Roots: There are references to Romeo and Juliet, Tender is the Night, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, The Affirmation, Neil Armstrong, and The Famous Five (Aunt Fanny's).
Goofs: Dreamstone Moon is at one point said to be the moon of Mu Camelopides IV (it should say VI, as it is throughout the rest of the novel).
Dialogue Triumphs: In a nod to Jim: "We're reading Mortimore now. All his characters die."
The Doctor on humans: "These people are barbarians who should never have been allowed off their own planet. But they're not all like that, and you know it and I know it."
Continuity: The moon of Mu Camelopides VI, a.k.a. Mu Cam VI-One is known as "Dreamstone Moon" and is a small moon with low gravity. The Exanaxi are huge, treelike crystalline beings that live on Mu Cam VI-One and make air from the rocks. They only breathe once a day and their crystals glitter when they are preparing to breathe. They are hunted by predators including zaxix and Higgs's cortenenda. The Dreamstone Moon Mining Company (DMMC) mines dreamstones on the moon, which give humans pleasant dreams. Rare "bad" dreamstones cause nightmares and are becoming more common. Ixcallex resemble huge millipedes.
Dreamstone is alive, and forms a huge brain, with individual crystals functioning as neurons: this is why the stones cause humans to dream. It generates illusions to protect itself. It is sentient but not intelligent. DMMC is aware that Dreamstone is alive, but has suppressed the information for profit. Anton takes over the Dreamstone unwittingly, his thoughts and dreams prompting it to try and kill the oppressing humans.
The Doctor still has the cat that Donna gave to him (Legacy of the Dalek). He finally locates the Kusk ship that Sam left the moon of Hirath in (Longest Day). Whilst searching for Sam, he pretends that she is her daughter. He again uses the alias Dr. John Smith. He carries a small electronic pulse device in his pocket. He invites Aloisse to become his new companion, but she turns him down and insists that he go after Sam instead.
Sam spent six days on the Kusk ship (Longest Day), during which time all she had to eat was a pea-soup coloured slime from egg like objects that tasted of vomit and made her sick the first time she tried it. She is rescued by the crew of the Dreamstone Miner. She eats Vithiliskan Savoury Fruit on Dreamstone Moon. She joins Aloisse's protest movement to campaign against the mining operations on Dreamstone Moon. She discovers that the Doctor isn't dead here, but feels guilty about leaving him for dead and departs for Ha'olam without meeting him again here.
It is implied that the TARDIS cannot translate Krakenite language.
Krakenites are swamp-living aliens with a cylindrical body covered in a thick, grey shell with the texture of barnacle, and approximately ten tentacles that protrude from the top of the shell. They have a beak-like mouth and a single huge eye in the midst of the tentacles. Their mouth contains several rows of razor sharp teeth. The skin at the base of their tentacles is red and covered with a whitish cream that bubbles and emits an unpleasant smell. The Krakenites have had dealing with the Time Lords. Krakenite is a human term for their species. They can withstand a vacuum for thirty minutes.
Arachnons are knee-high, vaguely spider-like beings with two triplets of dark eyes on jointed stalks. They have duck-egg blue abdomens and feathery gills. Male Arachnons get eaten by their wives.
Besiddians are feline. They have claws, a mane, a tail, and five rows of serrated teeth. They have long-toed, possible prehensile, feet. Male Besiddians are twice as heavy as females and half as intelligent.
Chorodorons are white and six limbed.
Esqueekeemmians are tiny and have (or wear) metal wings.
The Zmm-Zmm are native to Occam's World and have short leathery wings, insectoid faces, and short antennae. They live in hives. Occam's World has two suns.
Vorsedds are humanoids with horns and spines.
Kran has a humanoid torso and three sets of undifferentiated limbs, and head with six eyes and a continuous mesh-like surface. His neck is extendable. Other species mentioned here include Borlogs and Geomydes. The planet Ha'olam is mentioned.
Links: Longest Day. Sam recalls the Daleks (War of the Daleks) and killing a Tractite (Genocide). There is a reference to the Dalek War (The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Godengine).
Location: On board the Dreamstone Miner; Mu Cam VI-One; the moon of Mu Camelopides IV; Occam's World. The same time period as Longest Day and Seeing I.
Future History: Cetacean is a human band. Junsequat is the author of "The Statistical Maximisation of the News Items Promotion Service through Interview Keyword Techniques". There were anti-Weather Control protests in the 2040s (see The Seeds of Death). Post-2020 bowlboards have replaced QWERTY keyboards. Higgs carried out a detailed ecological survey of Dreamstone Moon. Space Marine Specials wear black and gold uniforms. Dreams can be made into General Intelligence Portable Thought Files, a.k.a. GIPTFs or "gyps".
Snippets of information revealed here tie in with what was revealed in Godengine, in that humanity has a fledgling Empire that fought the Daleks in space, despite Earth not having recovered from the Dalek occupation.
Cleomides can access UNIT files and learns that the Doctor was scientific advisor to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
Unrecorded Adventures: Whilst tracking Sam down, the Doctor visited Draconian (Frontier in Space), Tractite (Genocide), Chelonian (The Highest Science, Zamper, The Well-Mannered War), Besiddian, Arachnon and Krakenite missing persons bureaus. He also visited Threadworld and used the Thread Helmets.
The Bottom Line: "Time to sleep Anton. Time to sleep." Not unusually for Paul Leonard, this is a morality play that takes pot shots at Big Corporations and features lots of imaginative world-building. For all that's predictable however, it's also very good and Leonard makes the best use of Sam and the Doctor since Alien Bodies. Sadly, we never get to find out how the Doctor would cope with travelling with a big alien squid, who would have had a fun time during his frequent trips to Earth...