Exaltations by Richard Garfinkle (late ‘70’s?). We first encounter Peter Refton, a biographer, on the battlefield in Afghanistan. When a bullet hits his head, what looked like the end turns out to be an opening into an unfamiliar multiverse with misty archipelagos reminiscent of computer games, where we meet a Carolingian knight, a Chinese ancestress/goddess, and a sorceress, where lives are reborn and sometimes time can be avoided altogether. Grandfather Quest emerges as Refton’s adversary. Stories have a life of their own, and Peter resists being sucked into participating in the same old quest plot in the overarching struggle between life and story. Beings transform, age, and become young. Words, ideas, histories, polemics, places, tumble out in profusion. This book constantly knocks you off your perch. Just when you think, “Well, here’s the nub that explains it all,” another voice enters to turn things around.