Fusion when it comes to fanfiction, isn’t quite the same as an alternate universe fanfiction. There is definitely overlap, but what makes fusion different from a run of the mill alternate universe fic, be it a mermaid AU or a canon divergence everybody lives AU, is that it’s combining more than one canon. The case I want to discuss below, combines the canons of “Hunter x Hunter” by Yoshihiro Togashi and “Solaris” by Stanislaw Lem.
“Solaris” is a science fiction novel that takes place on an alien planet, where there is this “living ocean” that is baffling scientists exists. This setting has been taken and fused into the world of Hunter x Hunter in the fanfiction “At the End of Everything” by patxaran on Archive of Our Own.
Now it’s important to note that fusion doesn’t necessarily mean crossover. A crossover is a kind of fusion, but it’s not the kind of fusion employed in “At the End of Everything.” In “At the End of Everything,” it is the setting and elements of the plot that have been transposed onto the characters of Kurapika and Leorio. The setting, an alien planet and ocean in “Solaris,” becomes an isolated basin with a Lake Solaris in the fanfiction. There is a research base, with similarly odd and stressed scientists. There are unknown beings that have been created by the environment of the lake.
There is also no fictional science dumping in “At the End of Everything.” As I listened to the audiobook of “Solaris,” I kept getting distracted and missing things when it came to the long discussions of the fictional science surrounding the mysteries of the ocean. It’s something I found very reminiscent of “The Martian.” However, Kurapika is not a scientist and as he is the primary protagonist we don’t get the same science dumping that we get in the canon of “Solaris.”
“At the End of Everything” is not finished as of my writing this and I don’t know how “Solaris” is going to end either as I haven’t finished it yet, but I am curious as to how both will pan out and how similar and different they are going to be.
However, “At the End of Everything” is perfectly enjoyable without any prior knowledge of “Solaris.” I had not even heard of “Solaris” until I began reading the fanfiction and it wasn’t until roughly 13/14 chapters that I sought out an English translation of “Solaris” to read.
“Solaris” is certainly a bit dated and heterosexual, if you’d like to avoid that maybe just stick with “At the End of Everything.” At the same time, if you’re not into Hunter x Hunter, but like science fiction, “Solaris” is very fascinating.
“At the End of Everything” can be found on Ao3 and the new English translation of “Solaris” can be found on Amazon. I would recommend either the ebook or audiobook as there is no hard copy of the new translation, and I have heard that the old English translation is subpar.