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Error: #f88
<div class='toolbar' macro='toolbar [[ToolbarCommands::EditToolbar]]'></div>
<div class='title' macro='view title'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit title'></div>
<div macro='annotations'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit text'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit tags'></div><div class='editorFooter'><span macro='message views.editor.tagPrompt'></span><span macro='tagChooser excludeLists'></span></div>
To get started with this blank [[TiddlyWiki]], you'll need to modify the following tiddlers:
* [[SiteTitle]] & [[SiteSubtitle]]: The title and subtitle of the site, as shown above (after saving, they will also appear in the browser title bar)
* [[MainMenu]]: The menu (usually on the left)
* [[DefaultTiddlers]]: Contains the names of the tiddlers that you want to appear when the TiddlyWiki is opened
You'll also need to enter your username for signing your edits: <<option txtUserName>>
<link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS' href='index.xml' />
These [[InterfaceOptions]] for customising [[TiddlyWiki]] are saved in your browser

Your username for signing your edits. Write it as a [[WikiWord]] (eg [[JoeBloggs]])

<<option txtUserName>>
<<option chkSaveBackups>> [[SaveBackups]]
<<option chkAutoSave>> [[AutoSave]]
<<option chkRegExpSearch>> [[RegExpSearch]]
<<option chkCaseSensitiveSearch>> [[CaseSensitiveSearch]]
<<option chkAnimate>> [[EnableAnimations]]

Also see [[AdvancedOptions]]
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StyleSheet for use when a translation requires any css style changes.
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//Adrift in the Dream// is the second story that takes place in the eponymous [[setting]]. It's written by SandWolf, and included in [[Volume One]]. It introduces [[sailing]] boats, [[cordite ruby crystals]] for [[power generation]], and fleshes out the shared background of SandWolf and KantuckNadie.
They appear as people in bulky diving suits. They sound like falling water that bubbles and gargles. They "speak in poetry and metaphor", KantuckNadie states at one point, seeming perfectly capable of human feelings and even humor, despite their alien nature.

Aethereals are heavily implied to be natives of the dream, or at least to have been there long before [[humans]] and [[anthros]]. In open [[aether]], they appear as indistinct shadows swarming around a point of light. While among air-breathing creatures, their fluid-filled suits can exert considerable strength. The prequel story [[Prelude to a Dream]] establishes that it's for not just for their own protection, as the [[aether]]-based atmosphere they breathe can be deadly to other creatures, especially when pressurized.
The //Alice Queen// is an armed merchant owned and commanded by Captain [[James Blackbelly]], operating out of [[Bellawood Station]]. It secretly runs contraband to help raise funds for the defense of local populations besieged by pirates.

KantuckNadie and SandWolf transferred to the //Alice Queen// from the [[Grand O'Gal]], meeting ClaudeLeChat in the process. They also met navigator [[Penelope Pender]], who became a recurring character.
Ariel Crit is a raccoon inventor and pilot, who builds an airplane usable in the Dream just so he can keep flying the way he used to back on the alternate Earth he shares with ClaudeLeChat in their respective backstories.

In real life, Ariel is the online persona of a furry artist who contributed the cover art for the books, and stayed with the InkJerkers.
[[The dream]] contains, among other things, a couple of references to Babylon 5:

* the name of [[Sheridan Station]] (the two are otherwise very different);
* KantuckNadie's weapon of choice in [[stories]] after the first.
In the prequel story [[Prelude to a Dream]], Bellawood Station is a high-tech, well-appointed habitat with a shipyard to match. It's where KantuckNadie is made a captain and the [[crew]] acquires their own ship, the SpiritWalk.
The City of Milliers, a.k.a. Mille Ville for friends, is a roaming settlement built on a literal propeller island reminiscent of a huge mechanical sea turtle, and protected by a network of domes. It has numerous learning institutions, but also some industry; research of all kinds is a highly prized activity. It is also the port of call for several smaller ships.
Claude ~LeChat is the SpiritWalk's helmsman. He's described as a large Maine Coon who can inexplicably talk, stand upright and manipulate objects, using his dexterous forepaws. He wears the greatcoat and cap of a steamboat's officer, but doesn't really need them to stay decent. In combat he wields small flashbang grenades that also create a cloud of cat hairs.

In real life, Claude is the online persona of his creator, a founding member of InkJerkers. He happens to be a French speaker in real life (albeit non-native), hence a number of details from [[Riders of the Dream]].
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[[The dream]]
[[Dream of the Machine|]] is the fifth completed story. It offers a good view of [[Bellawood Station]], as well as the first glimpse of [[Whitewater]] (a port referenced offhand in the first story), along with introducing two of the military powers in the [[setting]]; there's a strong anti-imperial message.
The //Grand O'Gal// was an old ship, famous in its time, that was already old by the time of [[Prelude to a Dream]], and was sold by its owner Captain [[Scarlet Showmer]] (presumably to be scrapped) when the latter retired. She recommended KantuckNadie and SandWolf for a transfer to the [[Alice Queen]].
Ink Jerkers is a virtual writing circle founded by KantuckNadie, with ClaudeLeChat as the first member. After a couple of attempts, SandWolf provided a good home online for the nascent group, and [[more members|crew]] joined since. Our name stems from a pejorative term for bad writers used in the late 19th century. No, we don't take ourselves very seriously.

The original [[Ink Jerkers MUSH|]] remained a separate (and dormant) chapter.
Stated to be the largest landmass in the Dream, Ishimaki Island is home to a thriving, peaceful community. It's implied to be the SpiritWalk's port of call, but the main [[characters]] don't seem to spend much time there.
Captain James Blackbelly of the [[Alice Queen]] is a humanoid bengal tiger. He's extremely honorable and fair, and doesn't mind breaking the law to do what he thinks is right. Unusually, he came to the Dream from the outside, on a spaceship, so is more versed in high-tech than most. Like SandWolf, he has [[cybernetic implants]].
A secondary inspiration for [[Riders of the Dream]], Jules Verne's works are felt in few ways:

* the SpiritWalk having serrated ridges along its hull, like the more famous //Nautilus//;
* the [[City of Milliers]] being inspired by the novel //Propeller Island//;
* the overall tone and aesthetics of the [[setting]].

Ironically, neither setting features much steam power, despite being called [[steampunk]].
Kantuck Nadie Atsilawesi of the ~Nata-Akon clan is captain of the SpiritWalk. She's described as an anthropomorphic doe wearing a futuristic uniform with Cherokee motifs (rarely, a dress from the same culture). Her feet end in hooves, she walks barefoot, and can jump very high.

In [[Riders of the Dream]] she uses an obvious tricorder and phaser from StarTrek (not named as such), but as of [[Shadowing the Dream]] she prefers to fight with a collapsible fighting pike inspired by the denn'bok from [[Babylon 5]]. The prequel story [[Forward the Dream]] strongly implies that she also has [[cybernetic implants]] like SandWolf, though not the same type or quality.

Kantuck is also the online persona of her creator, and a founding member of InkJerkers.
Mai (full name Mǎi Niǎo Nóng) is a young human, the only one in the main cast, with a penchant for math and sciences in general. He joins the [[crew]] during [[Adrift in the Dream]] and becomes the SpiritWalk's navigator, holding the rank of ensign.

Mai's real-life counterpart is Hei, a relatively new member of the InkJerkers as of this writing.
[[The dream]]
<<tag stories>>
<<tag characters>>
As of December 2022, //New into the Dream// is an upcoming novel that takes place right before the first story. It introduces a couple of new characters and locations, and marks major changes in the [[setting]].
NosyCat is a username ClaudeLeChat has been using as of late, based on the title of his Tumblr main.
An anthropomorphic badger, Penelope Pender is a navigator aboard the [[Alice Queen]] and ClaudeLeChat's love interest. She becomes a recurring character after her first appearance in [[Prelude to a Dream]], and temporarily transfers to the SpiritWalk during [[New into the Dream]], so far the only NPC to be part of the crew.
Some fictional settings are carefully planned in advance, over years and years. [[The dream]] sort of happened. It took shape along with a story called [[Riders of the Dream]], written during a long, sad winter. But it wasn't written in a vacuum.

InkJerkers is a virtual writing circle whose members aren't afraid to self-insert into their own [[stories]]. One day, all their [[characters]] came together in the same one, and that sparked something special.

These are the legends of the dream-rider SpiritWalk and its valiant crew as they sail the [[aether]], having adventures and often saving the world. No two of these legends are alike; that's how legends work. As it turns out, we need some sort of common ground anyway, so here I am trying to provide.

While the [[setting]] is generally [[steampunk]]-flavored, many elements tend to be modern.
This was the second Dream story written by SandWolf's player, and the first in a series of prequels. It recounts how the original [[crew]] met, got their training aboard the [[Alice Queen]] and acquired the SpiritWalk.

A sample is available from the [[author's website|]].
The //Regina Maria// is a modern, luxurious [[dream-liner]] that's briefly seen in [[Riders of the Dream]], near the beginning. Out-of-universe, its name is a double reference, to the //HMS Queen Mary// on the one hand, and also to Queen [[Marie of Romania|]].
[[Riders of the Dream|]] is a 19K-word novella written by ClaudeLeChat over four or five months during the 2020-2021 winter. It introduces the [[setting]], the SpiritWalk and its crew, along with other recurring elements. Many details are left vague on purpose.
Russell Tuller is a well-known furry artist and permanent guest of honor at the InkJerkers. He created concept art for KantuckNadie as she appears in the Dream, and an original take on the SpiritWalk. As his online persona, an anthro wolf, he briefly becomes the ship's cook during the events of [[Adrift in the Dream]].
Chief Sand Wolf is ship's engineer aboard the SpiritWalk. He's described as a large humanoid wolf wearing protective clothes with numerous straps, and a longcoat, or sometimes western attire complete with bolo tie. In [[Riders of the Dream]] he carries a futuristic full-auto handgun, but since [[Adrift in the Dream]] he prefers a good old revolver. (The latter story also reveals he has [[cybernetic implants]].) Friends call him John, or Sand, and he'll let strangers do the same on occasion for expediency.

In real life, Sand Wolf is the online persona of his creator, a founding member of InkJerkers.
Former owner and captain of the late [[Grand O'Gal]], Scarlet Showmer is a human, rumored to be impossibly old thanks to the Dream's atemporal nature. She recommended KantuckNadie and SandWolf to fellow captain [[James Blackbelly]] before retiring to become a tavern owner on [[Ishimaki Island]].
//Shadowing the Dream// is the third story that takes place in the eponymous [[setting]]. It's written by KantuckNadie. The first half is included in [[Volume One]].

//Shadowing the Dream// greatly expands the size of the setting: it turns out that people only kept to a dozen or so [[phases]] close to the [[central moon]] because abundant [[landmasses]] protected them from [[dream music]], and not because an inherent limitation.
Sheridan Station is the first major location seen in [[Riders of the Dream]]. Its name is an obvious reference to the [[Babylon 5]] TV series, though it's otherwise very different: "a flower of stone and steel, lights shining around the edges of each petal-like wall surrounding the central dome". It turns out to be maybe a mile in diameter, and a bustling port even at a low ebb.

The station is initially run by Commander Jameson, an older black woman whose name is an equally obvious reference to the classic Elite videogame (itself referencing the Traveller role-playing game). By the time [[Dream of the Machine]] takes place, she's been replaced by her second-in-command Jean Renard, a humanoid fox.
a shared setting of surreal steampunk stories
Into the dream
//Spirit Walk// is a dream-rider, a small ship crewed by the main [[characters]] in the [[setting]]. It's inspired by [[Jules Verne]]'s famous fictional submarine, and an [[equally famous ship|]] from the real world. Unlike either, the //Spirit Walk// is part aircraft and/or spacecraft.

The exact size of the Spirit Walk isn't stated in the [[stories]], but artistic depictions agree on a length of about 35 metres. The ship has three decks, and is sized for a [[crew]] of seven, but only three are featured in [[Riders of the Dream]]; three more join along the way in later stories, for various lengths of time.

The bridge of the //Spirit Walk// resembles that of a steamboat in the first story, and becomes more like an aircraft's in the sequels; The [[engineering console]] is joined by a few others.

The ship has powerful [[engines]], though some others are faster. It's stated to be very sturdy, and proves it on several occasions. It's usually unarmed with the exception of serrated ridges along the hull that can cut nets and cables. Otherwise it's equipped with an array of [[sensors]] on top of floodlights and a rangefinder. It also has short-range voice communications via [[wireless]]. A small crane is mentioned from the first story, but only used later.

No port of call is mentioned in the stories, but [[Prelude to a Dream]] establishes that the //Spirit Walk// was acquired at [[Bellawood Station]].
The Star Trek franchise was a major inspiration for the Dream. Its influence can be felt in several ways:

* KantuckNadie's uniform and gear in [[Riders of the Dream]] (that fall by the wayside later);
* Mannerisms such as saying "make it so!";
* How [[wireless]] and [[cordite ruby crystals]] appear to work.

The spirit of exploration and pacifism also factor strongly early on, and in later stories the [[crew]] still solves problems more with cleverness than fighting.
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<<timeline modified 50>>
The dream (styled in lowercase throughout the original story) is a mysterious reality with strange laws. For one thing it's pervaded by [[aether]]. It has a [[central moon]] instead of a sun, and has a definite down (though [[Adrift in the Dream]] shows that larger [[landmasses]] have their own atmosphere and gravity). People travel between [[phases]] of the dream in [[ships]], through a combination of [[transference]] and regular [[navigation]]; the distance thus crossed is measured in [[octaves]].

The dream is populated by [[humans]], [[anthros]] and the native [[Aethereals]], but also aliens and even stranger creatures. In [[Riders of the Dream]] it's heavily implied that humans came from a world not unlike our own, and that some were changed by the process. [[Shadowing the Dream]] makes it explicit that at least KantuckNadie and SandWolf are refugees from a cyberpunk dystopia centuries into the future.

The original story only depicts artificial habitats, but various islands feature in the sequels.
This work is made with [[TiddlyWiki Classic|]]. Give it some love if you can.
[[Riders of the Dream Volume One|]] is an anthology of the first few stories written by the InkJerkers:

* [[Riders of the Dream]] by ClaudeLeChat;
* [[Adrift in the Dream]] by SandWolf;
* [[Shadowing the Dream]] part 1, by KantuckNadie.

The cover art is made by [[Ariel Crit]].
[[The dream]] is pervaded by aether, a substance with unusual properties: in some ways lighter than air, in others heavier than water, it keeps [[ships]] floating in place even if their engines stop, but doesn't seem to be under much pressure: aether leaking into a ship, e.g. through an open porthole, takes time to spread, and looks more like a fog or gas than a liquid.

Aether is implied to be extremely cold in [[Riders of the Dream]], where all artificial structures are enclosed. As of [[Prelude to a Dream]] however, it mainly appears to be toxic, though cold remains an issue at least in the outer, space-like [[phases]].

Aether also carries sound, as evidenced by ship horns in the first story; this becomes a plot point with the introduction of [[dream music]] and sonar in [[Shadowing the Dream]].

Various <<tag inventions>> used in the dream have related names, such as aether-graph.
[[The dream]] changes people. As generations succeed each other, more individuals are born with animal ears and tails, if not fur and snouts. Attributed by some to an influence of the environment, this has led to conflicts between the dream-born and plain old [[humans]].

[[Riders of the Dream]] implied if not outright stated that it's more complicated, and people can be changed by the dream even as they arrive. Stories after the first make it clear that anthros already exist outside the dream, in the Earth-analogue they come from, and [[Shadowing the Dream]] introduces "shifters", humans who change into anthros due to a traumatic event. Some shifters even retain the ability to turn back and forth.
[[The dream]] inexplicably features a bright moon that's prominent from the opening scene in [[Riders of the Dream]], and seems to be omnipresent. It's not clear whose light it reflects, since no sun is ever seen or mentioned. Bits of dialog suggest it has a prominent role in the culture and beliefs of the dream's inhabitants.

How much light is available varies throughout the dream: some natural [[landmasses]] enjoy full daylight, while other places need artificial lighting for all but getting around.
Characters in the [[setting]] can be roughly divided into a couple of categories:

# the [[crew]] of the SpiritWalk, mainly author self-inserts (arguably the gimmick of the series);
# other recurring characters that were created for one of the [[stories]] and stuck.

Appearances of the latter are somewhat unequal, as the various authors often stick to their own respective casts.
While electronics are known to exist in the dream, many tasks are performed with low-tech instruments. For example, ClaudeLeChat plots a new course for the SpiritWalk, early on in [[Riders of the Dream]], with the help of a mechanical calculator that resembles an astrolabe with tilting rings. He also has a large pocket watch that [[Adrift in the Dream]] reveals as also containing a three-dimensional compass normally pointing at the [[central moon]].

A mechanical bird said to be capable of flight is displayed in a room at the [[City of Milliers]] university.
A permanent cloud cover of varying densities is present in most phases of the dream. While in [[Riders of the Dream]] it's treated like a distant backdrop, in later stories it becomes analogue to the sea surface in real life, separating [[aether]] proper from a (more or less) breathable atmosphere. Sailing [[ships]] can only float on these clouds, while others are able to dive beneath them, acting like submersibles, and conversely fly over them at varying altitudes.
Starting with [[Adrift in the Dream]], the main power source for [[ships]] in the [[setting]] is stated to be cordite ruby crystals, a naturally occurring mineral able to store and/or generate huge amounts of power.  SandWolf says they're the dream's dilithium, another reference to StarTrek.
In [[Riders of the Dream]], the SpiritWalk has a crew of three:

* KantuckNadie, captain and navigator
* SandWolf, chief engineer
* ClaudeLeChat, helmsman

[[Russell Tuller]] joins the crew temporarily during [[Adrift in the Dream]], but is soon replaced by [[Mai]]. Also, during the prequel story [[New into the Dream]], the ship transports [[Ariel Crit]], who shares navigation duties with [[Penelope Pender]], so far the only NPC to be part of the crew, even temporarily.
While the [[setting]] started out as [[steampunk]] (more or less), it quickly acquired elements from other genres, including advanced technology. As of [[Forward the Dream]], it's been shown that KantuckNadie and SandWolf both come from a post-industrial civilization where brain augmentation is common enough; these devices work in the dream while others may not, and don't seem to require maintenance.

Depending on their owner, cybernetic implants appear capable of precise time tracking, tactical combat assistance or storing and recalling encyclopedic information.
Dream-liners are large, luxurious ships that carry passengers, cargo and news along popular routes. Known examples are the [[Regina Maria]] and the late [[Grand O'Gal]].
Some space on the SpiritWalk's bridge is taken up by the engineering console; this is SandWolf's station in the stories, from where he can control several pieces of equipment, such as the wireless, [[transference coils]] and floodlights. Originally it was the only bridge station to have a chair, later stories feature more of them.
In [[Riders of the Dream]], ship engines are implied to burn (refined) [[phlogiston]]. It's stated to be very volatile when used for fuel. Indeed, the [[Regina Maria]] has a visibly armored section of its engine room, and the SpiritWalk is stated to be solidly built for precisely this reason.

The latter's engines can be controlled from the bridge via throttles. They can operate in direct-drive mode, but also from batteries. The ship also has an independent generator that power life support and the [[wireless]]. [[Adrift in the Dream]] also introduces [[cordite ruby crystals]], and low-tech power sources are used in emergencies.

The Spirit Walk's engines don't require constant supervision; they can even be stopped and started from the bridge unless something goes wrong. More complex adjustments can only be done from the engine room.
They came to the dream from elsewhere, and they keep coming, bringing with them much knowledge and technology, but also war. Many humans are changed by the dream as generations succeed each other, which leads to generational conflicts, but some are changed by their arrival to the dream (a detail many don't seem to know, or else conveniently ignore).

Later stories establish that humans can also change into [[anthros]] during life, possibly due to traumatic events; it's implied that some even retain the ability to change back and forth.
[[The dream]] is for the most part a vast space filled with [[aether]], with vast areas hidden by a [[cloud cover]]. What land exists takes various shapes: inverted mountains, floating rocks, or forests of rock columns with a distant floor far below the usual navigation depth. While [[Riders of the Dream]] implies that many of these landmasses are inhabited, they're never seen up close. However [[Adrift in the Dream]] shows that even small islands have their own atmosphere and gravity.
Navigation in the dream is an involved process. As [[phases]] rotate around the [[central moon]] at different speeds, plotting a course requires figuring out where to be at the right time for [[transference]] to another phase so the process can be repeated. It can be done with complex charts or else advanced [[clockwork]] devices.
An octave is the distance between two [[phases]] of the dream, and/or the span of a phase in n-dimensional space. This distance seems to be not physical, but rather tied to some sort of physical frequency: an important scientific field is called vibrational physics, while aiming a [[phase vortex]] correctly is referred to as tuning. [[Shadowing the Dream]] adds to this notion with [[dream music]].

In [[Riders of the Dream]], going across nine octaves at once is referred to as traveling "almost clear across the dream", implying there are maybe a dozen phases at most. This is seen as extraordinary and dangerous: for most of the story ships only cross one octave at a time, and must reposition themselves carefully for the next one. When the SpiritWalk acquires new [[transference coils]] able to shift two octaves at once, it's seen as a major upgrade. By the time of //Shadowing the Dream// however, experimental upgrades can safely take a ship over dozens of octaves in one go, and apparently much faster than before.
To travel between [[phases]], ships open a sort of temporary tunnel with the help of [[transference coils]]. While in [[Riders of the Dream]] it's described as swirling ripples of light forming into a tube, later stories describe it more like the wormhole(?) at the end of //2001//.

A phase vortex normally extends across one octave, or two [[octaves]] with improved coils, but much longer transfers are possible in extraordinary circumstances. Either way, hitting the walls of a phase vortex is apparently dangerous, both for the ship that generated it and any other objects near the ingress point. Also, keeping a ship centered in its own phase vortex is non-trivial; ships can spin out of control, potentially injuring the crew and/or taking damage.
[[The dream]] is divided into contiguous areas of space called phases, that can be navigated by moving normally in three dimensions. There is an order to phases, which are referred to as being "inward" and "outward" from each other. The distance between them is measured in [[octaves]], and can only be crossed through [[transference]], as opposed to regular sailing.

It's unknown how big each phase is, but they're implied to be fairly large: [[ships]] spend many hours in transit even between relatively close points. While it's never stated how fast they go, calculations in [[Shadowing the Dream]] suggest speeds comparable to a nuclear-powered vessel from the real world.

ClaudeLeChat says the dream is n-dimensional; its inhabitants visualize it as hypersphere divided into concentric layers.
In [[Riders of the Dream]], ships are powered by the burning of refined phlogiston, an oil-equivalent shown to be extracted from free-flowing streams in the outer [[phases]], using dedicated facilities similar to real-world oil platforms; these are stated to be on the way out.

This concept falls by the wayside starting with [[Adrift in the Dream]], in favor of [[cordite ruby crystals]]; sure enough, [[Dream of the Machine]] features a former refinery.
Various [[ships]] in the dream, at least the SpiritWalk, burn an unspecified fuel for power generation, implied to be [[phlogiston]]. This is used both to drive screws and to charge [[transference coils]]. Since [[sailing]] boats by definition don't have [[engines]], their sails capture light for the same purpose, in addition to their primary function.

[[Adrift in the Dream]] also introduces [[cordite ruby crystals]] as a power source.
In [[Riders of the Dream]], ships were depicted as using aether-pumps, an analogue to pump-jet engines from the real world, while older models had screws. Either could be driven directly by the [[engines]], or else via batteries. In later [[stories]], most ships appear to have both thrusters of some sort, and screws. The latter are more efficient but less powerful, so are normally used in march, but they can be engaged at the same time for an emergency speed burst.
While much technology in the dream is powered by steam or [[clockwork]], some is more advanced. The most skilled engineers can even build robots, ranging from boxes on wheels to humanoid machines. These are autonomous but distinct from drones, and often have very capable power sources, in addition to high mobility.

As stated in [[Riders of the Dream]], robots require good light to see, and normally aren't very smart. This becomes a plot point in [[Dream of the Machine]].
While the first story only featured self-propelled ships, [[Adrift in the Dream]] introduces a skiff. It seems to work much like in real-life, using sails to catch currents in the [[aether]] and move around. It also has [[transference coils]], powered by the same sails; SandWolf says they turn both light and wind into electricity, the latter through a piezoelectric effect.
The SpiritWalk has floodlights and (on the bridge) an optical range finder in addition to an array of sensors. The nature of these sensors was unspecified early on, but [[Shadowing the Dream]] explicitly mentions sonar. Various machines such as [[robots]] also have optical scopes.
[[The dream]] as a setting wasn't planned; in fact it all fell out of the opening scene in [[Riders of the Dream]]: an oblique thank you to friends for inspiring me with their own generous imagination. The surreal imagery is meant to evoke that feeling of being awake at night, when all the world feels strange and fantastic. The [[themes]] weren't planned either: sometimes there are questions we didn't know we had until we ask.
Ships in the dream come in all sizes, from long-range message [[torpedoes]] to a massive [[dream-liner]]. Mobile habitats as exemplified by the [[City of Milliers]] might also count.

In [[Riders of the Dream]], all ships have fully enclosed decks and use screws for [[propulsion]], but [[Adrift in the Dream]] introduces open-deck [[sailing]] boats.
While the original vision for [[Riders of the Dream]] was "StarTrek meets [[Jules Verne]]", it's suggested (and later made explicit) that people came to the dream from various eras. Most <<tag inventions>> appear to be at the 1930s level, but rayguns and [[robots]] coexist with steam and advanced [[clockwork]] devices.
As of May 2023, the Dream is made up of two novels and several novellas; three of these are prequels, and one takes place later in the timeline, while around half of them take place in an unspecified "present".
An idea picked up from TiddlyWiki 5: tag system tiddlers accordingly, so they can be easily found again (the Classic edition doesn't care otherwise). The hard part is remembering it.
While [[Riders of the Dream]] was initially meant as a surreal adventure with no ulterior motives, it quickly grew anti-corporate and anti-colonial themes, and by the end became a metaphor of the internet as a new and wondrous world free from past limitations, threatened by those who would destroy it rather than allow people their newfound freedom. [[Shadowing the Dream]] further introduces themes of oppression and fanaticism, while [[Dream of the Machine]] is an overt critique of imperialism and war.
[[The dream]] is divided into [[phases]], each of them a three-dimensional space. To pass between them requires crossing a [[phase vortex]]. This process is known as transfer (informally a jump or shift). Most [[ships]] appear to be equipped with [[transference coils]] for this purpose; even message [[torpedoes]] have them.
Transference coils are the device by which [[ships]] in the dream open a [[phase vortex]]. They can be small enough to install on message [[torpedoes]], but require more energy than the [[engines]]: in [[Riders of the Dream]] it's stated that the SpiritWalk can't shift on auxiliary power. These coils also need a warm-up time before use.

By the end of the same story, upgraded coils warm up faster and allow the ship to cross two [[octaves]] at once without damage to the ship systems, but require more cooling.

Later stories establish that a ship only has two such coils, and can shift on just one in a pinch, at the cost of burning it out.
At short range, [[ships]] in the dream can communicate by voice in real time. This is called "wireless" in the stories, and works much like in StarTrek on the surface: ships hail each other on multiple frequencies, and must pick up on purpose to initiate conversation. It's also possible to butt in on someone else.

Wireless can also be used to detect the control signal of remote-operated vehicles.