In the Amber books by Zelazny, the Amberites move by changing the world
> around themselvs so it matches the place they are thinking of, which is sort
> of world travel without a Place Between- or rather, all the places between
> start and destination are "real" as well.

I never really got on with the Amber books, but your description doesn't match
my view of a "Place Between" - a place where you go from your own universe
before entering another universe.  All the descriptions of this seem to be
places where it is easy to get lost - wood, sea, pathless mountain region,
possibly caves - is this a metaphor for a place where direction isn't well
defined?  The idea of the Place Between as mist is also touched on in Lives -
another such place.

> I remember a Sea of Dreams from somewhere- is that the Chalker one?



Multiverses, since you mention the Spiral in that context, are another
interesting idea to explore.  In Jones, we have Deep Secret, Sudden Wild Magic,
Dark Lord, the Chrestomanci books, the Ingary books, and Dragon Reserve Home
Eight all with multiverses.

(Does The Place Between necessarily imply a multiverse?  Think carefully, with
reference to McCaffery's Dragon books...)

Narnia obviously belongs in a multiverse - and a lot of fantasy in which people
from our world are transported to a fantasy world for their adventures implies

Heinlein has an excellent multiverse in Glory Road (on which a few weeks ago I
followed the debate with interest, even if I didn't manage to post), and a
rotten one (IMO) in The Number of the Beast (which I haven't read, but I have
met that multiverse elsewhere).  "Job - a Comedy of Justice" starts out as a
multiverse book, but dismantles the multiverse by the end - quite unnecessarily,
I think.

And then I've just read Larry Niven's Rainbow Mars - which is a sequel to Flight
of the Horse - and found quite an interesting multiverse there.

Who else has interesting multiverses, I wonder?


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