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What is a Lucent Dream, anyway?

 

Before Lucent Dreaming came to be, and the prospect of a magazine was in infancy, we cycled through enough working titles to wear us to sleep. Upon waking, Lucent Dreaming presented itself. There is clearly an allusion to lucid dreaming in the name. We have chosen this allusion deliberately, and have at the same time expressly avoided naming our magazine “Lucid Dreaming.” The stories we are looking for are both like and unlike lucid dreams.

A lucid dreamer is one who is aware they’re dreaming. They awake inside a dream and gain control over it. A lucid dream, then, is one which becomes completely transparent to the dreamer: the dreamer sees through it completely. There are stories which are written with either the belief that words allow full exposure of reality for what it is, or a failure to recognise that reality might not be what it appears. We are not looking for either of these types: not for fully awake stories (they can’t be), nor for stories that are fast asleep.

 

But what if the lucid dreamer chooses to remain aware of dreaming, without doing anything about it? Could such a dreamer still let themselves be carried along the oneiric flow and see what marvels their own brain can cook up for them? Perhaps that is what we want to find out at Lucent Dreaming. It is this sense of lucid that we are looking for: open-eyed wonder and enjoyment in the midst of a world that is generated around us, for us, and not for us. We do not seek stories that explain, but stories that explore.

We are looking for stories that can be equated to waking dreams. We don’t think stories differ much from dreams: they are just another silky layer of imagination-stuff draped over the already fundamentally nonsensical composite layer of fabrics that is life. What does the sun look like through your t-shirt? What does it look like through two t-shirts? We want you to show us the refractions and scatterings of your mind. We want minds who cast a lance of light but fixate on the shadows shimmering in the periphery. Show us a tightly aimed line of thought, but also show us the weird visual amoeba that inevitably creep in from the periphery. Wrap your story in warm, velvety, viscous, multi-layered bolts of dream silk.

 

We are prescient about what will happen in our dreams and why because we compose the dream. This prescience is an intuition, not an intellectual exercise. That is what we would like to see: a written dreamscape that resonates with your intuition, that gets your gut amoebas excited and tickles those of our readers too, without them knowing quite why. Words inevitably carry ideas, but let them harmonise with the quivering strands of feeling that coruscate inside you. If this odd, vaguely digestive metaphor mystifies you: good. That’s exactly the effect we want from your stories. Give us a still-pumping endocrine organ of a story: slow-releasing and suffusing. Oozing.

A Lucent Dream, then, is not one that is delved into for its inner machinery to be worked out. Rather, it’s a black body that radiates light for others to bask in. Weave the veil; don’t pierce through it.

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