The DREAMLAND CHRONICLES
he DREAMLAND CHRONICLES were first published as as IN THE NET OF DREAMS and WHEN DREAMS COLLIDE by Warner Books in 1990 and 1992 respectively.
In 2002 Meisha Merlin published revised editions of the first two titles along with the third installment in the Dreamland Saga: THE WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS.
...And are currently being translated for publication in Russia. Check back for updates.
The Halfelven Bard Riplakish (programmer Robert Ripley) discovers that the Matrix is deteriorating and that the anomoly is spreading to other programworlds. When his exwife is kidnapped by goblins, his rescue efforts are complicated by amorous amazons, werebears who hate forest fires, and elves who bake cookies in hollow trees. And wait till you see the singing sword that specializes in 50's music: the Sword of Sha-Na-Na....
Bob Ripley returns to Fantasyworld when it becomes apparent that he didn't get everyone out. Worse, the murderous Id of the supercomputer known as The Machine has taken contol of Senator Hansen's body and come next election could well be in the White House, doing something Freudian with the nation's ICBMs. Complicating matters, a mysterious computer virus has split Ripley's dreambody into multiple avatars and someone is hunting him down and killing him off, one by one.
THE WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS
Trapped in the body of his dead fiancee in a parallel universe, Ripley finally escapes by returning to Fantasyworld in order to cross back into his own universe and reaquire his own body. But first he must go to Hell to retrieve Natasha Skovoroda's "soul" and figure out how he got pregnant in the process.
An Omnibus edition of
THE WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS
in One Volume
Dreamlands, a place where people can shed their bodies and inhibitions, entering virtual, computer-generated worlds to interact with AIs and other adventurous Dreamwalkers.
Until the Fantasyworld program locks up, trapping hundreds of Dreamwalkers in the system and killing them off, one by one, with terminal biofeedback.
Now Robert Ripley, author and programmer, must enter the Matrix to debug the program and free the trapped Dreamwalkers before the computer's own Id can make the digital nightmare a permanent one.
This is one of two books in this month's group that I've now bought twice -- or technically, three times (since Dreamland Chronicles is actually three books in one, the first two of which I already owned). Which should tell you something about how much I like the series.
Or you could just check the flyleaf, on which Meisha Merlin has excerpted a sizeable chunk of the review of In the Net of Dreams I penned for Dragon when that book first appeared.
What matters is that the long-delayed third volume of the trilogy appears here for the first time, and it's just as insanely absurd and utterly compelling as the first two. The adventures of Robert Remington Ripley III, primary programmer of an ultra-sophisticated virtual-reality fantasy universe gone dangerously out of control, are sometimes slapstick, sometimes thought-provoking, and laced with a nonstop stream of literary and pop-cultural puns and homages. And he knows his subject matter, whether it's fantasy gaming or high-end synthetic intelligence.
Bottom line? Wm. Mark Simmons is easily one of the genre's sharpest new writers, but he's also right in tune with classic idea-driven SF. The clear comparison is to Randall Garrett -- and as good as Garrett was, Simmons just may be better.
This book is currently out of print. For more information, click here.