Communion Of Dreams


Context matters.

Mel, our new cat, has settled in nicely. Well, nicely as far as she’s concerned. Our older cat, Hil, has a different perception of the matter.

That’s because Hil has largely been supplanted by this young upstart, who is a bit bigger, a lot stronger, and somewhat more aggressive. Hil hasn’t taken to cowering, exactly, but she has kept a lower profile and tends to avoid Mel.

Mostly.

* * * * * * *

People keep saying things like this:

The storyline itself I would put on a par with some of the best SF I have ever read. I felt much the same at the end as I did 50 or so years ago when I finished “Childhood’s End”.

And this:

This book is an unapologetic homage to the “hard science fiction” style of writing and to Arthur C. Clarke himself.

* * * * * * *

It’s not surprising that people see this, since from the very beginning I have been pretty open about both my intent and source material. I mean, here’s what it says on the Communion of Dreams homepage:

Welcome to Communion of Dreams. You’ll probably find that it is closest in flavor to the works of Arthur C. Clarke and the late Carl Sagan, two authors from whom I draw inspiration.

And there’s this passage from Chapter 6:

“Here’s what our artifact makes me think of,” Ng laughed. Slowly the artifact image started to change in a more pronounced way, becoming taller, narrower, and losing the hexagonal shape. The mottling drifted away, replaced by a hard, black, shiny surface. It was the iconic monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

* * * * * * *

Things change. Last month I sold 550 copies of Communion of Dreams. As I noted a couple of days ago, this month it’s dropped off, and will likely end up somewhere around what the April total was (about 275).

Sure, I wish that the numbers had just kept climbing. They had been basically doubling each month. But these things have a natural ebb & flow to them sometimes. Right now other books are getting the attention, getting the reviews, getting talked about. I haven’t spent as much time & energy promoting the book this month, and next month will probably be even worse since I’ll be overseas for much of it.

Still, we’ll see. You can help, if you want, by contributing your own review, by spreading the word to friends and forums. We all need to watch out for one another in this world. Whether you take that as a warning or a comfort, I’ll leave that up to you.

* * * * * * *

Mel, our new cat, has settled in nicely. Well, nicely as far as she’s concerned. Our older cat, Hil, has a different perception of the matter.

That’s because Hil has largely been supplanted by this young upstart, who is a bit bigger, a lot stronger, and somewhat more aggressive. Hil hasn’t taken to cowering, exactly, but she has kept a lower profile and tends to avoid Mel.

Mostly.

See, Hil has long been comfortable going outside. For Mel, “outside” was a New And Scary experience (her previous owners told us she’d never been out). We started going out with her for short periods, letting her know that we were there and she was OK. And then progressed to leaving the back door propped open a bit, so that she could go out on her own, but come running back inside when she got overwhelmed. Finally, we started letting her out and then closing the door behind her.

But only when Hil was outside.

Because, for all that Mel seems to dominate inside, she wants to have Hil around outside. And Hil, with remarkable kindness, stays with Mel, watching over her. If Hil comes in, Mel does too. If Hil comes in without Mel noticing, as soon as Mel does notice she’s howling at the back door.

Context matters.

Jim Downey


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