Tuesday, July 01, 2014

A True Nightmare

I’ve mentioned before how much I love my nightmares. Well, I had a different kind of nightmare last night, one that I was sad to wake up from and now feel a lingering melancholy that it wasn’t real.  

In the dream I found a used bookstore I’d never seen before. This is, of course, a wonderful start to a dream. As would happen in real life, I was unable to resist going into the store and browsing. The shelves were filled mostly with colorful paperbacks. I saw they had a big western section and moved over to that. Almost immediately I found a dozen Lewis B. Patten westerns that I’d never seen before. Patten is not my favorite western writer but his tales are consistently good and it would certainly be a thrill to find a bunch of his works together like that. In real life I would have bought them all.

Then I saw that across the aisle from the westerns was the science fiction/fantasy section. I moved over there. The place was dimly lit and I noticed a row of thin paperbacks on the very top shelf that looked like Lin Carter books. I have most of Carter’s books and have read most of the ones I have, but I will typically look through stacks of his works to see if I’m missing anything. I reached up and pulled down a handful, only to get a most pleasant surprise.

By their covers, the books were clearly space opera/sword and planet works, but they were written by an author named Joe Comple. I had never heard of the author, nor seen these books before, but they looked exactly like something I would love. I sat the stack down beside me and selected the top one for further study, just as would be my habit in real life.

The cover was mostly bright blue and it looked like something Darrel K. Sweet might have done. The central image showed two space faring galleons coming together in battle. The author’s name, Joe Comple, was in small print near the bottom, and the title stretched large across the top portion. The title was “Hijacking the Ajax.”

I opened the book to page one and started reading. It struck me as quite good, although after waking up I couldn’t remember the exact words. The Ajax turned out to be one of the ships from the cover, and the opening line was something like: “The Ajax came down to the attack on a long parabolic curve.”

There turned out to be three Joe Comple books in the stack I’d taken down, although I remember nothing about the other two, and they immediately went on the pile I was planning on buying. Then the nightmare occurred. I woke up. And realized the books didn’t really exist. I sure wish they did.

I even went to Google and Amazon and searched for Joe Comple. There are a couple of folks named that apparently but none of them appear to be writers. More’s the pity. Although if I ever need a pseudonym for fantasy maybe I’ve just dreamed one up.

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19 comments:

Brian Miller said...

dude....sounds like divine inspiration....and the start of a story...ha....keep writing it...you never know how it might play out....

Keith West said...

I hate dreams like that. The disappointment when you wake up tends to put a damper on your whole day. .

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think the dream was telling you something. Now you need to write that Ajax story. Possibly as Joe Comple.

Charles Gramlich said...

Brian, I wish I'd have read the back cover blurb. :)

Keith west, I know. I was so excited. Then....

Alex. I wish I'd gotten a look at the other two books too.

Oscar said...

That's terrific, Charles. too bad you woke up. I would have liked to hear more of it.

Randy Johnson said...

Write that book as well.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, me too.

Randy, May be!

Cloudia said...

Wild, Charles!




ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= <3

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think that;s your new name or your new character name.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, you have painted a vivid picture of your dream and I'm amazed you remembered the minute details. I hope it turns out to be a dream come true.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, books books and books.

Patti, I've got it written down. I don't know yet how it will work into things.

Prashant, it sure would be cool.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

That was a very clear one. Have you ever try to force yourself to look at your hand like Castaneda described as a step to active dreaming?

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernard, I have at times. Sometimes I can do it. I do have lucid dreams quite often. But when I go lucid one of the things I particularly like to do is fly!

Erik Donald France said...

That's cool, man. Alt dot reality 'on a long parabolic curve' . . .

Victorian Barbarian said...

Sounds like your story-daemon was trying to get a message to you!

Riot Kitty said...

Interesting! I've only occasionally had a dream that I was sad wasn't real. You know, other than the occasional celebrity sex ones.

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, sometimes it would be nice to live in an alternate reality.

Victorian, so folks are telling me. :)

Riot Kitty, I don't think I've ever had a 'celebrity' sex dream

Ron Scheer said...

Sounds like dreams I have had. I remember as a boy clinging to a big fat book as my awareness faded from dream to being fully awake. Such a feeling of sadness and disappointment, as I was pretty book deprived back then. Nowadays, I'd know that's not the case.

I'm also able to read in dreams (as you seem to be able to do as well), something I was once not able to do.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ron, I'm often able to read in my dreams but most of the time don't remember what I read the instant I wake up.