I used to devour science fiction / science fantasy on a regular basis. There were whole years when almost everything I read fell into that category. But that was quite a while ago.
Dreamfall, science fiction from 1996, landed on the Giveaway Table at one of our Reiki healing circles, and, intrigued by the title, I gathered it in. I’ve been in a dream group for over 15 years, sharing my dreams, and always want to learn more.
Turns out this is one of a series by a Hugo Award-winning author, with a protagonist who is a xenologist, and is himself half Human, half Hydran. Cat’s team is studying reefs made of discarded dreams / thoughts of an alien race. And there’s not too much more about them or the dreams than that – except that the Hydrans on this world want the dreams to live by, to rediscover their own culture.
Humans don’t come off well here, and neither does the corporate state, now spanning the universe. It is a fully realized world, always one of my favorite things to discover in science fiction. Particularly since I’m a utopian, always looking for the perfect structure to create that perfect world. This world, or at least the human side across the bridge, is decidedly dystopian.
There are more detailed relationships in this novel than are found in most science fiction. And they kept me reading. Joan D. Vinge is a good author. But since this book ended in a hopeful way for all but Cat himself, I’m not really tempted to locate the others books in the series.
But if another one lands on the Giveaway Table, I’ll likely reconsider that decision.