May 26th, 2010

The Journal of The Dreaming

I'm really excited about the upcoming publication of the lettered edition of The Lucid Dreaming. In case you hadn't figured this out yet, I love books and I love fine bindings, and Lucid's gonna have a whoppin' fine fine binding. I had a say in the material used for the binding, and we all loved this:

I think it really captures the story's psychedelic qualities, and I have no doubt that Chris Hedges will turn this thing into a little objet d'art. It will also have additional illustrations by the fabulous Zach McCain.

Oh, and one other thing: An original story, set in the world of The Lucid Dreaming, but told from a rather different point of view.

"The Journal of the Dreaming" is a bit of a literary experiment for me. The narrator is not my feisty heroine Spike, but a middle-aged horror writer named Lisa Morton, who is blogging about "the Dreaming" at her livejournal (which happens to be Lisa, being fairly bright and resourceful and in decent health, and also being someone who has spent much of her life thinking about the process of dreaming, recognizes the disaster early on and starts figuring out how to deal with it. She eventually stumbles on a pocket of other survivors, and they start figuring out ways to form a new society, one that dreams even as it continues to work. The story incorporates lots of autobiography, real places, and the names of friends who I know won't sue me.

Here's a taste. At this point, I've decided to leave my apartment and walk to the North Hollywood High School, thinking that's the likeliest place to find any organized gathering of survivors:


I made it to the school and my hunch paid off – there ARE people gathered here, like refugees from a war, sprawled on the floor of the school gymnasium.

The walk yesterday was unexpectedly easy. Only once did I clutch the crowbar a little tighter, and that was when I saw two coyotes trailing me. Coyotes, in the middle of North Hollywood. They followed me for maybe three blocks, then apparently decided there were easier pickings to be found and loped off.

My city is a dead place, and possession is already being reclaimed by the original owners.

I passed people on the way, but none were conscious, and they were almost all injured or sick in some way. One man was screaming as he clawed obsessively at a pink stucco wall he’d already left bloody streaks on. I walked a little faster going past him.

A couple of blocks from the school I started to hear a loudspeaker, playing a looped message over and over, telling survivors to head for the school. There were a few people outside the school, all conscious. As they saw me approach, there were no greetings or welcomes; they just wearily pointed towards the gym. Later, I learned that there was a group of them who worked through shifts to patrol the perimeter and make sure sleepers don’t wander off.

The crowd inside the large gym space was mostly dreaming, some wandering about, some lolling on the floor or the bleachers.

I scanned the faces quickly. Ricky wasn’t there.

But there were some others I thought I recognized from the neighborhood and that gave me at least some small measure of comfort.

I found a small empty space halfway under the bleachers and set my pack there. Not long after that I was gone.

When I woke up, it was night and the place was lit by a couple of propane lanterns. My pack was where I’d left it, so I ate the food I’d brought with me and then quickly scoped out my new home.

The situation was both better and worse than I’d hoped for: Better, because there was plenty of food (a long table had been set up at one end of the gym, and it was piled high with cans and boxes) and some security provided by the patrols, but worse because there was otherwise no organization and no one in charge.

I need to think this through. Maybe if we


The last part of this oddball experiment: If you fork over for a lettered Lucid, you get to join me in the story as a survivor. C'mon, you want to be a survivor, right? So here's your chance to survive the Dreaming AND own an incredibly cool limited edition:

Order THE LUCID DREAMING Lettered Edition