One of my favorite things in the history of ever is crossovers. I love seeing worlds mix and characters meet. Often times they're non-cannon, because of course, but sometimes you get wonderful things like (and don't you judge me!) the Marvel Cinematic Universe or... the DC one... I guess? I mean... yeah.
Anyway, point is, I just took a look around at all the things I'm engaging with lately and this theme of the multiverse, of crossovers, it's everywhere. I don't know if this speaks to the prevalence of the trope in pop culture or just my own interests. Still, I can't get enough of it.
I think it's the expanding of worlds. It's the meshing of completely foreign characters. It can be done well, let a shared universe thing, or poorly, like... well... old fan fiction I used to write. (Heyo!) Still, I'm not completely certain what it is.
I think, perhaps, my favorite example of this was the video game Kingdom Hearts. When it first came out, there was nothing like it. You traveled between Disney universes while meeting with Final Fantasy characters. Seriously. Someone was on drugs. I can't imagine the initial pitch. But I can recall the feeling I got when I first saw the commercial. Ursula. Captain Hook. Alice. Belle. Maleficent. And that tag line... "You never know who you'll meet next." I was hooked instantly.
I think what was great about that game was that, despite the character being either all Disney or all Final Fantasy, none of the characters shared a universe. Ariel never certainly never met Snow White. The Beast certainly never met Hercules. But when you acted as that link between worlds, it was magic. And... let's be honest, if you played it, you remember what it was like when Sephiroth appeared and One Winged Angel began to play. You knew it was about to get real.
I guess I'd like to do something like that. I'm writing The Paladin, but I'm also exploring other people within that world, people with completely different experiences and who see the world so very differently. We get exposed to so much fiction about world hopping that we forget just how huge our own world is, how many different points of view there are to have on just this one big, blue ball. So within just my own universe, I'm sure I can create so many different worlds. Within the US alone, I know that Paladins in my universe will look and act differently from one coast to the other. I know that Canadian Paladins have a completely different experience to Americans. It's a huge world, because, well, it's our world. Just with monsters.
Also, if you love crossover stuff, make sure you check out my friends at Smash Fiction. They are some of the most entertaining nerds I know. Check 'em out at smashfictionpodcast.com and on twitter @SmashFicPodcast.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.