cover image Dream a Little Dream: A Tale of Myth and Moonshine

Dream a Little Dream: A Tale of Myth and Moonshine

Piers Anthony, Julie Brady. Tor Books, $23.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86466-8

Bestselling fantasist Anthony teams up with another first-time author (as he did in Quest for the Fallen Star, Forecasts, June 8) for this story of a fairy tale world called Kafka, born of the dreams of humans known as ""Creators."" Nola is one of the Creators, a battered woman whose only solace is the beautiful, so-very-realistic sleep visions through which she travels with a black winged unicorn named Spirit. When Kafka is threatened by the cruel and ""noxious"" creatures known as the Fren, King Eric Edward sends his only son, Mitch, to find Nola and bring her to Kafka to help save the world. Together with Spirit and a cast of assorted creatures including Misty (""the resident friendly ghost""), lisping carnivorous worms, telepathic dogs, flighty wood nymphs and a ""stareless"" basilisk named Snort, Nola and Mitch set off on the dangerous journey to the land of the Fren, ruled by a king who will stop at nothing to destroy them. The story jumps awkwardly between Kafka and Earth, with little lift supplied by the cardboard characters and weak plotting. In spite of positive messages about self-esteem and self-reliance, the novel is a downer. Admirers of Anthony's popular Xanth novels will look in vain for the pun-laden humor so prevalent in those tales, while others will be put off by the haphazard execution and precious tone. (Jan.)