Examples of Brian Greene's nine types of parallel universes in fiction?

I’ve been toying with the embryonic idea of a story that involves parallel universes, and was surprised to learn that there’s a theory by a American theoretical physicist named Brian Greene that there are actually nine types of parallel universes. Note: I’m not interested in discussing the correctness/incorrectness of his theory, just how they might apply to fictional works.

I’m not sure I understand any of the nine types well enough to classify fictional parallel universes as any of the types (well… The Matrix is simulated and both **Sliders **and Fringe are Brane or Cyclic, right?), but I bet there are dopers who can.

If you understand better than I currently do, what have you read or watched fit the following types of parallel universes? At least mostly fit, given fiction is seldom written by scientists, there are bound to be elements to most stories that don’t follow the real physics too well.


And are things about magical lands, like Narnia, Fillory, Oz, and Wonderland, a type of parallel universe story, or something that doesn’t fit any of the nine? If they are, though, which type are they?

Poul Anderson’s Tau Zero is sorta kinda an example of Cyclic, with the characters outliving the universe and seeing the next big bang cycle.

Several of Heinlein’s final works are sorta kinda set in an ultimate multiverse with some handwaving to cover magic. Oh, and it specifically included Oz.

Cyclic: Our universe is the latest in a sequence of universes that underwent Big Crunches and were recycled: Example: Marvel Comic’s Galactus is the last survivor of the previous universe. His ultimate cosmic purpose is to ensure that the current universe will eventually birth a successor as well.

Mirror Universe: there’s one other universe based on a reversed-parity version of our laws of physics. VERY usually miscategorized as an “evil counterpart” universe. More broadly, any universe made of exotic particles sharing the same spacetime as ours but imperceivable because they don’t interact with normal matter. Example: Lexx or Marvel Comic’s Negative Zone.

Multiverse/Many Worlds: Every possible version of history happened. Example: Sliders.

Antimatter/ Reverse Time Universe: One explanation for the absence of large amounts of antimatter in our universe is that equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created in the Big Bang and that antimatter traveled backward in time from there while matter traveled forward. Example: DC Comic’s Qward.

Alternate Dimension: A spacetime not connected to ours, or especially one based on radically different physical laws than ours. Examples: numerous.

Higher-Order Reality: our universe is a simulation or virtual reality being carried out in a higher reality. Example: not explicitly stated but heavily implied in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica.

I’m not sure I’d call all of those multiverses, nor am I sure I’d call all of them distinct. The usual count I’ve seen is just three: Inflationary, quantum, and brane.

The quantum multiverse is the milieu of the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Every possible course of history, with ever sequence of microscopic events, fits in here somewhere. But in order for the model to work, it has to be absolutely impossible to have any sort of communication whatsoever between the worlds, and any theoretical predictions of the model can be exactly reproduced by other, non-Many-Worlds interpretations of quantum mechanics, so this one is kind of boring.

The inflationary multiverse posits that all of reality has been in the state we describe as inflation for all of time. This state is unstable, and every so often (quite frequently, in fact) a region of it falls off of inflation and turns into a universe like our own. But the parts that are still inflationary are expanding so quickly that even though the inflationary state is unstable, we never run out of it. These other universes exist in the same overall space as ours, and in principle you could point towards them, but they’re so far away (and getting further all the time, at a ludicrous rate) that you’d never be able to reach them.

And then there’s the brane model, which is in some ways the most flexible and interesting. The idea is that our 3+1 dimensional universe is embedded in some higher-dimensional space, and there are other universes embedded elsewhere in that higher space, in directions that we can’t point to. What makes these interesting is that, while communication between the branes is very difficult, it probably isn’t impossible: The models usually stipulate that electromagnetism and the nuclear forces are restricted to their native brane, but that gravitational effects can still travel through the bulk and allow the branes to interact.

Quilted (the universe is infinite, so everything is repeated an infinite number of times): I think Battlestar Galactica might count, with their refrain, “All of this has happened before; all of this will happen again.”

Quantum: I see this one a lot. The most recent novel I read that explored it was Dark Matter.