And the time was come when the captain and I must part, he to go back to his fair Belzoond in sight of the distant peaks of the Hian Min, and I to find my way by strange means back to those hazy fields that all poets know, wherein stand small mysterious cottages through whose windows, looking westwards, you may see the fields of men, and looking eastwards see glittering elfin mountains, tipped with snow, going range on range into the region of Myth, and beyond it into the kingdom of Fantasy, which pertain to the Lands of Dream.
- Lord Dunsany, Idle Days on the Yann
There are two stories about what the Lands of Dream mean.
The first story says that they are an interconnected set of stories in a variety of media, including the illustrated short stories of the Oneiropolis Compendium, the upcoming children’s book In the Shadow of the Invisible King and four computer games: The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge, The Book of Living Magic, The Fabulous Screech and The Sea Will Claim Everything. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from William Blake to Lord Dunsany, these stories refuse to accept that silly is the opposite of serious and that politics and philosophy do not belong in art. The Lands of Dream, however, are not a case of “playful postmodernism” (which they despise) or just random surrealism, but a complex setting with clear and definite ideas behind it. They are a literary work, a political work, a personal work; they are infused with democratic ideals, with humanist principles, with an unwavering belief in imagination and art.
The second story says that dreams flutter above the towers of Oneiropolis, the City of Dreams. And though Urizen himself marches on the city, these dreams sometimes leave the city and land in our world, whispering in the ears of poets (in the true sense of the word – those who create), telling them of strange places in distant lands. Then these poets are compelled to write, whether they like it or not, about what they have heard, no matter whether they are taken seriously. And it so happens that a fat, hairy mortal called Jonas Kyratzes, of doubtable body odour and peculiar teeth, who pees and poos and bleeds like every mortal, has been lucky enough to be visited many times by these dreams, and has created with the help of his friends these crooked little stories in the hope of capturing something, even a little, of that world where everything imagined is real, that world we are all forever drawn to.
The latter story is true.