Superguy Frequently Asked Questions

(last revised August 3, 1994)

Part 6: The Multiverse

Contents Of This Part

  1. What is the Multiverse?
  2. What is an Altiverse?
  3. How do the Altiversal numbering conventions work?
  4. What are the basic Altiverses the list uses?
  5. In past FAQs, the Superguy Altiverse was listed as Altiverse 000 -- why has it changed/I see references to the Superguy Altiverse as being Altiverse 000SG/001/001SG/001SUPERGUY. Which is it?
  6. In the old Sfstory Logs (coming soon to an FTP site near you) I see references to Realspace as being Altiverse 000, as well as lots of numeric Altiverses. What gives there? Also, I see references to the Sfstory Altiverse as 000SF and 001SF -- what is it?
  7. 'Altiverse 223DON'TTRYITAUTHORSONLY' implies a DON'TTRYITAUTHORSONLY Milliverse. Is there one?
  8. Does the LNH Looniverse have an Altiverse in Superguy terms?
  9. What other Superguy Altiverses are known?
  10. How do I create a new Superguy Altiverse?
  11. What is an alternate dimension, and how is it different from an Altiverse?
  12. How do characters travel from one Altiverse to another?
  13. How does Superguy time work?

1) What is the Multiverse?

The Multiverse is the collection of all the alternate universes (or altiverses) in Superguy. It is essentially an infinite number or infinite universes, making up an infinite number of infinities.

2) What is an Altiverse?

An Altiverse refers to an alternate universe. Every subtopic on the list has its own altiverse where base stories are set. This way, although we can have (for example) Sfstory and Superguy crossovers, the history of Sfstory and Superguy are completely different.

In different Altiverse, different rules apply. Different physical laws might hold sway, different histories might have happened, and so on and so forth. Absolutely no two altiverses are identical. However, Altiverses in the same Milliverse (see below) tend to have certain common ties.

3) How do the Altiversal numbering conventions work?

Each Altiverse is numbered through a series of three numbers and an indeterminate number of letters. The Altiverses start with the basic Altiverse, Altiverse 000. If you make a single Quantum shift forward, into the next Altiverse in the sequence, you enter Altiverse 001. Another Quantum shift forward brings you to Altiverse 002, and so on and so forth.

This system suffices for the first thousand Altiverses, or Altiverses 000-999. This grouping is called a Milliverse -- or the thousand altiverses identified with a given suffix. Those first thousand altiverses, having no suffix, are called the Basic Milliverse.

One Quantum shift forward from Altiverse 999 moves you into the next Milliverse, which is designated by adding a single letter A to the previous Milliverse. Thus, you shift from Altiverse 999 in the basic Milliverse to Altiverse 000A in the A Milliverse. When you reach Altiverse 999A and take another Quantum shift, you enter 000B. This continues until you run out of letters in the alphabet (Altiverse 999Z).

At this point, the next Altiverse is Altiverse 000AA -- a double A. This takes you through to Altiverse 999AA. From there you enter Altiverse 000BA. The pattern should be apparent, at this point. Altiverse 999BA leads to Altiverse 000CA, Altiverse 999CA to Altiverse 000DA, and so on. When you reach Altiverse 999ZA, you move to Altiverse 000AB. When you reach Altiverse 999ZZ, you next reach Altiverse 000AAA.

This Multiversal convention is infinite. Eventually, you discover that you are spelling words with the Milliverse suffixes. These words tend to identify what sort of Altiverses they are. For example, Altiverse 994CHOCOLATE is an Altiverse made out of Fudge Ripple Ice Cream. Altiverse 995CHOCOLATE is an Altiverse made out of Jello brand instant chocolate pudding, and so forth. Remember, when you reach altiverse 999CHOCOLATE, the next Altiversal skip is 000DHOCOLATE, not 000CHOCHOLATF (which is an extremely long way away).

At the very top of the Altiversal chain is the Author's Altiverse. This Altiverse is numbered Altiverse 223DON'TTRYITAUTHORSONLY. The careful observer will note the existence of an apostrophe in the suffix. In Cosmological terms, this apostrophe forms an utterly unbridgeable gap. As a result, no resident of the Multiverse can reach the Author's Altiverse.

The space 'between' Altiverses is called Netherspace. It is as infinite as any altiverse itself, and has many features. Most of Netherspace is a formless gray void. However, there is a beach inhabited almost exclusively by nymphomaniacs somewhere in Netherspace (which this chronicler did not invent, so he doesn't want to hear about it). There is also a Casino and the Home for Forgotten Sfstory Characters. Characters from the Sfstory Altiverse who find themselves in Netherspace can escape Netherspace through a Green Door marked Exit. However, no one ever notices that door unless someone points it out to them. Why this happens to be is uncertain.

4) What are the basic Altiverses the list uses?

There are several Altiverses that are associated with the various Subtopics that enjoy regular usage. This includes the Superguy Altiverse, the Sfstory Altiverse, Hell Incorporated, the Round Robin altiverse and the Metaworld Project.

In order:

5) In past FAQs, the Superguy Altiverse was listed as Altiverse 000 -- why has it changed/I see references to the Superguy Altiverse as being Altiverse 000SG/001/001SG/001SUPERGUY. Which is it?

You are seeing retconning in action, folks. As the base altiverse, the Superguy Altiverse was originally Altiverse 000, following the creation of the mailing list. However, people continued to refer to it as Altiverse 000SG, Altiverse 001SG, Altiverse 000SUPERGUY and Altiverse 001SUPERGUY. So it has officially been retconned to 000SUPERGUY, and if you read any other reference to the Superguy Altiverse as being anything but 000SUPERGUY, pretend it says 000SUPERGUY and relax.

6) In the old Sfstory Logs (coming soon to an FTP site near you) I see references to Realspace as being Altiverse 000, as well as lots of numeric Altiverses. What gives there? Also, I see references to the Sfstory Altiverse as 000SF and 001SF -- what is it?

This is a more legitimate retcon. When the Sfstory Subtopic was integrated with the Superguy Mailing List, it had its universal and altiversal constants altered. Further, the same confusion of Altiverse suffix attacked Sfstory as Superguy, so there are lots of references in the logs.

When you see an Altiversal number in the logs without a suffix, pretend it is that number in the SFSTORY Milliverse (000SFSTORY, 719SFSTORY, or what have you). That should keep everything clear.

Finally, 'Realspace' is a scientific term used on 000SFSTORY to refer to 000SFSTORY. It is the Real Universe (or as real as it gets, anyhow).

7)Altiverse 223DON'TTRYITAUTHORSONLY' implies a DON'TTRYITAUTHORSONLY Milliverse. Is there one?

Actually, yes. There actually does seem to be a thousand Altiversal counterparts to the Author's Altiverse, with each one apparently having a variant of the Authors. Each counterpart seems to have a Multiverse connected to it as well. It is worth nothing that those alternate multiverses have no connections to our Multiverse at all.

8) Does the LNH Looniverse have an Altiverse in Superguy terms?

Not that we know of. The LNH Looniverse, as indicated in Part 2, is a separate shared universe project from Superguy. Of late, there has been some crossposting between Superguy and the Legion of Net.Heroes, sort of on the level of a cultural exchange. LNH posts are not 'official' LNH posts until they're sent out over the various channels the LNH and their related organizations frequent.

If there is an LNH Altiverse in the regular Multiverse, it is not known, and the LNH Authors inhabit a section of the Author's Altiverse far, far from the Superguy Authors (which, considering what the Superguy Authors have been up to, is probably a good thing.)

9) What other Superguy Altiverses are known?

There are several Altiverses in the SUPERGUY Milliverse that have been discovered in the past. Each Altiverse has essentially the same cast of characters involved in the same struggles, but each Altiverse has some specific Assumption that is different. This Basic Altiversal Assumption pervades the characters, history, and society of the altiverse, causing the Altiverse to be familiar, but profoundly different, from Altiverse 000SUPERGUY.

Some known alternate Superguy Altiverses are:

10) How do I create a new Superguy Altiverse?

To create a new Altiverse in the SUPERGUY Milliverse, one must decide what the Basic Altiversal Assumption is and apply it.

A Basic Altiversal Assumption should be a true difference between Altiverses -- something that could reasonably change every character on the list. The Altiversal system is not conducive to What If style stories in the SUPERGUY Milliverse (those sort of stories -- 'What if Radian had not killed China,' or the like, should probably be set in Altiverses completely away from the SUPERGUY Milliverse -- 001WHATIFSUPERGUY or the like). Instead, these are worlds where everything is essentially different.

But the world should be familiar. The same primary characters should still be around. For example, Andy Awesome is the most prestigious Superhero aside from Superguy himself in Altiverse 000SUPERGUY. Correspondingly, Andy Awe-Inspiring was the most reviled villain in 954SUPERGUY, Andrea Awesome is the greatest Heroine of ___SUPERGUY, Andrew Astounding is the greatest legend of 333SUPERGUY, and so on and so forth.

Within this guideline is a strange multiversal constant. The character of Ramrod should stay as close to his 000SUPERGUY archetype as possible. Evil Ramrod was pretty much the same as Good Ramrod, for example. Female Ramrod, Fantasy Ramrod, Teen Ramrod, Golden Age Ramrod -- they all are more or less Ramrod as we know him. Why is this? It's hard to say. Perhaps Ramrod is a linchpin of the cosmos. Perhaps it's just one of those things.

Once you have your constant, and you've mapped out a basic alternate society and history around it, choose an unassigned Altiverse in the SUPERGUY Milliverse and hop to it.

Please note, there is little to no reason to create different Altiverses in the SUPERGUY Milliverse that have the same Basic Altiversal Assumptions as some that have already been created. If you feel the need, for example, to create your own Golden Age Superguy, without using 333SUPERGUY's assumptions, go right ahead, but call it 100GOLDENAGE or something. This cuts down on confusion in the Milliverse.

11) What is an alternate dimension, and how is it different from an Altiverse?

The four known real world dimensions are length, height, depth and temporal -- these are the measures of Space and Time that we can perceive with our senses. They are directions and states of being. A three dimensional object exists in height, length and depth. Add the duration of its existence and you reach the fourth dimension of time. One can travel through these four dimensions -- moving from one set of space/time coordinates to another (only forward at a constant rate, for time).

All of the above is self evident. What is not self evident are the other directions, measures and coordinates in Space/Time -- the ones we cannot perceive. These alternate dimensions are as much a part of a given Altiverse as height, length, depth and time are. They exist everywhere, but a being who can only perceive the four basic dimensions cannot see or interact with them.

But in the Superguy Altiverse and some others, those alternate dimensions can house power sources, objects, creatures, and applications of the laws of physics we can barely understand. And in the Superguy and other Altiverses, some beings can perceive and access those other dimensions via technological or parapsychological means... and some beings from those dimensions can access normal space. These Alternate Dimensions can and often do manifest in the normally perceived universes (called Realspace herein).

This is different from an alternate universe, because these dimensions are part of the universe in question. Every Altiverse has these dimensions, and they are not the same dimensions.

Some of the more commonly accessed dimensions are:

There are several others, of course.

12) How do characters travel from one Altiverse to another?

There are several methods. Most methods used on 000SUPERGUY involve Pseudoscience or magic, which is used to breach the Transaltiversal barriers and directly pass through from one Altiverse to another. Any Altiverse can be reached by that method, although the farther the quantum shift (from one Altiverse number to the next), the more traumatic the journey, and even a simple single quantum shift (000SUPERGUY to 001SUPERGUY, for example) by such a direct method will cause the travellers to vomit, no matter how hard they try to buffer the journey.

A far gentler method of Altiversal travel involves entering the Netherspace between Altiverses and then going to the target Altiverse from there. The only practical way of doing this is to use a Spam powered device (see "Spam" in Part 5: In Jokes), which can enter and leave Netherspace easily. Spam powered devices (typically the Automatic Beet Peeler and Sub Atomic Re- Integrator, or ABPSARI) can make this trip very easily, with no apparent side effects. However, the misuse of a Spam Powered device -- even a small one -- could conceivably decimate the Multiverse, so it remains a catch twenty-two).

Finally, using considerable power, two Altiverses which have a certain affinity can form temporary gateways either naturally or artificially. This is accomplished by merging certain corresponding points so that they effectively are part of both Altiverses at once. This method is largely impractical.

13) How does Superguy time work?

Time in Superguy is something of a fluid thing. The past is set into a continuity -- the terms of our shared universe do not allow for permanent retconning when it would significantly alter characters an Author does not have control of. Therefore, the rule of thumb is -- once an event, occurring in the past or present -- is posted to Superguy, that event is set in stone. It did occur.

Future events, on the other hands, are subject to various probabilities. Sometimes they will occur when the 'real' event gets posted and sometimes they won't. For example, the 1995 Storyline Dominic White ("the Artiste") and Bill Paul ("the Man with Two First Names") posted in 1990-91 is unlikely to come to pass in the real Superguy History -- but will instead remain a possible future which didn't end up happening. The 2035 Storyline written by Eric Alfred Burns ("Lord Sabre") is another possible future storyline that might or might not come to pass.

Some Authors might post future events in their storylines which do end up coming to pass. This is not a violation of the 'no locked in future' rule, but an extension of it. Sometimes, the possible futures happen.

If a character travels through time and alters the past, the present and future is altered as well. The nature of Superguy, however, implies that time will be restored to its original configuration by the end of a plotline. For example, when Bill Paul posted a Defense Squad post where the wheel was never invented, all of history was altered. But by the end of the storyline, the wheel was returned to its rightful place in history, and history itself returned to normal.

Separate Parts To This FAQ

  1. Introduction
  2. Subtopics/Posting Guidelines
  3. Ground Rules
  4. Regular Series
  5. In-Jokes
  6. The Multiverse
  7. Authors
  8. Archives

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