A Dream of Wessex PDF ↠ A Dream eBook ✓

A Dream of Wessex[PDF / Epub] ☉ A Dream of Wessex ❤ Christopher Priest – Varanus.us A Dream of Wessex is a story about a group of twentieth century dreamers who create a consensus virtual reality future Once they enter their imaginary world they are unable to remember who they are, o A Dream of Wessex is a story about a group of twentieth century dreamers who create a consensus virtual reality future Once they enter their imaginary world they A Dream eBook ✓ are unable to remember who they are, or where they are from.

A Dream of Wessex PDF ↠ A Dream  eBook ✓
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • A Dream of Wessex
  • Christopher Priest
  • English
  • 23 February 2018
  • 0330255436

    10 thoughts on “A Dream of Wessex PDF ↠ A Dream eBook ✓


  1. says:

    Inventive, imaginative, visionary an apt description for both men and women in the novel and author of the novel Christopher Priest, one of my favorite novelists, set my mind gyrating and performing pirouettes once again with his A Dream of Wessex In 1985, in a special facility built underneath ancient Maiden Castle located near Dorchester, England, in pursuit of innovative insights and approaches to social issues of the day, 39 British academics and scientists participate in a projection Inventive, imaginative, visionary an apt description for both men and women in the novel and author of the novel Christopher Priest, one of my favorite novelists, set my mind gyrating and performing pirouettes once again with his A Dream of Wessex In 1985, in a special facility built underneath ancient Maiden Castle located near Dorchester, England, in pursuit of innovative insights and approaches to social issues of the day, 39 British academics and scientists participate in a projection whereby they share a virtual reality, a parallel world 150 years into the future Once they are in Dorchester in the year 2135, memories of their lives back in the 20th century evaporate and are replaced by a complete 21st century identity According to the rules of the Wessex Project, upon retrieval to the 20th century, participants are required to write a formal report recounting their experience.Originally published in 1977, Christopher Priest s A Dream of Wessex is a mind bending time twister, a cross between Philip K Dick experimental science fiction and Wilkie Collins British suspense yarn Here s a number of the highlights a reader will encounter in this tightly told tale of 225 pages MAIN CHARACTERSThere s Julia Stretton, Paul Mason and David Harkman Julia is an attractive 27 year old geologist who thrives on her participation in the project But there is an alarming crisis lurking on the horizon Julia s former lover from a time when they were both students at university, a strikingly handsome man by the name of Paul Mason, joins the Wessex project Julia had to break off her relationship with Paul back then since beneath his good looks and charisma Paul Mason turned out to be manipulative, egocentric, cruel and domineering Fortunately, in her current life, Julia can draw strength from another man who has recently joined the project, David Harkman A sensitive, wise 40 year old social historian, David is also an adventurer, a quality he will need when the power struggle within the project reaches the snapping point Once together in projected 21st century virtual reality, David and Julia fall deeply in love But the lovers must deal with power hungry, self centered Paul Mason, a man who doesn t accept defeat easily, and that s understatement In all the Christopher Priest novels I ve read to date, Paul Mason is unquestionably the darkest and most sinister of the author s characters With the inclusion of Paul, the tension created within the story skyrockets TIDAL WAVESIn the year 2135, following a string of catastrophic earthquakes, southwest England is now an island separated from the mainland, Dorchester, a seaside town attracting tourists The deep channel separating the two land masses is known as Blandford Passage featuring the most phenomenal change of all tidal waves are a common occurrence Rising to the challenge, future Brits ride these tidal waves on specially constructed, motorized craft, a cross between surfboard and jet ski Surf s up, dude David Hartman has maintained his trim physique and saved enough money to purchase one of these unique crafts and quickly becomes adept at riding the Blandford title waves Having been a surfer in my younger days, I especially appreciate how David s skill and courage play their part in the unfolding drama INTUITION Upon meeting one another for the first time inside the projection, both Julia and David have a feeling, an indefinable sense of recognition but David admits on the level of rationality his inner feelings do not make a shred of sense Herein lies much of the delight in reading the novel the dissonance between the men and women in the projection who think they are in the real world and a reader knowing they are merely participating in a shared virtual reality THE UNCONSCIOUSA participant s projected experience in simulated 2135 is a consequence, in part, of their alter ego In other words, a person s deeper wishes and desires color their projection Added to this, however, we also read Someone had remarked at the beginning that the collective unconscious would produce archetypal horrors, nightmare images, dreamlike situations It had been a semi facetious remark, but many had taken it seriously Unlike the dream state, though, the Wessex of the group mind was controllable There was constant correction stemming from reason, sanity, experience the conscious mind could override the unconscious The nightmare fantasies did not appear INNER REALITY OF THE MINDWith each page we turn, thewe share the collective 2135 Wessex dream with the novel s characters, thewe are confronted with the conundrum of the fleeting nature of feelings, sensations and memory How much does remembering contribute to our sense of identity What if we could no longer remember large swaths of the past or even our entire past What would we fall back on Our moods Our emotions Our ability to analyze via reason and logic JOLT OF THE WEIRDIn vintage Christopher Priest style, toward the end of A Dream of Wessex there is a sudden, unforeseen event propelling the story into evenamazing dimensions of time and space I wouldn t want to disclose anything specific here but I will pose a number of questions What would happen if someone in 2135 discovered their membership in the 1985 Wessex Project How would identity be shaken up if the men and women in 2135 Wessex created their own Wessex time travel project whereby they would travel backwards in time to the year 1985 Stated another way What confusion would be created if men and women didn t know if they were in the real world or in a projection of a projection What would your reaction be if you saw your own name among the participants in a 2018 projection To approach an answer to any or all of these questions, I highly recommend this Christopher Priest mind stunner In the same way that she had a double, and sometimes contradictory image of herself and her own future persona, so Julia had conflicting feelings about David Hartman As she was here, living her real life in the real world, Harkman was just another member of the projection, if one in an unusual situation But her memory of Harkman s alter ego was altogether differrent warm, intrigued, excited, deeply personal Photo of Christopher Priest taken back in the 1970s when he wrote A Dream of Wessex


  2. says:

    The Self Defeating Politics of the VisionaryThe ideal society is not an uncommon subject in Western discourse Plato suggested what it might look like The early Christians had a different version Thomas More wrote about it in his Utopia in the 16th century Marx sketched his dictatorship of the proletariat in the 19th G.K Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc proposed a sort of medieval paradise based on craft guilds in the 20th.All these ideal societies share a common problem an inability to spec The Self Defeating Politics of the VisionaryThe ideal society is not an uncommon subject in Western discourse Plato suggested what it might look like The early Christians had a different version Thomas More wrote about it in his Utopia in the 16th century Marx sketched his dictatorship of the proletariat in the 19th G.K Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc proposed a sort of medieval paradise based on craft guilds in the 20th.All these ideal societies share a common problem an inability to specify the political system necessary and sufficient first to achieve something approximating the ideal, and then to maintain it in operation Such a system must be capable of reconciling potentially contrary personal interests into some sort of stable common interest To date no one has been able to formulate even a theory of such politics, much less succeed in creating a society at any level that shows itself to function effectively A Dream of Wessex is a fictional case study of how the search for the ideal society ends up on the rocks It might be possible, given unlimited resources and no social constraints, to get a small group, say a half dozen people, to converge on a society which works for everyone in the group In fact there are organisational theorists who have proposed methods and experimented with just this, and had some success in large organisations See.The political difficulty arises, however, precisely to the degree that a coherent view of a shared world is achieved by the participants The creation of a stable politics within any group quickly, and understandably, becomes valued by the group Therefore the established political process, no matter what it is, is considered as something to be protected Any attempt to add another member to the group is considered, also understandably, as a threat to the political unity of the group The group is politically stable but at the cost of its social isolation.This process of political unification and subsequent isolation shows up in phenomena as diverse as the nationalistic disaster of Nazi Germany to the commercial failure of Xerox To keep politics working, the political process excludes those whose inclusion would alter it Trump and his Republican enablers have adopted this as their explicit strategy by restricting immigration, voter intimidation, gerrymandering voting districts, and making unjustified claims of voter fraud The paradox, of course, is that thepolitics is restricted, thelikely it will take unexpected directions The abrupt dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the equally abrupt dissolution of Lehman Brothers are ultimately the consequence of restricting discussion, analysis, and judgment to some cadre of like minded folk, who for reasons of self interest, stupidity, or ill will, desire to maintain the political status quo The recurrent theme of A Dream of Wessex is losing oneself in inner space, that is, in that idealised vision of some group which then becomes attached to that vision Unnoticed by the participants, such a vision transforms itself from being a liberating view of political possibility to a suffocating prison of violently asserted self interest Such transformation is not incidental it is an essential consequence of the way in which the shared vision was achieved in the first place The national or corporate vision necessarily becomesthe ultimate escapist fantasy, a bolt hole from reality So beware the man or woman of vision They are death to good politics, no matter what their vision


  3. says:

    As much as I want to like Christopher Priest his mind and reality bending tales should be right up my alley there s something in his prose style that prevents me from totally connecting with his work, although I did mostly enjoy The Affirmation and the Prestige, even if I had similar issues with those His writing is so devoid of emotion, so distant, as are his characters Which is a shame, as the story here had the potential to be a good one.Sometime in the near future, scientists have de As much as I want to like Christopher Priest his mind and reality bending tales should be right up my alley there s something in his prose style that prevents me from totally connecting with his work, although I did mostly enjoy The Affirmation and the Prestige, even if I had similar issues with those His writing is so devoid of emotion, so distant, as are his characters Which is a shame, as the story here had the potential to be a good one.Sometime in the near future, scientists have developed some sort of virtual reality or shared hallucination that allows its users to live in a scientifically projected predicted far future utopia, in order to figure out how that utopia came to be, so they can learn from it The volunteers are totally enveloped in this future world, even taking on different personalities The problem for me was that they have no personalities, at least that I could tell It was also quite confusing at times, and it was a lot of work having to constantly go back and forth to figure out what s going on in a story I cared less and less about as I went on, due to the dull characters and sleep inducing writing style.It ended up somewhat coming together in the end, and there were a handful of moments that made my brain melt from working overtime in a good way , so it wasn t a total loss I ll probably still read somePriest in the future, as his ideas are pretty spectacular plus I already own severalbooks of his Maybe his newer work has better characterization,life and immediacy As creative as his stories are, his robotic prose has a tendency to make my eyes roll into the back of my head.2.5 Stars


  4. says:

    This took me right back to the 1970s when I read most of my sci fi Thoughtful political and social background to a story set in the near future early 1980s with projections to a further future The decay of the environment, scarcity, the division of the world into not surprising blocks all rang true The world is largely composed of an Islamic bloc including North America and a Soviet bloc including the UK where the story is set Australia, I m pleased to report, is one of the few independent This took me right back to the 1970s when I read most of my sci fi Thoughtful political and social background to a story set in the near future early 1980s with projections to a further future The decay of the environment, scarcity, the division of the world into not surprising blocks all rang true The world is largely composed of an Islamic bloc including North America and a Soviet bloc including the UK where the story is set Australia, I m pleased to report, is one of the few independent countries.Character development doesn t stand comparison with Shakespeare, but it compares favourably with the run of the mill science fiction I ve read so much of Priest is a polished writer, which makes him easy to read The basic premise was believable, it s nice not to have to be convinced to suspend disbelief.I confess I hadn t heard of him before, despite being well regarded, most notably these days for having written the book that later became the Nolan movie The Prestige I could readIt struck me as rather PK Dick without the drugs Trots off to look up that idea online Spots this


  5. says:

    From 1977, a tale set a few years in the future where a psychological experiment is underway to imagine life in the 22nd century The process is mediated by gadgetry, but the emphasis is on the unconscious as the driver and the real magic box that makes things work The term virtual reality didn t exist back then, but there s no suggestion computers have any control over the process The notion of communal hallucination was already well established in SF by then however.The point and pract From 1977, a tale set a few years in the future where a psychological experiment is underway to imagine life in the 22nd century The process is mediated by gadgetry, but the emphasis is on the unconscious as the driver and the real magic box that makes things work The term virtual reality didn t exist back then, but there s no suggestion computers have any control over the process The notion of communal hallucination was already well established in SF by then however.The point and practice of the Wessex Project doesn t make complete sense How exactly are the participants supposed to be learning how the future society works if all that goes in to it are aspects of their own 20th century consciousness I get the impression that Priest himself couldn t quite solve that problem, and the passage with that explanation was a hurried insertion Why is it that Tom fades out entirely and is forgotten when his real body dies, if we are told that characters persist in the future even when their 20th century puppeteers are disconnected There is a good story here, about a vision of imagined paradise getting disrupted by a malign invader But it gets rushed through too quickly, we could do with a middle section in which Paul Mason s transformation of Wessex unwinds slowly Instead, we see him revealed as a baddie in a deeply unpleasant attempted rape scene, then before very long he is falling to pieces as a B movie version of a mad scientist having a breakdown Did a merciless editor insist that 100 pages had to be cut for publication Overall this is entertaining enough, muchthan Inception and similar films which have taken these themes and flogged them to death The real story here is late 70s paranoia about political breakdown and economic crisis, from which viewpoint a communist leisure resort in the west country would seem like paradise


  6. says:

    The only other book I have read by Christopher Priest to date is The Prestige which I enjoyed very much indeed So I was glad to pick up this book in a charity shop.It s hard to believe it is by the same author, albeit written or at any rate published about 20 years earlier The style is clunky, and the central female character is wooden and unbelievable I suspect that at that stage of his career, Priest just didn t write convincing female characters Does he now I shall have to readby The only other book I have read by Christopher Priest to date is The Prestige which I enjoyed very much indeed So I was glad to pick up this book in a charity shop.It s hard to believe it is by the same author, albeit written or at any rate published about 20 years earlier The style is clunky, and the central female character is wooden and unbelievable I suspect that at that stage of his career, Priest just didn t write convincing female characters Does he now I shall have to readby him to decide that I was left wondering if it was a very early book, published after he had some success with books written later.There are probably ideas in this book that he used again later, hopefully to greater effect, as for me, the story, especially the ending, was unconvincing Not recommended


  7. says:

    Inception appears to influenced by this Short, hauntological, slightly odd And it s aged much better than you d think


  8. says:

    Inception like speculative fiction that despite some time specific references i.e in extrapolating Cold War political configurations still feels fresh some 40 years on The central premise is the development of the Wessex Project an idealistic academic project based in an ancient hill fort a nice reference to the complex links between past, present, and future to discover the means to reach an idyllic future world of political and economic stability view spoiler This is to be achieved Inception like speculative fiction that despite some time specific references i.e in extrapolating Cold War political configurations still feels fresh some 40 years on The central premise is the development of the Wessex Project an idealistic academic project based in an ancient hill fort a nice reference to the complex links between past, present, and future to discover the means to reach an idyllic future world of political and economic stability view spoiler This is to be achieved by projecting said idyll from the pooled conscious and unconscious minds of 39 participants hide spoiler Of course, one could pick many holes in the plausibility of the project view spoiler Not only would this future be inevitably White English focused given the apparent lack of national or ethnic diversity among the participants, it seems fairly dubious to think that the routes taken to reach this future would be feasible or even realistic What is the advantage of tapping into these 39 expert s collective unconscious rather than, say, setting up an ordinary think tank and having them discuss plans for the future over coffee and cookies hide spoiler However, the point of view characters are all so convinced of its rationality that there is never much space while reading to raise these objections they only come to me now, as I sit and type this review The novel opens with a chapter from the perspective of Julia Stretton, the project s youngest participant, and then adopts the viewpoint of some other participants as well to provide a fleshed out picture of this future Wessex that comes out as disconcertingly real, an entertaining imagining The central love affair view spoiler between Julia and David hide spoiler never felt very convincing even within the story, they characters admit that it was rushed, and the whole love at first sight trope shortcut didn t match up with the careful psychological development that had been provided for Julia s previous significant relationship The relationship becameandimportant to the plot as it progressed, which made it seem less convincing by the time of the final resolution The idea of collective imagining, also, could have useddevelopment I would have loved to see some of the discussions of the group before starting the projection, or knowing how they actually gave form to the idyllic future Wessex There is something very meta about this novel, not only in the plot s ultimate resolution, but in the premise itself The Wessex Project as an elaborate form of wish fulfilment, an intellectual indulgence by people who want to avoid the real world the notion mirrors the way many people think of science fiction, doesn t it Witness the pithy summary made of the project by the unspecified narrative voice, that echoes thecritical reactions to it within the narrative Wessex, tourist island in an imagined future, became the ultimate escapist fantasy, a bolt hole from reality 78 Although, of course, no sf reading viewing experience is ever as immersive as the Ridpath projector in this novel Could you live in an imagined reality even if you knew it was just the fabrication of a collective unconscious I don t think I could, but it s certainly worth considering The most interesting parts of the book were indeed the ones that attempted to capture the difference between dream and reality, that ineffable difference when you are in a dream that feels palpably real Compared to another work of British sf from the period, Kairos, this novel s exploration of the limits between thought and reality isrigorously thought out, and thereforethought provoking So, although the book does have some shortcomings and omissions that might have made it richer, it is a convincing and enjoyable read that has not aged badly at all


  9. says:

    Note This novel contains triggers of domestic violence, narcissistic personality disorder, attempted rape, sexual exploitation and blackmail.This novel is a mind twisting look at the potential of a simulated reality In this late twentieth century dystopia that never came to pass, the world is tearing itself apart But an odd project is in existence people are leaving their real lives behind to slide their bodies into mortuary drawers and join a hypnotically projected, collective simulated rea Note This novel contains triggers of domestic violence, narcissistic personality disorder, attempted rape, sexual exploitation and blackmail.This novel is a mind twisting look at the potential of a simulated reality In this late twentieth century dystopia that never came to pass, the world is tearing itself apart But an odd project is in existence people are leaving their real lives behind to slide their bodies into mortuary drawers and join a hypnotically projected, collective simulated reality of a strange future One such woman is Julia, who is perpetually running from her narcissistic, abusive ex boyfriend, until she smashes into him at the project offices in London She has been ordered to find and investigate the disappearance of projector participant David Harkman, whose alter ego cannot be located within the simulated reality But once she joins the projection, she cannot remember the real world and is lost within her alter ego Yet this is only the beginning of a twisted tale because Julia s maniacal former love Paul Mason has been hired to infiltrate the projection and set it back on course , tearing apart the boundaries of simulation and reality


  10. says:

    This story didn t feel right to me The sensibilities of the late 1970s England, mixed with a pseudo futuristic machine to project the characters into a multi consciousness vision of the future is a time shifting story that left out too many details and that plagued me throughout the book For example, if David Harkman has been in the projection for two years without retrieval, how is he fed, cleaned, and allowed to linger No round mirrors in the future Every woman s purse has a round mirr This story didn t feel right to me The sensibilities of the late 1970s England, mixed with a pseudo futuristic machine to project the characters into a multi consciousness vision of the future is a time shifting story that left out too many details and that plagued me throughout the book For example, if David Harkman has been in the projection for two years without retrieval, how is he fed, cleaned, and allowed to linger No round mirrors in the future Every woman s purse has a round mirror in her compact And what the heck happened to Paul Mason when he was allowed to take over the project and become the director of the projection he just goes crazy and huddles in a corner when opposed I didn t mind Julia, but I just couldn t resolve all the issues and inconsistencies in the story to call it good

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