This will probably be a long shot, but I read a novel about twenty years ago that I'm sure is from the late sixties.

I can only really remember the main plot point: There's a man in it who can change reality at will with only his mind. A medical doctor studies him and uses this to his own ends. Two more things: there was an alien invasion and people were preoccupied with a volcano at some point.

Don't remember any character names or locations. Sorry about that. If I knew those, I'd probably be able to find this myself. My son and his wife are really getting into sci-fi books and stories and I'd like to be able to recommend this one to them, since I remember enjoying it at the time.

  • @Richard I doubt I am voting to reopen, but want to point out that the linked duplicate has spurious information in the question title and text, in that the "effective dreamer" in Lathe of Heaven is not a doctor or psychiatrist (although there is a character who is one). This might confuse a potential questioner or visitor.
    – Lexible
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 15:55
  • @lexible - Go-go-gadget-editing-hands!!!
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


I suspect this is The Lathe of Heaven (1971) by Ursula K. Le Guin.

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The main character, George Orr, suffers from "effective dreaming", which means that his dreams can alter reality. With training, he can use it to achieve desired changes.

He initially receives treatment from a psychiatrist in order to suppress the dreaming, but the psychiatrist realizes the potential here, and subsequently uses George and his power to alter the world to create a utopia.

An alien invasion, however, is created in the process — first of the moon, then of Earth itself. Also, Mount Hood outside Portland, Oregon becomes an active volcano.

You mentioned that you are sure that the novel is from the 1960s, but too many of the plot points match up for it to not be The Lathe of Heaven.

By the way, it was made into a television film twice — in case you and your son and his wife are interested.

  • 1
    Gosh, this is it! I even recognize that cover. This site is amazing. Thanks, I can't wait to tell my son!
    – user51233
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:51
  • The TV film was brought up at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/57183/… FWIW
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:56

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