This is… almost a novella collection; the third story is notably shorter, but the other three reach into novella length. The four stories all deal with the ‘dreamers’ of Ty-Kry: Women who can dream and, through a device, share those dreams with other people. These dreams are under the dreamer’s control, but are presented for the client’s entertainment, making this a mix of virtual reality and GMing an RPG (in 1969 for the original story!).

There’s some extra questions in the stories about just how ‘real’ all of these dreams really are. They are just dreams… except….

And of course, none of the stories are about the ordinary types of dreams of day-to-day business at Ty-Kry. All of these are about the exceptional cases. The first story, “Toys of Tamisan” (the only one previously published in a magazine, and it also appeared in High Sorcery), deals with Tamisan, who being a crossbreed of offworlder and native of Ty-Kry, is an unusual dreamer, and when she tries to present a scenario based on if Ty-Kry’s history had gone differently, things go sideways. She is not in control, the ‘NPCs’ are all doing their own thing, and there is a real question of just how real all of this really is. It ends with a leap into the unknown, and the second story, “Ship of Mist”, is a direct sequel, that technically doesn’t directly deal with the dreamers. Other than the background, the bulk of the plot could a fairly typical pulp adventure (and a good one).

With a few changes at the ending, there could have been more adventures with Tamisan, but the second story brings an end, and the next two are only related by using Ty-Kry and dreaming. The remaining two have viewpoint characters a bit outside of having a lot of knowledge of how the dreaming works goes in. The third one (“Get Out of My Dream”) questions how real these dreams again, as it is an attempt to use a dream to alter the past.

The fourth story, “Nightmare”, is the longest, and deals with the fact that someone is using these dreams to kill clients despite a good number of safety precautions. This attracts the attention of off-world authorities who send in an undercover team to uncover how it’s happening. This probably gives the best idea of how normal dreaming (which we haven’t seen much of) is supposed to go, but of course it immediately goes off the rails too. In addition to the previous VR+GM idea I mentioned before, there’s a quick digression into zombie plagues, decades before they became popular.

Overall, it’s a good set of stories. It’s concept-centric SF, with a good amount of action, and some treachery, and fairly solid plots. “Get Out of My Dream” is really all concept, which would be why I considered it the weakest of the lot. The real workings behind the concepts are not explored, and… there’s some sense it’s not necessarily well understood in-world either. This works well inside of a small number of stories, but I’m definitely curious as to how the entire concept of a machine to ‘share’ dreams came from, especially as people who can use it are rare (though the two Tamisan stories do imply that its at least related to other psychic powers).