The Lathe of Heaven (2003, Perennial Classics) 4 stars

The Lathe of Heaven is a 1971 science fiction novel by American writer Ursula K. …

Think of it as an iterated monkey's paw wish.

5 stars

The Lathe of Heaven takes us through multiple possible versions of Portland as George Orr, a man whose dreams can change reality, is directed by his therapist to solve the world's problems.

It doesn't go very well.

  • George has no control over how his dreams accomplish the specific change.
  • Everything is connected. Pull one strand and another comes along with it.
  • It's all tied to Dr. Haber's idea of which problems to tackle, what solutions are acceptable...and which people are expendable.

But while the stakes are global, the story stays laser-focused on three people: George Orr himself, increasingly desperate to take control of his life and his dreams. Dr. Haber, who keeps pushing for more control over the world. And Heather Lelache, a biracial lawyer who becomes aware of some of the changes to reality, but faces more drastic changes than either of the two men at the center of the maelstrom.

Full review with spoilers on my website

Content warning Some specifics, including spoilers