The book starts off normally. The protagonist is a young man. The protagonist eventually starts and/or watches a fire in a rich neighborhood in California.

The protagonist eventually meets up with some girl. They end up in space and the girl tries to sabotage something.

It turns out that the protagonist and the girl were both in dream machines of some sort at a clinic. They are addicted to dreaming in those machines. I think one of them leaves at the end.

I don't know the title or the author. I read it in the 90s.

  • Are you sure it's a book? I -think- I remember that plot, but as a short story..
    – Izkata
    Jun 7, 2012 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


There was a very minor subplot along these lines in Red Dwarf.

  • I suspect you are talking about the Red Dwarf episode 'Better than Life'; there were some similar aspects, but the Novelization of 'Better than Life' -- was much closer. However, both of them lack the fire, sabotage and one of them leaving, so I doubt it's a match.
    – K-H-W
    Jun 7, 2012 at 22:38
  • Wasn't there mention of or a chapter on a couple using Better Than Life in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers? Perhaps I'm thinking of one of the Hitch hikers novels - it's been a long time since I've read either. Jun 8, 2012 at 4:13
  • Kind of.. That was a couple where one was a Better than Life addict, and the other was a 'Bliss' user. In the book, being mugged (and thus loosing all his money) by a bliss freak is a major part of what led Dave to joining the Red Dwarf crew.
    – K-H-W
    Jun 8, 2012 at 4:25

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