Your DIY magic portal

by | Jul 30, 2020 | Musing & Brain Teasers | 0 comments

One of my favorite seeds for story ideas is the notion of the crossover concepts. They’ve been big in comics since forever and huge in fan-fic. But I like them just for the “what if” scenarios and the interesting fallout that comes from exploring them. I work hard to ensure they don’t come across as a simple crazy-glue of two disparate franchises, but the exploration itself becomes the basis for something entirely new.

Three Men and a Baby + I, Robot = Project Transhuman (formerly Robot Geneticists)​

I originally conceived the series as a comedy. Bumbling robots would be struggling to care for a human baby they’d cloned. They were worshipers of mankind and performing what they viewed as a religious act. I latched onto that last concept for the opening scene of Extinction Reversed, which takes place in Notre Dame. While the final product embraced more hard scifi than I’d anticipated, it was this whimsical inspiration that started the whole thing.

Firefly + Twinborn Chronicles = Black Ocean

I’ve talked at length about how I was inspired to write Black Ocean after a rewatch of Firefly. But I talk less about where I got my wizards. Initially, I’d conceived of them as Twinborn-style wizards, using some form of magical telepathy to communicate over vast distances. The later books in the Twinborn Chronicles touched on other, more technologically advanced worlds, and this would have slotted in as one of those. Instead, I came up with a magic system more tailored to the setting, and the Black Ocean style of wizards debating with the universe was born.

Now, I’m turning the keys to the portal chamber over to you.

Your task: construct a portal connecting two fictional universes.


  • One sci-fi universe, one fantasy universe
  • Maximum of 1 JS Morin universe
  • If you must ship, please be tasteful

That’s it! ​Discuss what you come up with in the comments or in the discussion on my Facebook page:

Who knows, maybe the best story idea ever is still out there, waiting to be put together like two Lego sets. And maybe you will be inspired enough to write it!

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