This Shared Dream
 Kathleen Ann Goonan

"This excellent science fiction novel is part Inception, part Back to the Future, part Jumanji . . . Living up to its title, This Shared Dream is ultimately a novel about connectedness, in every sense, and the possibility of greater harmony in what used to be called the family of man. Little wonder that Goonan's overarching metaphor for earthly felicity is improvisational jazz, the true music of the spheres." Michael Dirda, the Washington Post. (click for entire review)
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This Shared DreamKathleen Ann Goonan introduced Sam Dance and his wife, Bette, and their quest to alter our present reality for the better in her novel In War Times (winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel and ALA's Best Science Fiction Novel of 2008). Now, in This Shared Dream, she tells the story of the next generation.

The three Dance kids, seemingly abandoned by both parents when they were younger, are now adults and are all disturbed by memories of a reality that existed in place of their world. The older girl, Jill, even remembers the disappearance of their mother while preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Goonan has created a new kind of utopian SF novel, in which the changes in history have created a present world that is in many ways superior to our own, while in other worlds people strive to prevent their own erasure by restoring the ills to ours. This Shared Dream is certainly the most provocative SF speculation of the year, and perhaps the decade.


Kathleen Ann Goonan's Description:

THIS SHARED DREAM evolved, as do most of my novels, from a variety of currents and influences.  Chief among these were Eric Kandel’s IN SEARCH OF MEMORY.  Kandel, a Nobel laureate, has done extensive research on the biological roots and pathways of memory—how it is created, how it is stored, and how it re-emerges in certain conditions.  In his book, his memories of his family’s flight from Vienna following Krystallnacht in 1938 are interspersed with his growing appreciation of the mysteries of memory. 

But THIS SHARED DREAM is in the main a family saga about lost and unevenly distributed information, and about how differing memories among siblings create their present.  It is also about retrieving lost memories, lost parts of the self, and re-integrating them into one’s present being.

It is about the nature of time and consciousness, and identity.  It is about music, communication, and the potential of children when they have an science-based educational environment that meshes with and enhances their natural developmental.

But mostly it is about the tenacity of love, and the power of love to heal.



Read Chapter One of THIS SHARED DREAM.

Praise for This Shared Dream

A tough-minded, kind-hearted, fiercely intelligent novel.”

Ursula K. Le Guin 

"The urgent necessity for our species to master its worst impulses and take charge of its own destinya core tenet of the SF genrehas seldom been conveyed with such emotional and intellectual force."

Paul Di Filippo
(click for entire review)

What if you could travel through time to fix what is wrong with the world? The world would resist, and the very act of trying would create parallel worlds with their own problems. This wondrous book, the story of a handful of people who seek to alter the twentieth century to create a better future, acknowledges the inhumanity of war and yet celebrates the joys of music, art, friendship, and family. And it reminds us that the future is made by the children of the present. I loved this book, and I heartily recommend it.”

Eileen Gunn   

A wild ride through alternate histories. Brilliant.

Jack McDevitt

  Kathleen Ann Goonan’s THIS SHARED DREAM is a richly imagined tale of  gypsies and jazz, Nazis and nanotechnology, war and assassination and  the Summer of Love. As elegant and complicated as the ever-changing time streams that wind through it, THIS SHARED DREAM is a must-read in this or any world.

Connie Willis

"THIS SHARED DREAM is an intensely rich, original and provocative novel that is worth checking out."

INTERZONE Book Zone book review   11th Jul, 2011  (Interzone 235)

Appearing for the first time on the cover of THIS SHARED DREAM, praise from Joe Haldeman and Kelly Link for IN WAR TIMES:

In War Times is an engaging and elegant extrapolation.

Kelly Link

 Only Kathleen Goonan could have created this complex interweaving of jazz, physics, love, and war.

Joe Haldeman


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