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Hero of Dreams (1986)

by Brian Lumley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dreamlands (1)

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1964115,602 (3.48)3
Something vital is missing from David Hero's comfortable, ordinary existence. one day is much like the next, simple, predictable...boring. But the nights Each night David Hero finds himself transported to a marvelous world where brave men and women battle terrible creatures possessed of cruel, dark powers. Despite his fears, the Dreamworlds tempt David, drawing him farther and farther from the waking world. Here he finds noble warriors; beautiful, loving women; and challenges almost greater than he can imagine.… (more)
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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
Lighthearted and easy to read. In this series Lumley takes Burroughs and Howard puts them in a blender and tosses them into a colorful Lovecraftian world. Even though this series revolves around dreams, reading it will leave you with fewer nightmares than the wonderful Necroscope series. Was not a big fan at first but being a die hard Lumley fan I decided to revisit the series. Lumley has the ability to create worlds so bereft of our own and so colorful that a they create a detachment from any form of reality we think we know. His words are a true wonder. ( )
  Joe73 | Apr 25, 2017 |
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) ( )
  SELindberg | Dec 22, 2016 |
This was the first Brian Lumley book I ever read and it's still one of my favourites! A far cry from the considerably darker Necroscope series, the Dreamlands books are light-hearted, easy reads. The plot gallops along at a fair old pace, providing a multitude of enemies, obstacles and headless monsters for the protagonists to battle against before the final showdown (which I thought was pretty good actually). 5* tongue-in-cheek fantasy, the way it should be. ( )
  Garthatron5000 | Nov 2, 2011 |
This book is the first of a series by Lumley set in the Dreamlands of H.P. Lovecraft, a milieu first devised for such stories as "Celephais" and "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath." But the tone of Lumley's yarn doesn't manage to carry forward the neo-Dunsanian atmosphere that Lovecraft cultivated. Nor--despite a smattering of allusions to Titus Crow and his adventures--is it really a match for other more Cthulhu-oriented Lovecraftian yarns that I've read by Lumley. Instead, it reminded me of nothing so much as the Dying Earth stories by Jack Vance. It has a similar tongue-in-cheek feel of fantastic, almost psychedelic contrivance; which is not to say that it is in any sense laborious. The story was an effortlessly digestible confection. And despite the promise of further volumes, it provided a complete and satisfying plot.
2 vote paradoxosalpha | Jun 7, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brian Lumleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jacobus, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
My own dreams being particularly vivid and real—to such an extent that I never know for sure whether or not I am dreaming until I wake up—I would not like to argue which world is the more vital: the waking world of the world of dream. Certainly the waking world seems the more solid; but consider what science tells us about the atomic make-up of so-called solids—and what are you left with...?

—Gerhard Schrach
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For June, who goes outside and does it anywhere
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It was evening and the uplands of dream were turning chilly.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Something vital is missing from David Hero's comfortable, ordinary existence. one day is much like the next, simple, predictable...boring. But the nights Each night David Hero finds himself transported to a marvelous world where brave men and women battle terrible creatures possessed of cruel, dark powers. Despite his fears, the Dreamworlds tempt David, drawing him farther and farther from the waking world. Here he finds noble warriors; beautiful, loving women; and challenges almost greater than he can imagine.

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