The Space Between Worlds

The Space Between Worlds

My next reading was "The Space Between Worlds" by Micaiah Johnson. I have wanted to write a Sci-Fi novel in English someday (one of my goals before hitting the age of 50, which means the clock is ticking for this year). I believe the cornerstone of a compelling sci-fi narrative lies in its world-building, prompting me to seek out novels renowned for their immersive universes, and that's how I stumbled upon this one.

This tale explores the fascinating concept of the multiverse, a theme that may seem overdone since Marvel's Endgame. However, this book introduces a fresh twist: 'traversers,' individuals who can journey across the multiverse, but only if their counterparts in that world are deceased. The protagonist, Cara, is a standout character with the rare ability to travel through numerous worlds, largely because she is no longer alive in most of them. This unique premise sets the stage for a truly captivating narrative.

Without giving away any spoilers, I'll simply note that this book struck me more as a romance akin to André Aciman's "Find Me," where the intricacies of relationships between characters, settings, and their iterations across parallel universes form the heart of the narrative. It was truly magnificent.

I found myself somewhat disappointed by the depiction of the world itself. The narrative primarily unfolds in two cities: Wiley City and Ashtown, which reminded me of images of a specific, troubled region on Earth. The author doesn't delve deeply into the state of the world, leaving me to infer its apocalyptic nature. However, questions linger about the fate of other cities or countries — are these two the sole survivors? While the exploration of countless parallel versions of Wiley City and Ashtown offers some compensation, I struggled to grasp the setting fully, making it challenging to gauge the significance of the story's events within this seemingly constrained world.

Yet, the author, Micaiah Johnson herself, stood out the most.

She received a bachelor of arts in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside, and a master of fine arts in fiction from Rutgers University–Camden. She now studies American literature at Vanderbilt University, where she focuses on critical race theory and automatons.

Race and robot?: how can these two themes relate? This intriguing connection resonates with me, particularly because it mirrors a concept in my own unwritten story, the commencement of which remains uncertain.