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" I think that computers today allow us one last opportunity to provide something like a level playingfield in America."
- William Gibson

Parallel Universe  
  An entirely separate realm or universe that exists along with our own; it may be wildly different or vary from ours by only a tiny degree.  

This is a very early instance of this term in sf; possibly a first reference.

We conceive ourselves to be living in a parallel universe to yours, on a planet the very brother of your own.
From Men Like Gods, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Not known in 1923
Additional resources -

The notion of a separate world, or plane of existence, or realm, has existed in the human imagination from time immemorial. The classical Greeks used the ideas of Mount Olympus and Hades' underworld as different realms that existed along with our own; the ancient Hindus used the idea of a multiplicity of realms called "lokas".

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Men Like Gods
  More Ideas and Technology by H.G. Wells
  Tech news articles related to Men Like Gods
  Tech news articles related to works by H.G. Wells

Parallel Universe-related news articles:
  - Have Scientists Found A Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours

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