NIGHTMARE COUNTRY by Marlys Millhiser


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Alien machines and time warps and overlapping dreams--in a hard-working but rather murky astral stew. Husband-deserted Tamara Whelan arrives at a remote mining settlement on Iron Mountain, outside Cheyenne, with her overweight daughter Adrian, to begin a teaching job with only seven students. Meanwhile, down in Belize City (in what was British Honduras), Thad Alexander, son of missing author-adventurer Edward P. Alexander III, goes snorkeling, is invited aboard a suddenly-appearing yacht, has breakfast. . . and then the yacht vanishes in an eyeblink and he's sinking underwater. And though Tamara and Thad have never met they start mind-swapping: Tamara finds herself victimized by involuntary astral projections in waking ""daydreams,"" smelling the sea and walking about Belize beaches. . . while Thad dreams of fat Adrian. What's happening? Well, extraterrestrial dream machines (a form of alien transporters) have been implanted in Tamara's Wyoming mountain and in a Mayan ruin. Tamara's astral dreams get erotic during Thad's appearances; his surprise is equally strong as their dreams commingle. And ""between time"" Thad's lost father is trapped in a warp with Herald, an alien in perfect human form, both of them condemned to repeat a brief hour on a Belize beach through eternity. Finally then, a British destroyer with 230 aboard vanishes, a transporter is found in Iron Mountain after a cave-in, Adrian disappears into a time funnel, and Tamara flies to Belize seeking Thad in the flesh, while Herald labors at extracting Adrian and getting himself freed. . . . Quite tiring altogether--and, for most readers, not worth the effort.

Pub Date: July 8th, 1981
Publisher: Putnam