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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
In his anthology Dreams in Eigengrau, Michael Perge presents ten bizarre tales originating from his dreams. A teenager takes a drug that can make you live in a perpetual state of happiness, making your dreams real. Somewhere, an overambitious expedition along a deserted train track does not go as expected. A mysterious planet holds an even more enigmatic secret, the search for which has already claimed too many lives. Somewhere, invading demons hold unimaginable power over humankind. An annual race decides who will receive life-sustaining provisions in a world with limited resources. In Perge’s reimagined world, memory remains confined to memory chips, not our precious neurons.
Reading Dreams in Eigengrau was akin to diving deeply into a dream where unexpected events waited at every turn. The primary themes are science fiction and dystopia, with considerable overlap between them. A few tales featured macabre events, monstrous entities, and vicious battles for survival. Others turned us into helpless spectators in a doomed world, filling us with melancholy. Michael Perge captured the folly of today’s society perfectly in his futuristic stories. The Color of Life exemplified human greed and overexploitation. I could easily imagine the world in The Dope, where happiness would be a literal drug people would crave. Nor did it seem far-fetched that we would do anything to get a few minutes of peace, as Perge showed in You have No Followers. My favorite was Only Tears Make a Blue Rose Bloom, which featured an impossible love. I recommend this anthology to readers who appreciate quirky, dystopian stories with a dash of horror.