Dream: Annihilation Invades My Dreams
I’ve never had a novel take over my dreams in this manner. Up until now, my dreams have been fabrications of my mind. Although the experience was fascinating and strange, I hope I don’t have a lot of these in the future. Who wants to be an unoriginal dreamer?
I was in a mall with a bunch of other writers getting ready to see a horror movie. We were scattered around the food court, chatting. One writer sat at a table, hovering like a frozen dead man over a scale model of a western town. His eyes were whorls of concentration. I slapped him on the back, breaking him from his focus. He looked at me, startled and irritated.
I laughed. “You were in the writer’s trance, right?”
“I WAS,” he said. “I bet you’re in it all the time.”
“Not as much as I’d like to be,” I muttered.
Someone called my name from another table. He had a pilot product of new technology, a mindbookmovie. It was a novel in which the reader literally becomes immersed in the narrative, but locked into the imaginative intent of the author. The book was Annihilation and part of its sequel by Jeff VanderMeer.
“You gotta try this out,” the guy said.
I immediately felt guilty, because I had read only the first book, and this might contain spoilers, but the attraction to delve into something so new was too strong. So I sat down and opened it and immediately I was in . . .
. . . the tunnel (the Tower! the Tower!), walking down the spiral steps. Everything was so incredibly vivid! The air was rich and heavy and hot. I continued down the stairs. I heard quiet sounds from below that were growing louder. I knew what I would encounter, yet I didn’t stop my descent. After several minutes, I came upon the anthropologist. Beside her was this squat cylindrical robot-thing beeping and beeping at her. The anthropologist was reaching around the curve of the stairs, her face reflecting green light. I was fucking horrified, and I turned around and started to run up the stairs. But my running stopped. The stairs began to move themselves, an escalator rising in a spiral. Both sides of the walls were covered in the bristling green words, but out of fear, I avoided trying to read what was written. At one point, the stone of the right wall gave way to a bay window, through which I saw a hand-shaped creature staring out at me from behind a desk. That must be the Manager, I thought. As the escalator carried me to the top, a great, choking fear clutched me, a knowledge that my destination was no less terrifying than what I had left behind . . .
. . . and I was yanked out of the mindbookmovie by my Father.
“What’re you doing? You haven’t read that far, yet. You’ll ruin it for yourself.”
I was relieved. “How do you know that?”
“Jeff VanderMeer told me. He’s outside.”