Heinlein AU crossover fanfic

I realized last week that the first crossover AU fanfic I read was Robert A. Heinlein’s The Number of the Beast. Briefly, in TNofB, Our Heroes have a machine that travels through time, space, and dimensions. Due to some entirely irrelevant and forgettable plot shenanigans, Our Heroes find themselves running around through Wonderland, Oz, and Barsoom. Plus some other stops. At the end of the book, everyone is all together from all of Heinlein’s own books, along with a bunch of other fictional characters, the bad guys are defeated, and they all live happily ever after.

I loved this book.

This book, this was epic fantasy wish fulfillment for teenage me. The idea that I could go live with the characters from my favorite books sounded like perfection. I look at this now and I think, “gee, that’s some serious self-insert Mary Sue crossover fanfic!” Which, y’know — I love crossover AU fanfic. Love it. I kinda wonder if Number of the Beast is the start of that love.

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