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  1. #1
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    Hyper Sleep/Cryogenics and Dreams

    While writing this space opera novel, I've had to consider a few things about the technology involved. I've just barely gotten to a place where hyper-sleep or cryo-sleep might factor into the story, and there's one thing that I've always wondered.

    Most sf writers tend to make hyper sleep dreamless... and I see the merits in that. However, I'm thinking of using a recurring dream that's sparked somehow by being in hyper sleep. A nightmare. It could open up an interesting pathway for the MC, maybe even the rest of the characters as well.

    You ever have one of those dreams, where the outside world's noises and sensory details seem to effect what you're dreaming? That's sort of what I'm going for; space is a lonely place, so I want to put some emphasis on that.

    What do you guys think?



  2. #2
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    David, are you saying that you'd like to let the reader know a bit of what's happening in the spaceship through allowing bits of sensory data to leak into your characters' dreams in distorted ways? If so that does seem potentially cool. Yes, that certainly happens to me on occasion.

    Perhaps just me, but I often find dream sequences irksome to read. Whatever you do, thinking critically about how you use dream sequences. I suspect some writers use them as cheats to get in information or character revelation. Encourage you to try a bit of this and see how it reads for you. Always better to experiment with an idea than to chuck it without a go.

  3. #3
    James North
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    There was a Twilight Zone or Outer limits episode (the newer version) about a group of people in a house and the whole world is frozen outside. One older man has control over everyone else, even the women have to sleep with him. A new person shows up from out of the cold, and in the end he takes over. The last scene shows technicians checking dead people in a cryogenics lab. All the people in that house are frozen and they are all part of a dream. The older guy’s mind was stronger – until the last person showed up.

    In reality, I doubt a frozen person can dream as their brain would be frozen and dead. But there are lots of books and movies where people can dream while frozen or in “suspended animation” for space travel.

  4. #4
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    @CK: That's my initial problem, I often find dream sequences forced. I don't specifically mention that the hyper-sleep is cryogenic, more likely just 'suspended animation,' I don't really go into how it works. Perhaps that should change. Current theory and math suggests that FTL (faster than light travel) is possible when manipulating the 11th dimension around a vessel in the form of a bubble, in effect compressing space in front of the ship and expanding it behind it to create a sort of slope. (I'm a bit of a nerd for cosmology, probably one of the reasons why I love SF.) So perhaps hyper-sleep could work in a similar way, by manipulating a different dimension... how this would work, I have no idea just yet.

    But, you're right, I shouldn't do it just for the sake of doing it. There has to be a reason and it has to make sense. Better get to work on that. Thanks for your comment.

    @James North: I haven't seen any of the newer Twilight Zone, but I have watched a lot of Outer Limits. I don't think shared dreaming would work. But, perhaps the spirit or consciousness of the individual person might remain active... it's not a far fetched idea to put something as paranormal as that into a science fiction novel. At least for me. Hell, perhaps the soul or consciousness (whatever it may be) would behave like an estranged ghost when separated from its host body.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    David- The dream must impact the circumstances within the novel for me as a reader to even read them. Mostly, I skip dreams while reading because there is no relevance. So, if there are noises, etc., then let those be a prelude and a building of tension so that the reader can't wait to see what has transpired while the MC was sleeping. But, like C K said, play with it.

    Good luck

  6. #6
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    I made it short and sweet. I really don't like dream sequences to be drawn out either. I'll post it here eventually to see what you guys think, but it's probably best left in the context of the original story.

    Thanks for your input, appreciate it.

  7. #7
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    Has anyone ever watched Life on Mars? That was a neat show. Too bad it didn't last long, but at least they wrapped it up.

  8. #8
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    Never heard of it, Del. What was it about?

  9. #9
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    It is about a cop that goes into a coma after a head injury. He is then "taken back in time" and is a cop in the 70s. He knows he doesn't belong there and tries to find a way back home while trying to hide the fact that he's from the future. He doesn't want to get locked up in a nuthouse. I can't remember if he knows that he is in a coma, but sounds from the hospital keep invading his dream. Like once or twice he hears his girlfriend talking to him and stuff like that. The full season is on netflix instant play. There is also the UK version on disc, I haven't seen it. I would highly recomend watching it, all the subplots that come with a tv series arent all that great but it's got one heck of a memorable twist at the end, you would never see it coming. So don't read up on it, just watch.

  10. #10
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    Hmm, the premise sort makes me think of something that might have been featured in the Twilight Zone. I don't have Net Flix anymore, so I'll have to wait on that one. I'll probably check it out at some point, thanks for the suggestion.

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