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Dream Cycle

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The Dream Cycle is a series of short stories and novellas by author H. P. Lovecraft[1] (1890–1937). Written between 1918 and 1932, they are about the "Dreamlands", a vast alternate dimension that can only be entered via dreams.

A map of Lovecraft's "Dreamworld" by Jack Gaughan (1967).


The Dreamlands are divided into four regions:

  • The West contains the Steps of Deeper Slumber (descended via the "Cavern of Flame") and the Enchanted Woods, by which many enter the Dreamlands. Other points of interest include the port of Dylath-Leen, one of the Dreamlands' largest cities; the town of Ulthar, "where no man may kill a cat";[2] the coastal jungle city of Hlanith; and the desert trading capital Illarnek. Here lies the fabled Land of Mnar, whose gray stones are etched with signs and where rise the ruins of the great Sarnath.
  • The South, home of the isle of Oriab and the areas known as the Fantastic Realms (described in "The White Ship").
  • The East, home of Celephaïs, a city dreamt into being by its monarch Kuranes, greatest of all recorded dreamers, and the dangerous Forbidden Lands.
  • The North, location of the feared Plateau of Leng, home of man-eating spiders and the satyr-like "Men of Leng".[3]

Other locales include the Underworld, a subterranean region underneath the Dreamlands inhabited by various monsters; the Moon, accessible via a ship and inhabited by toad-like "moon-beasts" allied with Nyarlathotep; and Kadath, a huge castle atop a mountain and the domain of the "Great Ones", the gods of Earth's Dreamland.

Evidently all dreamers see the Dreamlands slightly differently, as Atal, High Priest of Ulthar, mentions that everyone has their own dreamland. In the same sentence he says the Dreamlands that many know is a "general land of vision".[4]


  • The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death. Del Rey, 1985.[5][6]


  • Myers, Gary (1975). House of the Worm. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. ISBN 0-87054-071-8.
  • Brian Lumley wrote books set in Lovecraft's Dreamlands as well, beginning with Hero of Dreams in 1989.
  • Harms, Daniel (1998). "Dreamlands". The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: Chaosium. pp. 89–91. ISBN 1-56882-119-0.
  • Jonathan L. Howard (2011). Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute. Headline Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0755347995.
  • Williams, Chris; Petersen, Sandy (2004). H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands: Roleplaying Beyond the Wall of Sleep (5th ed.). Hayward, CA: Chaosium. ISBN 1-56882-157-3. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  • Myers, Gary (2013). The Country of the Worm: Excursions Beyond the Wall of Sleep. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781484801970.
  • Multiple authors (2016). Kill Those Damn Cats: Cats of Ulthar Lovecraftian Anthology. First United Church of Cthulhu. ISBN 978-1535073677.
  • Kij Johnson, 2016 The Dream Quest of Vellit Boe. Tor. ISBN 978-0765391414.


  1. ^ James Turner, ed. (1998). Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (1st ed.). New York, NY: Random House. cover blurb. ISBN 0-345-42204-X.
  2. ^ ""The Cats of Ulthar" by H. P. Lovecraft". www.hplovecraft.com. Archived from the original on 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  3. ^ ""The Hound" by H. P. Lovecraft". www.hplovecraft.com. Archived from the original on 2021-01-12. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  4. ^ ""The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" by H. P. Lovecraft". www.hplovecraft.com. Archived from the original on 2021-01-24. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  5. ^ "The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft". www.goodreads.com. Archived from the original on 2021-06-28. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  6. ^ "The H.P. Lovecraft Archive". www.hplovecraft.com. Archived from the original on 2021-01-23. Retrieved 2021-01-22.

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