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The lathe of heaven

by Ursula K Le Guin

  Print book : Document : Fiction   Computer File

Alternative Reality Confusion   (about 2 weeks ago)


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by KurtSprings

This review was first published on Kurt's Frontier.


George Orr lives in a world beset by climate instability and overpopulation. However, his dreams have power over reality. When he awakens from vivid dreams, he finds that the world has become strange. It does not fit the clear memory of the world before he slept. Terrified of this power, he seeks the help of psychiatrist Dr. William Haber. Dr. Haber realizes what a powerful tool this could be for good. George becomes a pawn in Dr. Haber’s playing God. With each dream, humanity grows more imperiled.


This is the first novel I’ve read by the late Ursula K. Le Guin. The concept itself is interesting. What if a person found he had the power to change reality? Could this person manage all the variables that go into changing reality? This is a fascinating element of this novel. As Dr. Haber manipulates George Orr’s gift to change the world for the better, new problems seem to replace the old ones.

My problem with the book is that it becomes confusing. This is a danger for books that deal with alternate reality stories, such as time travel. As the world changes, so do the settings, antagonists, and goals. Being an action/adventure type, this may not have been the Ursula Le Guin story to cut my teeth on.

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