Introduction

Borderland is a novel written and edited by Janet Anne Stevenson.
Published January 2014.
Copyright © 1993 Janet A. Stevenson. All rights reserved.

Years ago I had a dream in which I was an older woman, in her late fifties or sixties. This woman is travelling on a train with a small entourage, on her way to an important meeting or gathering. She seems to be a person of status – a political leader or similar figure.

In the dream I become aware of myself to the point where the woman’s personality and her self-awareness recede, nudged aside without fanfare, to be replaced by my own. She quickly becomes frustrated and embarrassed. To those around her, her confusion must be unnerving. Here, suddenly, is no intelligent leader. Unexpectedly she has lost all familiarity with her greater surroundings and with her immediate responsibilities. Apparently, I have “inhabited” this dream character so completely that, to her aides, she might well be in the first flush of senility. Waking up, I seriously wonder whether I have destroyed that woman’s chances of ever being re-elected to a position of authority.

The dream is relevant insofar as it echoes the general idea behind my novel. Borderland is not about dreams or dreaming, per se. It is a story about relationships – in particular, our relationships with our “selves” and with those closest to us.

What if each of us exists in several discrete realities simultaneously? That is, what if we have other “selves” existing alongside us in a multidimensional, interconnected and interdependent universe? Are we regularly influencing, or being influenced by, these other selves on a subconscious level? Could our dreams be literal intrusions into these other realities? What if these other selves likewise intrude into our own space – dreaming of “us,” in effect?

Time is generally accepted as having no basis in fact, as such, but only in our perception. Borderland explores the possibility that, during a moment of crisis or trauma, “time” and dimension might overlap – in this case, for a trio of individuals who are connected by a common, greater consciousness or identity.

Once I dreamed I was a butterfly, and now I no longer know
whether I am Chuang Tzu, who dreamed I was a butterfly,
or whether I am a butterfly dreaming that I am Chuang Tzu.
~ Chuang Tzu

In loving memory of Macduff and Chuck