Friday, March 11, 2016

The Vault by Paul Nemeth - An Unbelievable, Extraordinary Mindblower!

My name is Owen Tipton, and this is a dream.
Owen recited the familiar words, and the world swam before him, like a television station not quite tuned in. He felt the familiar pull, an unseen hand threatening to pull him back from the rabbit hole, back to reality. As he'd done thousands of times before, Owen grabbed the nearest item, a tree branch, and held on, watching his knuckles grow white against the evergreen bark.
His roll was brought to a violent halt,
knocking the wind out of his lungs with an
almost comical paaaah sound. Dusting
himself off, he got to his feet, looking for
some kind of challenge.
"What?" he murmured, looking around.
This time, the question was for him alone;
he'd forgotten about his precious fans for
the moment.
No longer red, the sky was a pure, azure
blue. Owen had grown up under artificial
skies, but he knew without being told he was
looking at the real thing now...

After a moment, the light-headedness was gone, and Owen looked back around at the Default, knowing millions of eyes were following his every move...
"Well," he announced to his unseen audience, "what shall we dream today?"
It was for show, of course, he already knew the course today's 'cast would take. Scene change, he thought, and the pine-laden hillside was replaced by jagged rock formations under a red sky.

A throng of people stood around a fish-sized hole in the earth. They were dressed in black, Pilgrim-like, the men in suits, women in long black dresses. Some wore veils. Their bearing was so dark, so somber, that Owen, lost in unease, forgot he was dreaming.
He walked with slow, measured steps toward the gathering. At first he thought the sounds coming to his ears came from the wind, but then he realized it was weeping. Whatever this is, he thought, it's going to bring people down. Scene change!
His mind didn't cooperate. Damn. There were thousands of active channels in The City, and competition was fierce. If this show was an embarrassment, that could be the beginning of the end...
What the hell?

The Vault

By Paul Nemeth

Nothing seems unimaginable anymore,  and we've already seen, "The Dome." But as far as I'm aware, that's the only thing that I'd known about that is even close to the extraordinary part scifi, part horror, part mystery...and more...that you will find when you read The Vault. Oops, then I found the author's article on how he began to think about writing the book, and discovered that the "professional dreamer" was earlier conceived... but I still found the idea to be amazing. Normally my preference for SciFi is futuristic, having been a Trekkie since that show first appeared... But this book is quite different...and the emotional impact is far beyond most books I've read. It's a powerful statement, albeit, sadly, not a surprising one, for our future...

Our time period is after a second American Civil War when much of the west coast was destroyed...and rebuilt under a dome. Life has returned for the particular me-generation of that time and those under the dome are quite happily waiting for a final expansion which will allow more room to do all of the pleasurable things that are again available.

The main plot of the book is fairly basic...Owen, Jason and Jillian work as a team to produce Owen's dreams. Owen is able to control his dreams, so, with the addition of head gear created by Jason, his dreams are captured and televised. Within a genre of his or his fans' choices, Owen will dream an action movie, thriller or romance, although he's really not into the latter...

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
Beware the Jabberwock, My son!
The jaws that bite,
the claws that catch?...
Ryan looked back to his sketch
, pencil lightly shading up and down.
He'd already done the main figure
and was now touching it up. He felt
torn about it; the macabre shape
springing to life under his pencil
was the best thing he'd done, but
he wasn't quite sure where in his
head it came from. A dream perhaps?
Or a series of them?
...thinking of a poem he'd heard,
one that might explain the odd
creature his pencil had birthed.
Two things happen: Jillian's son falls asleep and he cannot be wakened... He is dreaming and has been seduced by a creature who is also known to Owen as his nemesis and is called Jack... a creature who Ryan had been doodling in school, on a rare scrap of paper, since paper was no longer used. When Ryan meets Jack in his dream, he is able to talk him into going home with him... 

Owen enters into a dreamscape, but before long, the scene has changed to one he didn't create and no matter what he tries, he is unable to regain control of the dream. As he wanders around, he happens to see a boy in the distance and later realizes it must have been Jillian's son.

Owen was getting bad feedback from his fans and boss--the scenes they were seeing were dark and unpleasant... Soooo, a PR genius decides to turn it around once they'd learn of Ryan's sleep...Owen would enter into a search and rescue for Ryan where he had glimpsed his dream...

You may think you will be able to predict what will take place. You won't. I guarantee it! 

 You would think this is a page-turner, but it's not. Everything that is being discussed will be new to you, the reader. Being in somebody's else dream is not easy, even when you are reading it! While the rescue is going on, the type of head gear that Owen has been using, has been made available to the public. When many put them on and watch Owen's show, they enter a potentially dangerous situation...

Aside from the fascinating scifi, the horror part is extremely graphic yet is the crux of the book! Our future? Nothing much has changed... Yet, I'm certainly glad I had the chance to read the book, even with the hard parts! It's exciting, fresh, unique! With the surprises coming left and right toward the ending, readers will be astonished! And, by the way, there is a little romance evolving when Ryan's mother begs to enter the dream and search for her son...

This is a very cool book that any scifi fan won't want to miss. While the horror is hard to learn about, the overall concept cannot be matched. You've just got to check this one out!


Paul Nemeth's first novel, Cataclysm Children, was released in February, 2015. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and son, dividing his time between writing and a busy music career.

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