Interzone 142

The Ups and Downs was published in The Dream Zone #3 in July 1999.

Click here for a PDF or here for html.

A man keeps thinking he has woken up from some kind of a dream... What? A Matrix ripoff? Apart from the fact I first did a version of this in 1980, the idea of the world being not all it seems long predates the film, of course, being a theme of Plato's as well as several sf authors. I'd already read Roger Zelazny's Dream Master and John Brunner's Telepathist and several books by Philip K Dick. So you'll probably guess at once (and with the Dream Zone magazine title too, to help) exactly what is going on here...

I suppose it is a pretty slight story, in fact a set of linked episodes rather than a story per se. But it doesn't take long to read.

I did completely reimagine and rewrite it as a short film script for the Sci.Fi Shorts Competition run by The First Film Foundation in 2000, and I submitted it too. But it didn't win. That - called Simplicity - is available as a PDF here and I think it is better in this version - more point and drive and sense of threat to it.

The main drawing is a modified version of an illustration I did for Josephine Saxton's "No Coward Soul" for Interzone in 1982, though they didn't use it in the end as it was a bit amateurish.