The Dream Master

The Dream Master (1966), originally published as a novella titled He Who Shapes, is a science fiction novel by American writer Roger Zelazny. Zelazny's originally intended title for it was The Ides of Octember.[1] The novella won a Nebula Award in 1966.

The Dream Master
Cover of first edition (paperback)
AuthorRoger Zelazny
Cover artistFrank Kelly Freas
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction
PublisherAce Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages155 pp

Plot summary

The Dream Master is set in a future where the forces of overpopulation and technology have created a world where humanity suffocates psychologically beneath its own mass while abiding in relative physical comfort. This is a world ripe for psychotherapeutic innovations, such as the "neuroparticipant therapy" in which the protagonist, Charles Render, specializes. In neuroparticipation, the patient is hooked into a gigantic simulation controlled directly by the analyst's mind; the analyst then works with the patient to construct dreams—nightmares, wish-fulfillment, etc.--that afford insight into the underlying neuroses of the patient, and in some cases the possibility of direct intervention. (For example, a man submerging himself in a fantasy world sees it utterly destroyed at Render's hands, and is thus "cured" of his obsession with it.)

Render, the leader in his field, takes on a patient with an unusual problem. Eileen Shallot aspires to become a neuroparticipant therapist herself, but is somewhat hampered by congenital blindness. Not having experienced visual sensation in the same way as her patients, she would be unable to convincingly construct visual dreams for them; indeed, in a case of eye-envy, her own neurotic desire to see through the eyes of her patients might prevent her from treating them effectively. However, she explains to Render, if a practicing neuroparticipant therapist is willing to work with her, he can expose her to the full range of visual stimuli in a controlled environment, free of her own attachments to the issue, and enable her to pursue her career.

Despite his better sense and the advice of colleagues, Render agrees to go along with the treatment. But as they progress, Eileen's hunger for visual stimulation continues to grow, and she begins to assert her will against Render's, subsuming him into her own dreams.

Other media

In 1981 Zelazny wrote a film outline based on The Dream Master that 20th Century Fox purchased and later developed into the film Dreamscape. Because he wrote the outline but neither the treatment or script, his name did not appear in the credits. Assertions that he had his name removed from the credits are unfounded.[2]


  1. ^ The Lesser Spotted Science Fiction Writer - Part 7: Roger Zelazny
  2. ^ "...And Call Me Roger": The Literary Life of Roger Zelazny, Part 4, by Christopher S. Kovacs. In: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, Volume 4: Last Exit to Babylon, NESFA Press, 2009.
16th Saturn Awards

The 16th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film and television in 1988, were held on January 21, 1990.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (franchise)

A Nightmare on Elm Street is an American horror franchise that consists of nine slasher films, a television series, novels, and comic books. The films began with the film A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) created by Wes Craven. The series revolves around the fictional character Freddy Krueger, a former child killer who after being burned alive by the vengeful parents of his victims, returns from the grave to terrorize and kill the teenage residents of Springwood, Ohio in their dreams. The original film was written and directed by Craven, who returned to co-script the second sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), and to write and direct New Nightmare (1994). The films collectively grossed over $457 million at the box-office worldwide.

The original film was released in 1984. A series of sequels produced by the independent film company New Line Cinema followed. New Line often attributes the growth of their company to the success of the Nightmare series. The film series as a whole has received mixed reviews by critics, but has been a financial success at the box office. When comparing the United States box office grosses of other American horror film series, A Nightmare on Elm Street is the second highest grossing series in adjusted US dollars. In 1988, a television series was produced with Freddy as the host. The pilot episode focused on the night Freddy was burned alive by the angry parents of the children he had killed, though the rest of the series featured episodes with independent plots. Twelve novels, separate from the adaptations of the films, and multiple comic book series were published featuring Freddy Krueger, as well as a crossover film featuring fellow horror icon Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th franchise. A remake of the 1984 film was released in 2010, and a second remake is planned.

Alice Johnson (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

Alice Johnson is a fictional character and a protagonist in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, portrayed by Lisa Wilcox. She was created by William Kotzwinkle and Brian Helgeland. She appears as a main character in two of the nine A Nightmare on Elm Street films, first appearing in Renny Harlin's A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988). In 1989, Alice returned in Stephen Hopkins' A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child before going on to appear in the comic book adaptions, novels, and Freddy vs. Jason (2003) through archive footage. In The Dream Master, Alice has the ability to gain the "dream powers" of Freddy Krueger's victims. In The Dream Child, Freddy begins to use Alice's unborn son Jacob as a way to return. In the original script for Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Alice was set to return but this idea was eventually scrapped.

Are You Ready for Freddy

"Are You Ready for Freddy" is a song by American hip hop trio The Fat Boys from their 1988 album Coming Back Hard Again . Portions of the song were rapped by Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. The song was originally released in 1988 as the theme for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.

Brian Helgeland

Brian Thomas Helgeland (born January 17, 1961) is an American screenwriter, film producer and director. He is most known for writing the screenplays for L.A. Confidential (for which he received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), Mystic River, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.Helgeland also wrote and directed 42 (2013), a biopic of Jackie Robinson, and Legend (2015), about the rise and fall of the infamous London gangsters, the Kray twins.

Count Nefaria

Count Luchino Nefaria is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Ken Sagoes

Ken Sagoes (born April 28, 1964) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Roland Kincaid in the fantasy horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) and the sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988). Sagoes portrayed Darryl in the television series What's Happening Now!! from 1987-1988. He has made guest appearances on shows such as The Twilight Zone (Episode: "But Can She Type?"), Night Court, My So-Called Life, Martin, The Parkers, The Division, and The District.

Lisa Wilcox

Lisa E. Wilcox (born April 27, 1964) is an American actress, designer, and former model. She is best known for her role as Alice Johnson in Renny Harlin's A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), a role she later reprised in Stephen Hopkins sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989). She subsequently appeared in the films Men Seeking Women (1997), Watchers Reborn (1998), and The Church (2018).

In addition to screen acting, Wilcox has worked as a television actress with roles in a variety of series including Ellen in the soap opera Knots Landing (1989), Yuta in the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1989), Missy Preston in FOX's short lived Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (1992), and Nurse Owens in the web series Fear Clinic (2009).

List of 1988 box office number-one films in the United States

This is a list of films which have placed number one at the weekend box office in the United States during 1988.

Nightmare (Tuesday Knight song)

"Nightmare", also known as "(Running From This) Nightmare", is a song by American recording artist and actress Tuesday Knight. The song serves as the opening song for the fourth installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, in which Knight co-starred. Although not officially released as a single or included on the original soundtrack for the film at the time, "Nightmare" has become a cult hit among horror fans and is one of Knight's most well-known and signature songs. It was released officially as a single in 2016.

Renny Harlin

Renny Harlin (born Lauri Mauritz Harjola; 15 March 1959) is a Finnish film director, producer and screenwriter. His films include A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Deep Blue Sea.

Harlin's movies have earned $525,410,873 in the United States and $1,160,546,146 in the worldwide aggregate box office as of October 2016, making him the 115th highest-grossing director in the global film market. His film Cutthroat Island held the Guinness world record for "Biggest Box-Office Flop of All Time". He shared a similar fate 20 years later with the film, "Legend of the Ancient Sword" in China.

Robert Englund

Robert Barton Englund (born June 6, 1947) is an American actor, voice actor, singer, and director, best known for playing the infamous serial killer Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. He received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors in 1987 and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in 1988, and won a Fantafestival Award for The Mangler in 1995. Englund is a classically trained actor.

The Dream Master (Steinmüller novel)

Der Traummeister (The Dream Master) is a 1990 East German science fiction novel by Angela and Karlheinz Steinmüller. It is set in the same fictional universe as their 1982 novel Andymon and on the same planet as their earlier collection, Spera. Written in the last years of the GDR, The Dream Master offers a critique of centralizing, static utopias and, like other GDR literature of the seventies and eighties, thematizes the relationship between individual and collective, privileging the role of individual subjectivity. Critic Sonja Fritzsche has read the novel as a commentary on the situation in East Germany just before the fall of the Berlin wall.

The Dream Master (disambiguation)

The Dream Master is a science-fiction novel by Roger Zelazny.

Dream Master or The Dream Master may also refer to:

Dream Master (album), by American recording artist Billie Hughes

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, a 1988 American film

Little Nemo: The Dream Master, a platform game

The Dream Master (comics), a fictional character

The Dream Master (German novel), a 1990 science fiction novel

The Dream Master, the first book in a book series of the same name by Theresa Breslin

Tuesday Knight

Tuesday Lynn Knight (born Melody Lynn Knight; February 17, 1969) is an American actress, singer and designer. She is best known for her role as Kristen Parker in the 1988 film A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, replacing Patricia Arquette in the sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987). Her other film roles include Mistress (1992), The Fan (1996), Daddy and Them (2001), and How to Be Single (2016). Knight has had guest appearances on several television series, such as Profiler (1996) and The X-Files (1999), as well as a starring role on 2000 Malibu Road (1992). Outside of acting, her self-titled debut album was released in 1987 and her jewelry line was launched in 2001.

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