1st Edition

Entering the Multiverse Perspectives on Alternate Universes and Parallel Worlds

Edited By Paul Booth Copyright 2025
    350 Pages 4 Color & 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    350 Pages 4 Color & 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Unpacking the popularity and metaphor of the multiverse in media and popular culture, this book explores how the concept of alternate realities and parallel worlds has portaled into the mainstream.

    Edited by leading media and popular culture scholar Paul Booth, this collection explores the many different manifestations of the multiverse across different genres, media, fan-created works, and cultural theory. Each chapter delves into different aspects of the multiverse, including its use as a metaphor, as a scientific reality, and as a media-industry strategy. Addressing the multiplicity of multiversal meanings through multiple perspectives and with an eye towards engagement with contemporary cultural issues, the chapters also examine various distinctions and contradictions, in order to provide a strong basis for further thinking, writing and research on the concept of the multiverse. Chapters in this collection tell the story of the multiverse in multiple realities: creative nonfiction, academic essay, poetry, video, and audio essay.

    A compelling read for students, researchers and scholars of media and cultural studies, film and media culture, popular culture, comics studies, game studies, literary studies, and beyond.

    Introduction Paul Booth  Part I: Skipping Stones over the Waters of the Multiverse  1. The Irresistible Rise of the Multiverse in the fin-de-Millennium Media Zeitgeist Tim Butler Garrett  2. ‘The Unsupportable Pride of Mankind’: Seventeenth-Century Utopias, Humility, and the Multiverse Aglaia Maretta Venters  3. Depictions of the Multiverse as a Labyrinth, a Cultural Icon Between Science, Humanities, and Fiction Angélica Cabrera Torrecilla  4. A Creative Deconstruction of the Cultural Strands in the Multiple Timelines of The Flash (2023): Introduction to the Online Resource “Multiversal Spaghetti” Chris Gerrard  5. The Multiverse as a Stylistic Structure Sem Devillart  6. Capitalism and the Multiverse: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Socio-Economic Influence on Cosmological Concepts Marija Adela Gjorgjioska and Ana Tomičić  7. The Non-Binary Multiverse Poem, Or Friday August 25th, 2023 Dusty Michael Perez  8. What Does It Mean To Be Eternally Alone in the Multiverse? Adalberto Fernandes  9. Lux in Tenebris Maria Faust  10. Tales of Two Multiverses: From Fan Service/Productivity to Shared Inflationary Fantasies Matt Hills  Part II: Multiversal Constructs across Media  11. It’s a Trip. It’s Got a Funky Beat: Exploring the Sonic Multiverse through Hip Hop Sampling Ian Sinnett  12. The Shared Multiversal Power of K-pop Lore Videos and Videographic Criticism Louisa Ellen Stein  13. The Multiverse of Madness Nev Fountain  14. Young Forever(?): Looping Time and Fractured Futures in BTS’s Bangtan Universe Lauren R. O’Connor  15. “The Infinite Knowledge and Power of the Multiverse”: Intersectionality as the Multiverse in Everything Everywhere All at Once Shayna Maskell  16. Marvel’s Multiverse of Madness: The Implications of Alternative Realities, Variants, and Doppelgängers within the Marvel Cinematic Universe Rob McLaughlin  17. Where’s Wanda? Collage and Collapse Teresa Forde  18. Expanding the Spider-Verse: Infinite Possibility and Fan Plausibility Lore Whittemore  19. Turtleverse!: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Multiverse in Media as a Tool to Explore Diverse Genres Ricardo Victoria-Uribe and Nazario Robles-Bastida  Part III: Multiversal Constructs Across Literature and Games  20. The Comic Book Multiverse: Creative Playground / Corporate Plaything Blair Davis  21. Multiversality in Children’s Picture Books: Portals to Many Worlds Ondine Park  22. The Atlas, the Resurrections, the Rising, and the Time War: Multiverse(ions) of Love from Four Fictional Universes Rebecca Gibson  23. Forget-Me-Not Rebecca Johns  24. Finding Yourself: Multiversal Identity Crisis in Ted Chiang’s Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom Amy Coles  25. On Wormholes, Link Cables, and the Limitations of Transmedia: Fan Interpretations of Trans-Spatial Discourses in Pokémon Video Games Ross Garner  26. Playing Across Planes with the D&D Multiverse Maria K. Alberto  27. Cards Against Monstrosity: The Arkham Horror Multiverse David Scott Diffrient  Part IV: Multiversal Constructs Across The Self and Others  28. Teaching the American Multiverse: Power, Agency, and Identity in an Age of Consumer Choice Dustin Abnet  29. Reaffirming Japanese Identity through the Multiverse: A Response to Post-3.11 Uncertainties from Your Name Erica Ka-yan Poon  30. How to Travel the Multiverse: A Text World Theory Guide Matthew Voice  31. The Multiverse of Fanfiction Julia Neugarten  32. “Love Live the Empire!”: Star Trek’s Mirror Universe as a Form of Fan Fiction Lincoln Geraghty

    Biography

    Paul Booth is Professor at DePaul University, USA, where he teaches media and popular culture. He is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Board Games as Media (2021), A Fan Studies Primer (with Rebecca Williams, 2021), and Adventures Across Space and Time: A Doctor Who Reader (with Matt Hills, Joy Piedmont, and Tansy Rayner Roberts, 2023).

    “This timely and far-reaching collection explores the concept of the multiverse and its impact on contemporary media from a rich mix of multidisciplinary perspectives. Essential reading.” – Henry Jenkins, Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education, University of Southern California, USA

    “Spanning across time periods and media formats, this insightful collection proposes varied and multifaceted perspectives on the growing area of scholarship focused on the concept of the multiverse. Offering different, yet interconnected, approaches and critical angles, Booth and his contributors successfully show that visions of the multiverse sit at the centre of our transnational storytelling practices. This is essential reading for students, scholars, and multiverse enthusiasts alike.” Lorna Piatti-Farnell, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies and Director of the Popular Culture Research Centre, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

    “In Entering the Multiverse, Paul Booth and company demonstrate how the multiverse is itself multiversal, tracing the history of the idea over more than a century or two, and its development as a concept, theory, form, trope, and cultural metaphor.  With almost three dozen essays, each examining various aspects and dimensions of the multiverse’s cultural roles, Booth’s book is an excellent examination of a popular and timely topic.” – Mark J. P. Wolf, Professor, Communication Department, Concordia University Wisconsin, USA

    “There are few concepts in contemporary pop culture as unruly and intriguing as the multiverse. This fascinating multi-genre anthology, traveling from Jorge Luis Borges to Pokemon, and from Marvel comics to K-pop, unpacks and complicates what the multiverse can be, what the multiverse reveals. Because the multiplicitous multiverse is, today, our modern myth.” – Carmelo Esterrich, Professor of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Columbia College Chicago, USA