Larry Niven, Steven Barnes

Dream Park


The Creators

RICHARD LOPEZ: The world's most respected Game Master, co-author and presently monitor of the South Seas Treasure game.

MITSUKO (Chi-chi) LOPEZ: Richard's wife, partner, co­author, and public representative.

The Players

ACACIA (Panthesilea) GARCIA: Experienced fantasy game player. Warrior.

TONY (Fortunato) MCWHIRTER: Inexperienced gamer, and Acacia's guest. Thief.

CHESTER HENDERSON: Famed Lore Master, leader of the South Seas Treasure party.

GINA (Semiramis) PERKINS: Experienced fantasy gamer. Cleric.

ADOLPH (Ollie, or Frankish Oliver) NORLISS: Experi­enced fantasy gamer. Warrior.

GWEN (Guinevere) RYDER: Fantasy gamer, and Ollie's fiance. Cleric.

MARY-MARTHA (Mary-em) CORBETT: Experienced and highly eccentric gamer. Warrior.

FELICIA (Dark Star) MADDOX: Experienced gamer. Thief.

BOWAN THE BLACK: Dark Star's partner, an experienced Gamer. Magic User.

ALAN LEIGH: Experienced fantasy game player. Magic user.

S.J.WATERS: Novice gamer. Engineer.

OWEN BRADDON: Elderly, moderately experienced gamer. Cleric.

MARGIE BRADDON: Experienced elderly gamer. En­gineer.

HOLLY FROST: Aspiring novice gamer. Warrior.

GEORGE EAMES: Moderately experienced gamer. Warrior.

LARRY GARRET: Moderately experienced gamer. Cleric.

RUDY DREAGER: Moderately experienced Gamer. En­gineer.

HARVEY (Kasan Maibang) WAYLAND: Professional ac­tor. Guide.

NIGORAI: Native bearer and spy. (Actor.)

KAGOIANO: Native bearer. (Actor.)

KIBUGONAI: Native bearer. (Actor.)

PIGIBIDI: Native chieftain. (Actor.)

LADY JANET: Damsel in distress. (Actor.)

GARY (the Griffin) TEGNER: Novice Gamer. Thief. Alias for Alex Griffin.

The Dream Park Personnel

ALEX GRIFFIN: Head of Dream Park Security.

HARMONY: Dream Park Director of Operations.

MILLICENT SUMMERS: Griffin's secretary.

MARTY BOBBICK: Griffin's assistant.

ALBERT RICE: Dream Park security guard.

SKIP O'BRIEN: Dream Park research psychologist.

MELINDA O'BRIEN: Skip's wife.

MS. GAIL METESKY: Dream Park liaison with the Inter­national Fantasy Gaming Society.

ARLAN MYERS: I.F.G.S. official.

DWIGHT WELLES: Dream Park computer tech.

LARRY CHICON: Dream Park computer tech. Together with Welles and the Game Masters, he monitors the Gaming Central computer.

NOVOTNEY: Cowles Modular Community's resident doctor.

MELONE: Dream Park security guard.


Chapter One


The train sat rigid as a steel bar, poised in midair above its magnetic monorail track, disgorging passengers into Dallas Sta­tion. Its fifteen cars had borne their passengers in quiet efficiency from New York to Dallas in just over half an hour, cradled in magnetic fields, travelling through vacuum at close to orbital ve­locity, deep underground.

Chester had cut it close. He shifted his heavy backpack and strode back along the train, walking like a king, projecting confidence. There would be Garners aboard, and some would rec­ognize him. Lore Master Chester Henderson was conscious of his unseen audience.


He stopped, dismayed. He knew that voice—There she was, a vision in leopard tights that drew stares from all but the most jaded. Her long red hair, plaited into a thick rope, dangled down her back to the top of her belt line. She wore heavy makeup that almost hid the fact that she was, indeed, a very lovely woman. But the leotards hid nothing.

'Hello, Gina,' Chester sighed with a tone somewhere south of resignation. 'I should have guessed you'd be along.'

'I wouldn't miss it for anything. Remember last time, when you saved me from the mammoth?'

'Cost me three points for frostbite. I remember.'

'Don't complain, it's mean. Anyway, I was very appreciative.' She coiled her arm around him and joined him in a rather strained lock-step toward the Dream Park shuttle.

She had been, he remembered, very appreciative. 'One of your strong points,' he said, and put his arm around her. It felt disturb­ingly good, nestled there between warm curves. 'Well, I'm glad you're with us. We may need to pass you off as a virgin or something.'

'Would you really?' she giggled. 'I've always loved your imag­ination.'

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