8FOLD/META: About the Author # 1: Tom Russell

Jamie Rosen jamie.rosen at sunlife.com
Sun Apr 17 18:57:01 PDT 2005

Tom said:

Perhaps I was a little harsh in my denouncement of alternate universes
-- again, I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular and I wasn't trying
to hurt anybody.  Perhaps what I should have gone into more detail
about how it didn't count, at least within the universe proper, and how
that irks me.  A story without consequences is the bane of serial
literature-- a story without consequences means that Spidey will never
really be hurt, no matter what situation he's in.  It's supremely

I say:

And here's an example of the different points of view that come into
play by having multiple authors involved in one imprint. I, personally,
don't have the same problems with alternate universes that Tom has. I
think that a well-done alternate universe story (like a good
Elseworlds, for instance) can stand on its own as a good story, and let
you tell a story that might not otherwise be tellable. Most fiction
these days isn't serial, and so has no 'lasting consequences' the way a
serial story requires; good alternate universe stories work like that.
It's like comparing a short story to a chapter out of a novel; they're
doing two different things.

What I don't like is the Age of Apocalypse/Days of Future Past
alternate universe as plot device technique.

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