This is from a novel I read sometime in the 1970s or 1980s.

In the middle of the novel there is an expensive artist, who caters to the rich. He can telepathically see images inside the minds of his clients. For a hefty fee he can take a special sphere filled with colored specks, telekinetically move the specks to make a three-dee representation of the image haunting his client, then hit the button to freeze the specks to make a permanent image.

In the story, the current client is a young boy who has a nightmare of some ghastly squid or octopus-like creature. The boy's wealthy father sends him to the artist to make a sphere image of the monster, to help the boy get over his nightmare. The boy is quite pleased with the representation, says it looks just like his nightmare.

As it turns out the artist is also a secret agent for another interstellar empire. He needs to send a message to the foreign empire he is pretending to be a citizen of.

So the artist makes a second sphere containing the squid monster, superimposed on top of a star map of the foreign interstellar empire. He secretly sends it to the local government representative along with a threatening note.


This is "To Die in Italbar; A Dark Traveling" by Roger Zelazny.

The best summery I can find that addresses the telekinetic dream sculptures is in slightlybetterbooks.com.

Malacar Miles and his telepath Shind - now living the life of space-travelling terrorists, refusing to accept that the Combined Leagues won the war against the DYNAB planets - are travelling round blowing up Combined League buildings, technologies, assets and people. Malacar used to be DYNAB's Fourth Fleet commander and shows no signs of stopping his (now personal) fight. His former crewmates, particularly Michael of Honsi, are worried that one day he may go too far and pull off such a huge disaster that it will cause large scale inter-planetary war all over again. He has to be stopped and only one person has the potential to do that - a former colleague-turned telepathic artist (he creates colourful crystal sculptures from telepathically entering client's dreams): John Morwin. John Morwin is just about the only friend that Malacar still has and who still visits to him; he is possibly the only person Malacar still listens to.

(Emphasis mine)

Original Hardcover Edition by Margo Herr

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.