Hero of Dreams by Brian Lumley
S.E. rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sword and Mythos fiction- too Entertaining to be Horrific
Brian Lumley’s Hero of Dreams is an overt mashup of Lovecraft’s Dreamcycle and Leiber’s Fafred and Gray Mouser series. The premise is great and reinforces Lumley’s Khash series written in a similar vein (i.e. fun Sword & Sorcery adventure in a Weird-Fiction, Cthulhu-esque world). The stories are too fun for a reader to feel horror or tension, but the milieu is enjoying to explore. Like Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories The Swords of Lankhmar, the Scooby-Doo vibe emanates from the story: there are horrors show, but the story is too fun to be scared.
One could argue that horrific landscapes need to be fun or they can’t be enjoyed at length (i.e. H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath comes to mind, a rare novel length adventure that is really difficult to read…even by die-hard weird fiction readers desperate to learn more of Pickman!). Hero of Dreams is reminiscent of Michael Shea’s Nifft the Lean stories; Hero of Dreams somehow makes reading about the First Ones and Eldritch Gods really easy.
Your tour guides are the waking-world dreamers David Hero and Eldin (and their woman side kick, and Dreamland native Aminza). Ostensibly, by waking day, David Hero is “really” an artist and Eldin (Leonard Dingle) a professor; these characteristics are shed in Dreamland. They have superior strength and dexterity versus the native dream things, but are not as powerful as the god-like First Ones or skilled in magic like the sorcerers they stumble upon. There are plenty of call-outs to Cthulhu and Lumley’s own Titus Crow (Lumley’s weird fiction character, i.e., from The Transition of Titus Crow). They come into direct contact with the elders and anthropoid termites as they quest for the three magic wands (with ties to Cthulhu no less).
My edition is a 1986 one from W. Paul Ganley. He printed was a conduit for Lumley into the US Market, printing mush of his work first before large publishers reprinted his works. He also had them illustrated. Jean Corbin illustrated this one and the dozen illustration do add to the adventure, with compelling renditions of night-gaunts and Ter-men.
Lumley’s Dreamland Series:
1-Hero of Dreams
2-Ship of Dreams
3-Mad Moon of Dreams
4-Iced on Aran
Lumley's Khash series, Tales of the Primal Land:
The Compleat Khash: Volume One: Never a Backward Glance
The Compleat Khash: Volume Two: Sorcery In Shad
(reprinted later in a series starting with Tarra Khash: Hrossak!: Tales of the Primal Land)
View all my reviews
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
(Link to ) Anthologies Folder : Yes this is our annual tradition of delving into new and old short stories that are at the heart of the genre.
(Link to) Staveley's Unhewn Throne Folder : And its time for novel reading too!
Masthead Banner Credits
Representing “Anthologies”: Raphael Lacoste’s cover for the Beneath Ceaseless Skies’s Issue #209, Eighth Anniversary Double-Issue — September 29, 2016. Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #209 by editor Scott H. Andrews
Representing “Unhewn Throne”: Richard Anderson’s cover for Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire (second in the Unhewn Throne Series).
Monday, December 12, 2016
May every sunrise
hold more Promise,
and every sunset
hold more Peace
|Team Lindberg 2016|
|To moderate embarrassment, we show Erin and Connor sans hats|
2016 has been interesting, with Erin getting her driver's license and Connor growing fast enough to make his father feel small. Seth continues with his writing hobby, this year appearing and moderating on author panels for the first time (at the World Fantasy Convention); he has a few works in progress that should appear next year. Seth and Connor continue to enjoy Aikido under Domaschko Sensei (it's a great martial art for disarming folk without inflicting harm, and tossing family members). Heidi has been continuing to build her photography portfolio, and this year's card features one of her snapshots from an angel in Spring Grove Cemetery (Cincinnati OH). Some runner-up options are below:
|West Chester Cemetery|
|West Chester Cemetery|
|Spring Grove Cemetery|
Printing / Proofs / Traditional Font Disputes
Heidi always wins the font discussion. She cut my Roman Numerals (shown in the above Photoschop screen, and used previously on many cards) and then offered her keen eye on the faux sunlight. In addition to tackling the RGB to CMYK conversion, it's always best to get a proof in one's hand. We print from PSprint.com which has a proofing option. It takes ~1-2 weeks to print/receive/review a proof, so much of November involved the Lindberg's bickering over subtle colors. Turns out, Heidi steered this too.
Cheers to all, and may everyone embarrass their friends and family!
|Lindberg kids loving their hats!|