Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.
In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.
Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.
When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.
Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?
Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
Life and Other Dreams offers a classic element of science fiction, the dual narrative dual timeline. Sometimes these narratives become quite difficult to follow as things blur from one to the other. But somehow Dee has managed to wrangle two fully-formed separated by time and space and keep them apart enough for the stories to flourish while allowing enough blending to make things interesting.
In one timeline, a timeline that seems to mirror our own, we meet Rick. He works an uneventful marketing job creating adverts for companies, before going home at night to his wife Cath. After a prolonged spell of insomnia, Rick is put on an experimental drug that guaranteed him sleep. The one side effect – vivid dreams. And this leads us to the second narrative. Rick is now Dan, living in a colony on a planet light-years from Earth called Ecias. It’s also a significant leap forward into the future. Space travel, knowledge and technology were vastly more advanced than our own. His married to Vanessa, and they spend most of their time in the wilderness working on research projects.
The problems start when the dreams become so vivid that things begin to bleed from his dream life to reality. He could remember dreams with an unnerving clarity. When things seem to start mirroring from one reality to the other and vice versa, the problems really mount up.
Both narratives make for excellent reading, but the way Dee manages to weave them together is masterful. Tohether they complement each other in a way I cannot quite describe. There is frustration in one, tension in the other. The crossover of elements of on into the other add to the story. It leaves the reader questioning which narrative is truly the dream. Both seem so rich and real and believeable, making for a compelling read.