Rune and Flash: Inside the Dream Prison
by Joe Canzano
Happy Joe Control

"He wrote the best dreams, and he wrote the scariest nightmares."

In this fantastically realized dystopian world, dreams are created for punishment and for pleasure. Nightmares are used as a corrective tool, while pleasant dreams leave many citizens stupefied in an alternate reality. Inside the Dream Prison, sixteen-year-old Markla Flash is living out her sentence of 1,000 nightmares after she is convicted of murder. In a rip-roaring opening scene, Markla attempts to destroy a Dream Station with a group of subversives and gets caught up in a violent scene. When her friend Rune becomes a nightmare writer inside the prison, he vows to help her against all odds. Bound by love for Markla and disillusioned by the power of manipulative technology on society, Rune sets out to help take down the system with other renegade forces. Markla’s escape amidst a prison riot is the catalyst for Rune’s involvement and life-altering choices in pursuit of love and truth.

Markla’s fierce survival instincts, combined with Rune’s intelligence and insider access, drive the action of the story as they work in different ways to confront a dangerous government recklessly wielding a powerful technology. With its action-packed scenes and harrowing dream sequences, Canzano’s propulsive writing unleashes a wildly imaginative sci-fi adventure. Character-driven and disturbingly plausible, this story explores the dangerous implications of controlling technology that can be used to create false narratives, punish criminal behavior, and rule over the masses with a tainted democracy. Canzano has devised an original story with daring implications regarding technology and the future of crime and punishment. To be punished with immersive nightmares is a horrifying premise that Canzano uses with great effect, daring readers to imagine their worst fears. Even more disturbing is imagining a society that thrives on brutality inside its Dream Prison. Fans of dystopian fiction will not want to miss this one.

A 2023 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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