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This Shared Dream Hardcover – July 19, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Dance Family Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Living up to its title, THIS SHARED DREAM is ultimately a novel about connectedness,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, Washington Post

"Packed with provocative ideas . . . a rare novel that combines a darkly realistic vision of history with a dose of classic SF optimism about the fixability of the future" -- Gary K. Wolfe, LOCUS

"The book is generous and hopeful in the face of all the evidence of humankind's capacity for folly, tribalism, violence, (and) destruction . . . and I would like to
live there, too." --Russell Letson, LOCUS

"A tough-minded, kind-hearted, fiercely intelligent novel."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"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

Praise for In War Times:


One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2007
The American Library Association’s Best Genre Novel of the Year

“While This Shared Dream is plenty exciting and expertly paced, there’s a quietness, a gentleness, throughout. Its characters talk far more than they act. They aren’t just action figures; they’re real people, damaged yet striving, and we come to care deeply about them. Such is the power of art — the real, not imaginary, empathy-creating device. 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.”
— The Washington Post

“A complex…thoughtful and often dazzling journey through worlds that might, and perhaps should, have been.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“[Goonan] can take all the credit for a narrative that has hardly a single flaw of pacing, setting, or characterization, and will be intelligible, not to say fascinating, to readers far beyond the ranks of World War II buffs. An authentic classic.”
—Booklist, starred review

From the Inside Flap

"A complex . . . thoughtful and often dazzling journey through worlds that might, and perhaps should, have been."  -- Kirkus Review (starred review) on In War Times

"Kathleen An Goonan goes against the grain of a lot of twenty-first-century SF by using sci-fi tools to create serious novels of ideas, and she's done it again:  this is a truly humanist, and feminist, take on what's important for our future."  --Gwynneth Jones


"In War Times is an intense labor of love.  The historical elements are beautifully researhed, the characters unfold with well-timed eagerness, and everything dovetails with comments on the developing art of jazz.  Although adventurous, this isn't a cold shower of testosterone.  In War Times
is a warm glass of fine, intoxicating whiskey that should be savored as thoroughly as possible."  -- Starlog

"A wild ride through alternate histories.  Brilliant."  --Jack McDevitt
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765313545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765313546
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,631,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Shared Dream (2011) is the second SF novel in this series, following In War Times. In the previous volume, Sam had tried to volunteer in 1940, but was rejected because of his poor eyesight. A year later, he found an aspiring recruiter and was accepted into the US Army.

He was pulled out of Camp Sutton and sent to Washington, DC, for special training. The course met in a hastily erected structure on the roof of a War Department building and covered a range of esoteric subjects. The fourth instructor was Dr. Hadntz, an exile from Budapest.

On December 6, 1941, Hadntz seduced Sam so that she could give him the plans for an exotic device. According to her, the apparatus would promote world peace. It communicated with human brains to change attitudes, but it obviously was not yet perfected. Hadntz also told him that it was a time machine of sorts.

In this novel, Jill Dance is the oldest daughter of Sam and Bette. She is married to Elmore and has a son, Steven.

Brian Dance is the younger brother of Jill. He is an engineer and owns a construction company. He is married to Cindy and they have two daughters, Zoe and Bitsy.

Megan is the youngest child of Sam and Bette. She has a doctorate in molecular biology and does memory research for the National Institute of Health. She is married to Jim and they have a five year old daughter, Abbie.

Sam Dance was an Army engineer during World War II, working on development of the M-9 fire director. He also worked with Wink on the Device.

Elani Hadntz is part Magyar Gypsy. She had trained as a physician, but later became a physicist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Dance siblings find themselves in a strange predicament. They have two sets of memories. One set is from a timeline where JFK was asassinated in Dallas and one is from a timeline where he wasn't. When they were children their parents were working on a project to bring peace to the world, then they disappeared. Jill, Brian and Megan are adults now and have children of their own. Jill spends a month in a sanitorium, because of her confused memories. After her release she notices strange men watching her and her family. They are wearing homberg's, hats fashionable in the 1940's. She then receives a threatening phone call telling her to give them the "device." What is this device? Is it the infinite game board they played with as children? The game board that sent Jill back in time to thwart Kennedy's asassination?

This novel is a sequel to "In War Times." In that book Sam Dance, his wife Bette, and his friend Wink work with a scientist names Elaini Hadnitz to create a device that would end all wars. This is the story of Sam and Bette's children and the world that they created through the device and time travel.

This book is full to over flowing with ideas. The author believes that social equality and education will stop people from starting wars. Montesouri schools are mentioned promenently in this book. Children have classbooks that are like IPads that are used to link all the children of the world from every socio-economic background. The Internet isn't mentioned, they have something called Q that is the equivalent. Besides the classbooks, Q and the infinite game board, there are the Spacies, astronaut figurines that were given away in cereal boxes.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really like her writing style. I is very expressive and the characters (if not the plot) are so well done that I can easily imagine and empathize with them as the story slowly unfolds. Don't tell me the ending because I want to savor the book until it happens.
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Format: Hardcover
Kathleen Goonan hit her stride several novels back, but This Shared Dream really showcases her imagination and writing ability. Building on her last book "In War Times", this story follows the fascinating lives of the family directly affected by the mysterious device, as they struggle to understand what is happening to them and their surroundings.

Goonan's fascination with nanotechnology is evident but in this book she spends more time with character development than technical details, making the characters more accesible. The main overarching theme is the proposition that education in general and Montessori in particular, can end war, hunger & strife. And in this world the end does justify the means, through some very familiar methods.

I have read all her novels and recommend them all, but This Shared Dream is quite superb.
* (psst - read In War Times first)
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