I have wanted to do an entry on scifi cross-universe pages for a while, but the phrase means two different things to me, and I couldn’t decide which to do first. So the heck with it, here are examples of the first, the next entry will start on the other!
In Fan circles, a cross-universe story is one where characters from 2 different fictional universes get together (also called Shared Universe stories) and interact. Some of them can be quite outrageous, like the classic “You Can’t Do That On Trek” site, where fans contributed some of the funniest Photoshopped images you ever saw (I’ll post the link if I can ever find a live version of it; the Paramount legal dept. blue meanies went after it pretty hard, my last good link to it died in 2001). Another great one, still online, is Stone Trek ; Star Trek meets the Flintstones! What makes this one special is the Flash Webisodes, nine at last count and still growing. And the list goes on, with FanFic , Logical Comparisons , RPG’s , Board/Model Games , and more. Each of these categories deserves it’s own entry here, with lot’s of details and info.
It isn’t just the Fan’s who have fun with this. The difference is, the Pro’s actually make money with it. Authors sometimes open up their worlds for others to play in; like Keith Laumer’s BOLO, Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker, and David Weber’s Honorverse, to name a few. (BTW, seen the ads for Sky Captain? Wouldn’t Angelina Jolie make the perfect Honor Harrington, when it’s time to make the movies?). Sometimes a group of authors rally around a concept and build the universe in parallel, like Wild Cards, The Fleet, and Chicks In Chainmail. And if you don’t know what any of those are, run, don’t walk, to your nearest library or bookstore; You are missing something wonderful!
Books aren’t the only media; comics have a long history of this kind of thing, starting with single meetings within the same House (Batman showing up in a Superman issue kind of thing). Then they took it between Houses, although mostly the independents. Then a few brave souls took it between media types, with things like The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. And let’s not forget the movies, with offerings like the film version of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or Alien Vs. Predator. But then, movies were doing it back in the Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman days.
OK, see why I didn’t want to get started? This is just the tip of the iceberg on this topic, almost no intro at all compared to what lives in this realm. If you haven’t been there before, I hope at least one link here fires your imagination. I will be returning to this topic a lot in future entries’, count on it!