They say that there is a state known as lucid dreaming, whereby one realises one is dreaming without waking up. With this realisation comes power – the power to fly, to go anywhere in an instant, to have revenge on your enemies or to become a great hero. And all this within your dream, where mere thought directs your experience. Anything you believe you can do, you can do.
We'd use that state for personal gratification, wouldn't we? After all, dreams aren't real, and your dreams are private things that only you experience, so why not? What's the harm?
But what if they're not just your dreams? What if they're everyone's dreams – billions of dream-worlds, combined into one?
And what if those dream-people, when they went to sleep, dreamed of us?
Of course, you're the real person, right? You know the difference between dreaming and being awake. Do they?
Is the real you, the product of nature and nurture, of society's expectations and the limits of your species, truly the real you? Is the dream-you, your self-image, unconstrained by the cage of society and biology, perhaps more true, more real?
What would be the result if, rather than mere idle speculation, this debate became a matter of life and death for two parallel sets of human beings? Two worlds, so different and yet so dependent on each other, are on a collision course.
Why? And how is that even possible?
Who are we, what are we? What do we want, and what do we fear? And what is truly real?
This is Dreaming Awake. It is in equal parts epic fantasy, psychological horror and philosophical treatise. And it might even get written sometime in the next few decades.