Young, wealthy, and good-looking, Jan Palmer leads the kind of life most of us would die for. He has it all—except for one thing: happiness. Trapped under the weight of his responsibilities to his family, his business, and his life, he wishes only to escape to another world.…
But you have to be careful what you wish for. Waking out of a deep sleep, Jan finally finds escape—into a living nightmare.
He surprises a prowler who has broken into his mansion, attempting to steal from his priceless collection of antiques. There is a scuffle. An ancient copper jar is opened… and all hell breaks loose. For not just any copper jar, it has long imprisoned a powerful and ruthless Jinni, whose anger has been bottled up for centuries. The Jinni kills the thief and curses Jan to eternal wakefulness.
Jan finds himself straddling two parallel dimensions. On earth he is his mild-mannered self, falsely imprisoned for murder. But in the world beyond, where the sleep-souls of humans are enslaved by the Jinn, he is a swashbuckling warrior facing death at every turn.
In an exotic world of dark arts, deadly secrets, and dangerous dancing girls, he is drawn into the great battle between the Masters of Sleep and the Slaves of Sleep. He will uncover clues to the magic at the heart of history—and discover that the destiny of all humankind lies in his hands. Abounding in untold mystery and revelation, this eye-opening tale may just wake you out of a dead sleep.
Read by René Auberjonois.
“I stayed up all night finishing it. The yarn scintillated.” —Ray Bradbury
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When Slaves of Sleep was first published (Unknown magazine, July 1939), John W. Campbell, Jr., sent Ron Hubbard a letter that shines a revealing light on the crucial role the author was playing in the fortunes of both Unknown and Astounding Science Fiction. Noting at the outset that he had mailed Mr. Hubbard the largest check-in Unknown’s history, and the second-largest in the combined history of Unknown and Astounding Science Fiction, Campbell went on to enjoin the author to “please start now on your next Arabian Nights yarn. What’ll it be about? I’d like to get it in about four weeks.”
There would be a sequel, of course—a celebrated one—but ten years, a world war and the tumultuous dawn of the Atomic Age would intervene before it appeared as The Masters of Sleep in the October 1950 issue of Fantastic Adventures.