Radiation Canary: Where Does it Go?

Now that The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary is out at long last, a certain question might start popping up and I want to address it right out of the gate. That question is…

Which of your universes does this band belong to?

That’s an excellent question, and I’m not just saying so because I asked it to myself. I’m currently writing three different series that exist in their own universes. Squire’s Isle is the main universe. It’s like ours, maybe a bit more fairy-tale, but generally just left of real life. Sure, there’s the occasional ghost and things go a lot better for the characters than they might if they were real. But for the most part, it’s the real world.

Secondly, I have Underdogs. Again, it’s like the real world but with a “secret history” of canidae (thanks to Jo Graham for that phrase!). See, everything about the world is normal except for the fact that werewolves really do exist. Like Squire’s Isle, it exists in the Pacific Northwest, but geography is all they share. Squire’s Isle has no were-people.

Thirdly is the Riley Parra series, which is off in its own little supernatural corner. It’s not entering into this discussion, so I’ll just set them aside for the time being.

Radiation Canary is a band in the real world. No superpowers, no demons or werewolves, just four girls in a band. Patricia and Jill’s son Michael attended a Radiation Canary concert. So case-closed, Radiation Canary is Squire’s Isle, right? Right! But also wrong.

About 3/4 of the way through the book, there’s a brief cameo by a “large dog” that appears backstage at a Canary concert. People who read the short story “Howl at the Moon” will view the scene from another angle and realize that the large dog is none other than Ariadne Willow in her wolf guise, hot on the trail of a case. So that seals the deal. Radiation Canary is an Underdogs story! Right! But also… wrong.

Radiation Canary belongs in both Squire’s Isle and Underdogs universes. I debated this with myself for a while, and I decided that it makes sense for a group as famous as Radiation Canary gets to exist in both universes. After all, they’re not so different… in one, there are werewolves. In the other, not. The universes are alike enough that the formation of Radiation Canary was unaffected. So Ari can attend a Canary concert, and Michael Colby can take his girlfriend to see that same concert, but Ari and Michael will never cross paths. They exist just to the left of each other.

It’s like the Doctor Who episode where he meets Nixon and watches the moon landing. The President and that historic moment are so huge that they happened in both our real world and a world where a Time Lord flies around time and space in a police box.

So to put it simply, no matter what world they were born into, Karen, Lana, Nessa, and Codie were destined to meet up and play music together. They might even exist in the Riley Parra universe, but I doubt Riley listens to them. ::g::