Had good luck on my first question for the eventual ID of The Last Planet / Star Rangers, let's see what happens with this one.

  1. probably pre-1982. This is when I started reading sci-fi and fantasy in earnest. Possibly up to '85.

  2. Starts in modern era. I'm going to say 60s/70s.

  3. Tied with scientific experimental LSD use at a college or university.

  4. User is transported mentally to another world (akin to Donaldson's White Gold Wielder)

  5. Can't remember much about the plot. Rescue someone, save the day. That kind of thing.

  6. Pretty sure there were Dwarves, but can't say if they were "good" or "evil", but I'm leaning towards the latter.

  7. A forest featured heavily in it I believe and I seem to remember the cover being dark (blue?) as if at night and showing a forest scene.

  8. Not a very long book. A Tor or Ballantyne type short novel.

That's all I got. Good luck!

  • 1
    I want to say Tmie Bandits but that can't be right.
    – Spencer
    Jun 5, 2021 at 22:42
  • Not the Time Bandits, no, but thanks for trying. Been racking my brain on the Dwarves part, and I can't swear to their presence in the story, but I feel there was an adversary that's historically portrayed as an ally. So maybe Elves even? So long ago .
    – R.Hamper
    Jun 6, 2021 at 3:53
  • 1
    Something from Roger Zelazny's Amber series? There is mention of LSD, some of it is in "our" world and some in alternate reality. I don't remember whether I read them long long ago or whether I only read about them; in either case, I do not remember/know the actual storylines enough to know how close a match this is?
    – Basya
    Jun 6, 2021 at 8:07
  • I checked into your suggestion and Sign of Chaos hits some of the points, but was published in 1987 which is, for sure, too late for the book I'm thinking of.
    – R.Hamper
    Jun 6, 2021 at 15:38
  • 1
    Made me think of the Harold Shea stories. Not LSD, but a shift in mental alignment.
    – eshier
    Jun 6, 2021 at 17:38

2 Answers 2


I wonder if this could be The House Between The Worlds written by accused enabler & perpetrator of child sexual abuse Marion Zimmer Bradley? The book involves drug use by a university graduate student taking hallucinogens (possibly LSD) in order to breach the wall between a world very much like our own, and one with fantasy dwarves (?) and orc-like individuals (and maybe elves? It has been four decades or so since I read it). There was a rescue. The student's aunt played an important role in knowing about the connection between worlds. The book was not especially long, as I recall… maybe two hundred pages?

Some of the pulp covers:

A cover of The House Between Worlds Another cover of The House Between Worlds Yet another cover of The House Between Worlds

  • 1
    OK, fair enough. Thought it might be a typo (but I see you changed it anyway).
    – Ben Bolker
    Jun 8, 2021 at 0:07
  • 1
    perpetrator or perpetuator, doesn't matter, that part of the paragraph is completely irrelevant to the answer.
    – shoover
    Jun 8, 2021 at 4:49
  • 1
    @shoover The historical context in which SFF works are created is explicitly on-topic in SFF.SE. Down voting for calling out an infamous pederast who created the work in question seems a strange battle to pick, but go for it.
    – Lexible
    Jun 8, 2021 at 4:58
  • 1
    @shoover Well, in fact, I recall the story's protagonist has some infatuated feelings about the aunt in question, so there's that.
    – Lexible
    Jun 8, 2021 at 5:05
  • 2
    I had forgotten about that one! It doesn't have dwarves, though - just goblins called Ironfolk. Could just as easily be mistaken for dwarves as trolls could, I assume. Jun 8, 2021 at 8:30


As @Eshier guessed at in a comment above, this is almost certainly one of many collections of L. Sprague de Camp's and Fletcher Pratt's Harold Shea stories; most likely the 1970s Ballantine collection The Compleat Enchanter (cover below),

Professor Harold Shea has discovered what equations make it possible to, through meditation, reach lands of legend. In the first story, “The Roaring Trumpet”, Shea and his friend Reed Chalmers come to Asgaard and team up with Thor, Loki and others as the Norse gods visit Utgardaloki and his frost giants for the famed battle of strength between gods and giants. Shea is captured with Heimdall and guarded by trolls (who may be the dwarves you remember). In the second story, “The Mathematics of Magic”, our heroes visit the world of Spencer's Faerie Queene, full of knights and beautiful maidens (one of whom, the woodland huntress Belphebe, Shea falls in love with), and in the third, “The Castle of Iron”, they visit the very similar world of Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. Other collections have included more stories, and an earlier one just the first two.

Wikipedia has more information.

Cover of "The Compleat Enchanter". Tagline: "The Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea". The cover shows two people on a gryphon, flying through the air with a castle visible in the distance.

  • 2
    Except for "transported mentally" and the time frame, this doesn't seem to match the criteria very well. No LSD, no dwarves. (IIRC there might be a single dwarf in one passage - the 'human little person' kind, not the fantasy kind). Not much more "forest" or "rescue/save the day" than expected in a typical fantasy novel ...
    – Ben Bolker
    Jun 7, 2021 at 23:06

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