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Alternate History

Dreams set in timebranches, parallel worlds, alternate histories, if-time, or chronoloops. All those moments that aren't so easy to label past, present or future.

When I was a kid, I read an old pulp science fiction tale by Heinlein ("Elsewhen") that had a tossed-off yet quite ambitious model of all possible spacetimes and experiences--simpler and clearer than any of the many-world or one-world physics models I've seen. Sort of a Feynman diagram for cosmoses! (I recently learned Heinlein based it on J.W. Dunne's dream research.) Picture a hilly landscape dissected by rivers--rivers of time. Height is unlikeliness: outcomes of events slope downward (much like Richard Dawkins's "Climbing Mount Improbable", written decades later). Time-streams are where many possible outcomes are indistinguishable, and reality runs dense. In this model, past and future are local--just going with the flow down the local slope; upstream was your past. But if you're in good shape, you can (the story's premise went) hike upstream or down, despite the current. Or over to another stream. Or even (if you have the nerve) scale the Dubious Hills.

Most time travel in dreams is along the time-stream we know, past or future; but now and then the dreaming mind will stray further afield--as you'll see below.

RELATED TOPICS: time travel: past or future - prediction and precognition - clocks and timekeeping - probability sheaves and quantum dreams - other worlds - doors into other universes - shamanic dreams - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

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ADOPT A SON TO WIN A MATE: by Wayan; 2010/11/24; a dream of priorities
I'm a big cat lonely in this human city. Wish I had a mate! But as soon as I take responsibility for an orphaned boy, in walks an older girl...
AIDA'S TOILET BOAT: by Wayan; 1993/4/7, a psychic dreamtale.
A sexy comedian and her troubles down the drain. A dream that turned out to be true...
ARSON MUSIC: by Wayan; 2000/10/4, a parallel-world dreamlet
Driving through California farm hills with subtly different natural laws, I find social consequences. Can physics create evil?
THE AZTEC EMPIRE'S RESERVATIONS: by Wayan; 1998/3/19, a parallel-world dream
The modern Aztec Empire is as bad as Anglos toward other Indians, for it's not poverty that hurts...
BABY HITLER'S DOG; 2012/2/7 by Wayan; a grotesque time-travel dream (of health advice?)
An old actor tells me "I met Hitler when we were both babies. I knew what was coming and I wanted to kill him, but...
CAPRICES: by Wayan; 2.5 MB, 2006-, a trio of nondream virtual worlds:
Bizarre alternate Earths--geography turned inside out, seas siphoned away by master soup-makers, or abysses turned into continents...
CHRONOPHOBIA!: by Wayan; 1993/7/10, a physicist's nightmare.
I find myself driving a speeding car down a freeway--in reverse. And I don't mean the gear...
THE CIRCUS HUMANS' DESERTION: by Wayan; 180K, 14 images, 1988/2/19, a holy dream.
I join a circus, but soon all the best carnies sail off to the Blessed Isles. The circus animals pitch in and carry on--clumsy, lonely. Then a herald arrives from the Isles--Donald Duck! He says...
COLLAPSE THEM IN THE ZONE: by Wayan; 1995/4/7, a dream of ghosts and physics.
I explore a zone lost in Shroedinger probabilities, and meet time-ghosts who want to collapse into reality...
THE CREEK: by Louisa E. Rhine; c. 1925? a lifesaving predictive dream
I dreamed I was camping by a creek. I went to get the soap and returned to find my baby son face-down in the water...
CROSSTIME HEALTH RISK: by Wayan; 1999/7/23, a warning dream of parallel worlds.
A man learns to hop between time-branches, but like all transportation, this has epidemiological risks...
CUPOLA: by Wayan; 1994/7/28, a dream of an alternate life.
I live in a cupola atop a Victorian house in the Haight-Ashbury, but that's not the City out my windows...
DELIGHT EVOLVES FLIGHT: by Wayan; 2011/12/23, an advisory dream
In a parallel world, a gliding griflynx displays a brilliant evolutionary strategy: joy! It's the strongest mate magnet...
DON'T WANT HIM TO SOAR: by Wayan; 1991/4/18, a dream of sabotage.
In a parallel world, a visionary's building the first plane only now. I'm his assistant. But I don't WANT...
DOPPELBRUDER: by Wayan; 1985/5/9, a dream of a self at war over... labels?
Lured to a parallel, feudal world by a marriage-vow, I'm trapped in my double's arrogant, twisted mind...
DRAGON WITH A SUITCASE: by Wayan; 1994/1/8, a dream on alienation.
A young dragon, raised as human, is finally setting out to see the world on dragon-terms...
ELLIS CRITIQUE: by Wayan; 2008/12/10, four dreams comically challenge Havelock Ellis's dream-theories!
Pa warns me to protect my paws. Gilt wounds my sole. A lioness eats a drumstick. Then a bus crashes on our corner--for real!
THE ETHICS OF LUCIDITY: by Wayan; 1994/2/19, a thoughtful dream on time and cause.
I'm at a symposium on how our beliefs alter not just the future, but the PAST...
CAUTION: CONTAINS IDEAS
FALL OF A PRINCE: by Wayan; 2006/11/17, a dream on the morality of predicting.
A time-traveling historianís caught in a moral dilemma: warn an ancient prince he died of a fall in her history books? What do you owe history?
GHOST GATOR: by Wayan; 1984/10/9, a lip-reading dream.
A child from another universe materializes--part way. Too bad we called in that expert from Stanford...
GOLDIE'S RHINOPOTAMUS: by Wayan; 2013/4/10, a Fellini dreamjoke with advice.
I'm in Venice. The police chief (armored) and Goldie Hawn (near-naked) ride a skittish monster. Bareback works better...
CAUTION: MILD NUDITY
HELPLESSLY LUCID: by Alder; 2007/6/23, a lucid dream in which Iím powerless!
Iím a homeless elf. Weíre a persecuted minority group. I know Iím dreaming and try to change it but...
HIS DEER WIFE: by Wayan; 195K, 20 images, 1995/7/9, a parallel world love story.
I'm a slave, a scribe in the house of a Captain of the New Aztec Empire, when he brings home a wife...
CAUTION: SLAVE SOCIETY, SEX, SPOUSAL ABUSE/NEGLECT
THE HOLY HARP: by Wayan; 1994/3/22, a dream of musical guilt.
The Goddess's harp, that calls in the seasons, just passed on. But the new harper has a shocking admission...
HOP TO THE SHAH: by Wayan; 2010/5/18, a flying political dream
Diplomacy's failed. To stop the impending Iranian War single-handed, I hop like a monster flea across Iran to corner the New Shah...
I THOUGHT HE LIKED ME: by Wayan; 1994/8/16, a dream of rejection... or worse.
I join the Seattle Tribal Council, which of course means marrying them all. The guy I'm to sleep with on our collective wedding night SEEMED to like me, till he pulls that practical joke...
CAUTION: GROSS!
THE INCIDENCE OF BUDDHAS: by Wayan; 1996/4/24, a dream testing me.
I'm in a mall that enlightened customers alter with a thought. But too many Buddhas spoil the architecture...
INUIT MEDITATION: by Wayan; 1989/11/16, a surreal dream-comedy.
I'm the first tuna to get a scholarship to Stanford. Naturally I sign up for a course in Inuit Meditation...
THE LEAD HAZARD OF WITCHES: by Wayan; 2008/11/21; an alternate-world dream
I was in an America where witches are burned and used as landfill, and abused women grow on trees. Yet three of us heal...
CAUTION: CREEPY PARALLEL WORLD
LIFECYCLE: by Wayan; 1980s. Pencil sketch of daydream
The life-loop. A woman bears a child who grows up to become herself, who bears a child who...
CAUTION: SKETCHY NUDITY
MERCURY: by Wayan; 1982/3/7, dream-poem of a lost future.
Mercury didn't spin! One side fire, one side ice. We farmed in domes, between--until the sun brightened...
CAUTION: BAD SCIENCE
MORAL FIBER: by Wayan; 1997/11/10, a dream of trouble in Ecotopia.
We hippies won, but now we're backward and isolated; it's time we joined the rest of our alternate Earth...
MURDERS IN HAYWARD: by Anonymous #5; c.2002 or 2003, a psychic nightmare.
I dream I live in Hayward, California. One day my family's murdered. A few years later I find that dream-street is real...
MY SINE-FRIEND: by Wayan; 1984/3/6, an emotional dream of time and rebirth.
An animal-girl I know lives like a sine-wave, first forward in time, then backwards, dying at every zero...
NEW LEVEL!: by "Julian"; 2006/5/22, 3 gamelike dreams in one night, two of them epic
My mom and I road-duel an alien beetle, then investigate a deepspace Marie Celeste; then I spy for the Angevin Empire to protect the Crown Jewels...
ORDEAL BY INFRASTRUCTURE: by Wayan; 1987/11/22, a Clintonian dreamtale.
I want to join the inner circle of America's political elite. But to do that I have to survive the Ordeal...
PERISSA: by Wayan; 660K total (15 images); 1997/9/13, a sexy political dream.
When Perissa, an exhibitionistic centaur, bares her body in a crowded Coliseum, she also bares a racist plot...
CAUTION: EXHIBITIONISM, SPECISM
PICNIC IN THE RUINS: by Wayan, 2002/9/18, digital painting of dream figure.
On an alternate Earth where centaurs lived in a beach town with old Roman ruins, a local girl invited me on a picnic...
CAUTION: NUDITY
PYRAMID POWER: by Wayan; 1981/2/2, a dream of love and time.
We drive into a zone of perpetual night to see Sweet Melinda, but our time-path splits! Two lives at once?
THE RIFT ZONE: by Wayan; 1987/11/27, a long-term psychic dream.
I'm not ambivalent--I'm confused! I live here by the Rift Zone and I don't. I'm single and not. Two lives!...
RINGSHADOWS: by Wayan; 1985/3/7, an otherworldly ecodream.
Earth has rainbow rings. They're braided like Saturn's, so their shadows create tinted microclimates...
SAFETY GETS ME HOT: by Wayan; 1997/3/27, a dream on sensitivity.
I'm trapped in a post-apocalypse pulp story! Fun for my readers, but not for me! How to escape?
A SEAMY REALITY: by Wayan; 1999/10/21, a semi-psychic dream.
Sharp seams between realities cross Silicon Valley; I end up in the Dark Castle of the Oracle. When I wake...
SHEVEK'S TIME-SLIP: by Wayan; 1996/10/14, a chronohomeostatic dream.
Shevek invents time-travel and discreetly alters the past. But the future alters Shevek's present, to make his changes meaningless. Who's sabotaging him? Or should we ask... WHAT?
STREAMLINING: by Wayan; 2004/11/10, a dream within a dream
I dream I'm an otter, and wake into a dream about sculpture--and learn my style's due to my species...
TEACH DREAM E.S.P.: by Wayan; 2012/2/14. An advisory dream with an intriguing model of time.
I'm co-teaching a class on the various flavors of ESP. My specialty's sending warnings to my own past self, creating new time-forks...
TEHURA TRIES COMICS: by Wayan; 1994/7/19. pencil, Xerox, erasable crayon.
I dreamed a sphinx artist visited humanity and drew the crazy natives. I copied her sketchbook and notes...
CAUTION: NUDITY, PAGANISM, SLACKERISM, ACTUAL IDEAS
THIEU, I'M SORRY: by Wayan, 1997/11/1, a troubling dreamtale.
Visiting Time City, I witness the "suicide" of a woman named Thieu but suspect it was really assassination...
CAUTION: SUICIDE? MURDER?
TIBETAN DISASSEMBLY: by Wayan; 2007/7/5, a dream of a desperate ploy
A woman in Tibet disassembles herself! A local god hires her spirit, but she uses the office equipment...
CAUTION: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
TILT!: by Wayan; 250K, 10 illus., 2002-3, a nondream world-building game.
I drilled new poles in my globe and tilted the Earth. Ice Age or Carboniferous? Flood or drought? Come visit tropical Antarctica, the Thai Desert, the Hawaiian glaciers, the jungles of France!
TRAIL OF POGS: by Wayan; 2002/9/6, my dreams' response to the first Burning Man dream-workshop
A trail toward Freedom has extra markers, for it's three trails, superimposed! Not all the cues are for us...
TWO BISHOP APPLICANTS: by Wayan; 1984/11/21, a dreamtale.
My mind and my soul both apply for a job in Stanford Cathedral. Their rivalry grows to a shamanic duel...


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