Are dreams fact or fiction? How well do we know what we do as we slumber, when we are most vulnerable? Can we trust our surroundings to be there once we open our eyes? Can we rely on the shadows not to spirit us away? The answers might startle you as the eyelids of possibility are peeled back . . .
Some people are slaves to the clock. They have no other life apart from their work. Sometimes they awake to find themselves still laboring in their sleep. That is the premise of this sci-fi bizarro tale about a town in which two residents become aware they are nightly shuttled to the bottom of their world to sleepwork for a mysterious corporation that literally runs things. Their lives are the stuff of daydreams and nightmares, of continuous toil, and nothing seems to make sense.
Sleep Of Fools received Honorable Mention for the Science Fiction/Fantasy category of the 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards.
“Jewel did not blend. She stood out. It wasn’t just her socks. That was a minor choice like his pale-blue ones. There was a deeper element, he defined.”
Jewel did not blend. She stood out. It wasn’t just her socks. That was a minor choice like his pale-blue ones. There was a deeper element, he defined. A quality that jerked a cord inside of him. It was her spirit. She had a joyful nature. She was a brilliant yellow bird on a branch lined with gray birds.
~ from Sleep Of Fools
Life was a grind, a bleak brain-numbing routine that almost felt the same awake and asleep. There was never enough time to live or relax. Where did the hours go, anyway? It seemed they merged one into another without even a click or a swish and the day was gone — devoured by a fetid nightbeast who napped with an eyelid cracked.
Perhaps they were simply recycled, the same day repeating in a loop. That was how it struck Chrono, his lackluster existence marked by a pattern of drudgery. There was no argument to counter the theory because disagreement and debate were not condoned.
As he so often did, the fellow daydreamed about climbing. The only time he knew happiness was then, during his childhood, when he could climb like a monkey. Chrono wasn’t even sure what a monkey was, whether a funny little man or peculiar creature, since none existed. He just knew that they climbed, for he pictured them in trees. A further figment of his imagination. There was no such thing as a tree. Or a sea, with crests that arced and surged in an agitated fluid commotion. Where did these fantasies stem from? He had carved them on the wall of his private compartment. An elaborate mural, drawn with a snapped tool-blade scooped from the floor of his work-sector. Creativity was equally abstract, a foreign concept; artistic supplies were unavailable. His graphics depicted a world remotely different from reality. Maybe there was something wrong with him.
(From the Illustrated Print Edition.)
Honors & Praise
“Jar Baby used to be my favourite story of LRL of all her amazing work but I read this back to back three times I was so enthralled. A masterpiece IMO.”
“In his sleep Chrono can climb like a monkey, only his waking world does not have monkeys, or trees or anything that is not grey and mechanized.
Fed by pills, dressed in grey, putting cogs into place each and every day, all day, then to sleep; this is Chrono’s world . . .
The analogies and mental visuals that LRL conjures up and lays before you are fantastic.
Then a chance fall, a kiss, an escaping screwdriver, a pair of green eyes and all that changes.
When Jewel spurs him into trying to escape the “system” their whole world is destroyed, the final twist in the tale is brilliant and I loved the end line.
Jar Baby used to be my favourite story of LRL of all her amazing work but I read this back to back three times I was so enthralled. A masterpiece IMO.”