Some of you may have been experiencing new dreams in Fallen London recently.
Perhaps you have been haunted by mysterious stairs, or begun to see unsettling visions of an Other City? We trust they won’t disturb your sleep too much.
The dreams in Fallen London are some of its most singular and atmospheric material. To ensure the new expansions were in keeping with the original content, we approached the person who wrote all the original dreams back in the early days of Failbetter: Yasmeen Khan!
We had a chat with Yas and our narrative director Chris Gardiner about the new dreams.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR RETURN TO FALLEN LONDON?
YK: It was lovely – like returning home to something I had really missed. A lot of that was down to reconnecting with the people, of course, but I was surprised at how familiar with the content I still was, and how at ease I was with the writing process too. It’s been a very positive experience for me.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO CONTINUE CONTENT YOU STARTED EIGHT YEARS AGO?
YK: I have always been very fond of the dreams and it was extremely fulfilling to be able to return to them and expand them in a way I thought they deserved, too.
CG: I wanted to expand the dreams for ages, but it was something I couldn’t have written. This is kind of Yas’ superpower.
WHAT DID YOU FIND PARTICULARLY APPEALING ABOUT WRITING THIS NEW DREAM CONTENT?
YK: I think it’s the chance to do something different that exists in a place alongside the rest of Fallen London, and is very connected with it, but is not it, and doesn’t have to have the same rules. Fallen London is already set in a version of a real place, and I like the way a dream in Fallen London can be set in a version of that version. Plus I really enjoy playing with dream logic and the way spaces can expand and contract in dreams, and connections can be made or discovered in a way you couldn’t do otherwise.
HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE WRITING?
YK: Chris proposed that we modelled the new content on the way the What the Thunder Said dreams work: up till now that was the only dream strand that had a second tier of content that allowed you to play through the dreams multiple times and see something different. I had always wanted to expand all the dreams in this way, so this was a wonderful opportunity. My approach was to plan a similar structure to the Thunder dreams, and then to look for ideas for fiction that would work with the atmosphere and aesthetics of the existing content in the Fire Sermon and Burial of the Dead strands. Obviously the lore has expanded since I last wrote for FL, but the fundamental principles were still familiar to me which was a lovely discovery.
WILL THERE BE MORE DREAMS CONTENT?
YK: I’d love to!
CG: We have no immediate plans, but I’d love to do more if the time, opportunity and community response align! It would be very useful to hear which dreams the community would most like to see extended.
WHERE ELSE CAN WE FIND YOUR WORK?
YK: I’m a visual artist as well as a writer. I’m a printmaker mainly, but I also draw and paint – one of my favourite projects ever was collaborating with Chris and producing the illustrations for his wonderful game Below. After that, I graduated from Falmouth University’s MA in Illustration – Authorial Practice a few years ago and for my final degree show I presented a book of ghost stories that I had written, illustrated, designed and bound myself. I’d like to develop more projects along those lines in the long term alongside commissioned work (whether in writing or illustration).
If you’ve been experiencing these new dreams, we’d love to know what you think. Your feedback helps shape the future of Fallen London. Send us an email, discuss it on our forums, Discord or Reddit, or tag us on Twitter.
If you haven’t yet discovered Yas’ new dreams, and would unwisely like to learn more, allow your dreams of the Burial of the Dead or the Fire Sermon to increase, and the new stories will become available…