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EP105: Impossible Dreams

2007 Hugo Nominee!

By Tim Pratt.
Read by Matthew Wayne Selznick (of Brave Men Run and Writers Talking).
First appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, July 2006.
All stories by Tim Pratt.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

He went to the Sci-Fi shelf‚Äîand had another shock. I, Robot was there, but not the forgettable action movie with Will Smith‚Äîthis was older, and the credits said “written by Harlan Ellison.” But Ellison’s adaptation of the Isaac Asimov book had never been produced, though it had been published in book form. “Must be some bootleg student production,” he muttered, and he didn’t recognize the name of the production company. But‚Äîbut‚Äîit said “winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.” That had to be a student director’s little joke, straight-facedly absurd box copy, as if this were a film from some alternate reality. Worth watching, certainly, though again, he couldn’t imagine how he’d never heard of this. Maybe it had been done by someone local. He took it to the counter and offered his credit card.

She looked at the card dubiously. “Visa? Sorry, we only take Weber and FosterCard.”

Rated G. Contains excessive movie trivia; some of it true.

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Referenced Sites:

Balticon 2007

Comments (101)

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  1. Oh my God! What an AMAZING story! Definitely one of Escape Pod’s best, if not THE best. I just love it! I can’t find the words to give a longer review of what I thought was good. I think I have to sit here for a while in silence and contemplation before going on with my life. I’ll definitely will link to this show and talk about it in my own podcast which I’ll record today.

  2. digit says:

    lovely, i cried a little.

    he was resigned to his fate, knowing it was going to slip away and when he finds she made the leap for him your heart just jumps.

    thank you so much, that story was exactly what i needed at that moment.

  3. zagboodle says:

    This is without a doubt the best story to date – I love it! Although if I had written it, it would have been a story about a music lover who found a record shop from another universe where The Beatles never broke up, where the 1980s lineup of King Crimson made more than three albums, and where no one had ever heard of Britney Spears.

  4. Alasdair says:

    Wow.

    That hit me where I live. I grew up on the Isle of Man which is essentially a very small rock loosely populated with very small towns and one of the ways I dealt with that was by becoming the movie geek for the South of the island. Every week I’d go to the local cinema until it got to the point where the staff knew me by sight. Cinema took me away, showed me the world and that’s a love that’s stayed with me into adult life. The line in here about how movies take you away because sometimes you need to be taken away? I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been able to forget my troubles for a while by sitting in a movie theatre and watching something magical happen on the screen whether it’s the shuttle launch sequence in ARMAGEDDON or every single frame of AMELIE.
    I’ve never been able to articulate how film makes me feel, why I love it as much as I do. Reading this was like reading the inside of my head. Even better I loved the fact that the ending wasn’t remotely unexpected but was so completely welcome. Every now and then, everyone gets a happy ending and it’s nice to see a story based around that.

    This is an astonishing piece of work. The vast majority of last year’s Hugo stories left me utterly unimpressed but this…, well like I said several hundred words ago…WOW.

  5. desdecardo says:

    This was a wonderful story. Only one question, Why didn’t Allie bring his favorites when she left her world?

  6. Reason why she didn’t bring her favrates was because why probably would not play on his system. i loved the story and I have to agree with the others! Wow! I was thinking though that what if this were true? I mean what if there was a slightly different world besides our own and something like this could happen?

  7. Brandt Pileggi says:

    I don’t know what you’re all talking about. This story is TOTALLY implausible. Tom Sellek in Raiders of the Lost Ark and there was never another Indiana Jones movie?! Puh-shah!

  8. David says:

    Wow was this a good story. After last week’s, well, dud, this is an amazing sci-fi tale. The whole alternate universe of film was so painstakingly rendered you could actually believe that these fake movies existed. It makes me sad that I can’t go out and rent “Jason and the Argonauts”, and if a story can make me regret not seeing a movie that never existed, it gets an “A” in my book.

  9. [...] Also, Matt reads Tim Pratt’s 2007 Hugo-Nominated short story, “Impossible Dreams” for Escape Pod. [...]

  10. Great story! After I heard it I got up and went to visit an old roommate of mine who’s a screenwriter. I think he’ll really like this one.

    About half way through the story, I thought that the twist would be that the girl was actually the main character from the other universe, born as a girl instead of a guy. That would have been really interesting (and maybe a bit weird). As it was, the ending was good, but I felt it was a little bit too predictable, or familiar, like it ended that way because stories like this are supposed to end this way. I didn’t think that it was bad because it had a happy ending, just that the particular happy ending seemed like a repetition of something I’ve heard in many stories before. Despite that, though, I thought the story was really good, and the concept really got my imagination working. And I have to say, just about any universe in which the Ender’s Game movie was made is bound to be a good universe!

  11. Bradnt, Tom Selleck was originally cast as Indiana Jones but left the project when he landed Magnum PI. Harrison Ford was the fallback.

  12. Charles says:

    Where can I read the stories? I don’t want to listen to someone read.

  13. SFEley says:

    Hi Charles,

    I’m afraid our podcast may not be a good fit for you, then, since that’s pretty much what we do. But you can find links to all of the 2007 Hugo Nominees online at:

    http://www.nippon2007.us/hugo_nominees.php

  14. Evil_Twin says:

    Another excellent story with great heart. Poignant, romantic without being cheesy. Good stuff!

  15. dscarron says:

    Such a rigourous logic done in such a way that it just made the story that much more intensely powerful. Wow.

  16. howdoesth says:

    I have no idea why but the fact that the only thing identical between parallel universes was the nickel cracked me up every time it was mentioned.

  17. chfuji says:

    My goodness, an entire story about something that I fantasize about almost every other day. I can’t even list how many times I’ve dreamed of seeing things like the later works of Bruce Lee; or “Spiderman” starring Johnny Depp. So many wonderful possibilities. The only thing I might have done different is that I would have gotten myself stuck in the other world. Great story, great read, one that reminds me of why I listen to this podcast in the first place.

  18. Vanamonde says:

    A nicely crafted love story, great stuff and one I will keep on my memory card to listen again.

  19. Gulliver says:

    I loved this story, and as usual loved Steve’s witty sign-off referring to it… and I expect Steve was toying with us on an unusually subtle level by suggesting that Daikaiju does the soundtrack music for the Japanese monster movies in Allie’s universe — this of course is absurd because There Wouldn’t Be Any Japanese Monster Movies if the A-bomb was never used on Japan. Right?

  20. macevangelist says:

    Excellent, great story. I was laughing right at the very beginning because I switched off the TV to listen to it. And on TV was “To Have and Have Not”

  21. Isaac says:

    I really liked the main character’s transition from apparent self-centeredness to selflessness. His living room is a shrine to his own senses, and he is all but willing to steal to feed his own visual hunger. Then, all of a sudden, when he has a day to think about the fact that someone else might feel just like he does, his impulse is to give her all of his own favorites and his laptop. Very nice! And the payoff, as Steve hinted, is that instead of getting to see all new movies from the other universe, he gets to see all of his old movies from a brand new perspective — that of his new friend.

  22. [...] Escape Pod are an awesome podcast site that covers science fiction, at the moment they are running all(?) the Hugo nominees for best short story, the link below is to Episode 105, Tim Pratt’s wonderful story “Impossible Dreams”. It’s about a film-buff who discovers a video store from another dimension. I loved this and am clearing some space on the MP3 player for a few more. escapepod.org/2007/05/10/ep105-impossible-dreams/ [...]

  23. [...] is putting up audiobook versions of this year’s Hugo-nominated short stories, starting with “Impossible Dreams” by Tim Pratt. The story is about a film buff who stumbles onto a video store from a parallel [...]

  24. Noah Duke says:

    First of all, THANK YOU for bringing us the award nominees again! I loved this story. Even though the story is quite different, parts of it, especially the gradually closing window part made me flash back to one of my favorite books. It’s one that’s sometimes labeled sci-fi, but often not, but it’s definitely a great speculative fiction book. If you liked this story, check out Ken Grimwood’s Replay. You won’t be sorry!

  25. Adam B says:

    I too think this was the best Escape Pod story yet.

    Was Tom Sellek actually cast as Indiana Jones? I wonder. He probably made a screen test at least, but was he cast? As far as I heard Spielberg saw Empire Strikes Back and realised that Ford would be perfect for the role and called up George Lucas who agreed. Though of course, that could just be the “official version” as it were.

    As far as AI is concerned, as I understand it Kubrick waited several decades to make his dream project just so visual effects technology would catch up with his vision of it ‚Äì that it would actually would be possible to make it the way he wanted it to look ‚Äì and I do believe he made a start on it but, unless I’m entirely misstaken, abandoned it for Eyes Wide Shut and gave AI to Spielberg who made the entire movie from scratch. Mind you, I may not have all the information on this or may even be missinformed or plain wrong.

    There are some other alternate version that also may have been in that other universe that may, or may not, be interesting to see:

    2001: a Space Odyssey where Kubrick DIDN’T discard the original soundtrack score and replaced it with classical music. I just can’t remember who composed that score which as discarded.

    What if Michael J. Fox never changed his mind and said yes to Back to the Future so they made the entire movie with Eric Stoltz? Would there have been sequels then?

    What if Stuart Townsend (I think it was him at least) had stayed on as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings and not been replaced by Viggo Mortensen? What would the movies have been as good as they are now?

  26. Luke says:

    This story rivals Shoulders of Giants as my Favorite Escape pod story

    I can truthfully say that this is my favorite Trans-dimensional video retailer romance.

  27. Wiz says:

    Awesome, awesome story. I liked how it remained internally consistent: different credit cards, money, technologies, etc., and didn’t cheat on that premise. At first I was thinking that it was going to be a neverending exercise in frustration: solving one incompatibility issue only to present another one, and it did start out that way, but I’m very happy with how it did turn out in the end.

    It also made me think about the wonderful movies that we DO have that could easily have turned out differently. Imagine if Copolla had gotten fired from the Godfather, for example, which almost happened, or if the casting had been done differently, as the studio wanted….

  28. I want to chime in too to sing my praises for this story. Many of the things I loved about it have already been mentioned, but one thing that I haven’t seen discussed yet is the the way (for me), it kept defying expectations.

    At first, I thought it would end much more like the Twilight Zone story, where he discovers the story, can’t play the movies, but the store never appears again, and it is left a mystery, but then I look, and there’s still half an hour left in the show! Two or three more times, I expected the story to end, but it just kept going and thank God it did, because the places it took me were wonderful and surprising. How fitting too, with the theme of the story, to set me up with one expectation of how the story will go, only to flip around and give me something better?

  29. Wilson Fowlie says:

    Dunno ’bout Tom Selleck, but apparently Harrison Ford was originally cast as Josh Baskin in ‘Big’. At least, according to “Uncle John’s Quick-Dissolving, Fast-Acting Bathroom Reader”. And if you can’t trust Uncle John, who CAN you trust?

  30. I understand that Tom Sellek was originally cast as Indiana Jones. The implausible part is that the author tried to express that the series wouldn’t have taken off to be THE all time box office juggernaut, making trivial, silly movies, like Star Wars Magical Space Ninjas and E.T., look like kiddie porn. We’d still be basking in the radiant rapture of Sellek’s mustache.

  31. naming says:

    this story was great. what i got what was going on i thought it might lead to something like “man in the high castle”. particularly after he discovered that japan had never been nuked, i started expecting him to trip over some deep cultural rift at any moment.

  32. naming says:

    when< i got what was going on … sorry

  33. Awesome, awesome story! This has replaced all my previous favourites from Escape Pod. I am a bit of a film buff, I haven’t really seen any movies in recent times though. But now!! Now, after listening to this story, I want to stop everything and sit and watch all the movies mentioned in this story again, so I can imagine what they would be like with the alternative universes actors. And I love the fact Elli came to his universe, since after all, if he had gone to hers for the movies, he wouldn’t have had his whole audio visual thing happening, they would have been stuck watching everything on grainy old tv’s with dodgy speakers and their equivalent of cheap DVD players. But now, they will be able to watch all his movies in the best quality and Elli will also be able to eat a bit more often!

  34. Jennifer says:

    This is my favorite Escape Pod story as well.

  35. Dan McGregor says:

    Great story! Every now and then you read a story that feels like it has been “written to order” just for you. This was one of those.

  36. Scott Newton says:

    I can’t add much to what everybody else has said, but I can’t just sit here without saying something, anything… Get it–Say Anything? Anyway, add me to the list of guys who got choked up at the end, first when he lost the girl, then again when she found him. The alternate movie universe was all well and good, but what really hit home for me was that longing to find somebody who really “gets” you, only to lose her to a football player, alcohol abuse, etc., or, in this case, an alternate freaking universe!

    Also, as excellent as the story is on its own, Selznick’s reading added another powerful layer to that story and brought the protagonist’s emotional turmoil into full relief. And that’s why I’m off to track down a copy of Brave Men Run!

    Thanks for a great show, Mr. Eley!

  37. Lee Cherolis says:

    Yet another, “I loved this story!” from me as well. I loved the fact that he took the time to wonder about the food and diseases they might have in her world. I kept yelling at him in my head to explain the dual universe thing to her but then the payoff would not have been as great.
    Great reading as well. I’m going to go add Brave Men Run to my subscriptions on Podiobooks.

  38. Spook says:

    Excellent story all around! I must say I giggled a bit hearing the woes of the protagonist desperately trying to rent a movie with plastic, cash, a pile of nickels… Then the problems with actually trying to play it back.

    Stupid paralel universes can’t even be standards-compliant, tsk! What a pain!

  39. kaufman says:

    Echoing all others that this is the best EscapePod story yet. I, too, was hoping that Allie’s backpack included not just the returned laptop, but also the DVD player from her ‘verse, with all of the DVDs, as well. It would be a shame if they didn’t at least TRY to find out what happens when they plug it in.

    In a different vein – makes you wonder how many times this happens on a regular basis, but where the underlying knowledge goes unrecognized. For instance – what if a sports buff had entered the video shop, saw that they didn’t have the one new release he was expecting, and left again? Or, likewise, if our movie-lover had encountered a sports card shop from another universe?

    I’m pretty sure that the dry cleaners down the street from my house is only in this universe until I pull up in my car. I’m NEVER going to get my shirts back.

  40. Loz says:

    Having only just listened to this story I see I’m late to the party when it comes to people who enjoyed this story.

    As a shy geek myself I really enjoyed the fact that the main character gave Allie his computer and DVDs expecting never to see her again, never even thinking that one of them would stay in the other’s universe, never expecting she would leave her world to join his and not really expecting or understanding that she actually finds him cute…

  41. Barbara says:

    My favorite Escape Pod story yet–and greatly because of the reading. I hope Steve hires that guy again! He was one of the best you’ve had.

  42. Being a huge fan of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, I was very enthused by the beginning of this tale and how it was very like a TZ episode from another universe. This was definitely one of my favorite tales from Escape Pod yet. And like Steve, I got the pleasure of sharing “The Princess Bride” with my soon to be wife for her first time. It too is a fond memory of mine

  43. rob says:

    AWESOME! i’m a sucker for happy endings. this story was really well written and i’m excited to hear some other stories that are nominated for the short story award. thank you!

  44. Ethernight says:

    I am surprised to see all of the rave reviews. I did enjoy the story, but it struck me as one of the more pedestrian episodes. More of a feel-good love story, than mind blowing, high caliber writing.

    shrug

  45. Chris Q. says:

    Great story! In my EP top 3 since I started listening last year.

  46. Yoann P. says:

    W o W. Someone just recommended to me that I start listening to Escape Pod and that I would like it, and this is the First Story that I listen to. I am flabbergasted. I know they won’t all be as good as this one, but that is a so good way to make me start listening to this podcast…

    Now, is there a way to download ALL the past episodes at once so I can listen to them on my ipod when going to work?

  47. It’s a good story with a love interest, I liked it. But there’s really nothing new in it.

    The interdimensional shop dates back at least to Fritz Leiber, and the alternative universe with alternative Hollywood was in a good story in F&SF in the 90s. Only there, an ageing director was shown a film he had planned but never made in his own timeline.

  48. [...] to Rachel for putting me onto Escape Pod. She mentioned she’d grabbed Impossible Dreams after it was posted on BoingBoing, and that it was [...]

  49. podakayne says:

    dear steve,

    i’m a very long time listener(i have my personalized cd from your very first batch)…in fact, i just went thru the an entire library of “epods” from ep.27 to the present…so many, many gems…but i especially loved this story.

    i remember the exact twilight zone ep. referenced in the story and had a somewhat simular experience in my childhood (it was a toy shop-i was young and no doubt just couldn’t remember where it was located (maybe?)…none the less it still haunts me from time to time..the experience i mean).

    anywho here is a wonderful sci-fi love story you can put in your pipe to smoke…you keep finding them and i’ll keep listening.

    p.s. i promise you, it’s true

  50. Matthew Wilson says:

    Wow! As a movie buff, this really hit home. If nothing else, it makes me want to rush out and rent The Amazing Ambersons!

  51. Joshua Greenberg says:

    This is actually my second heard podcast, and i’ll admit I cried a little. but then again, do they have bicycle powered generators in her dimension? i would have bought one on credit, plus the alternate dimension DVD player and movies. but that would’ve ruined the moment of course.

  52. Cobycommander says:

    I’ve only been listening to Escape pod for a few weeks. I really enjoyed this story, but feel compelled for totally geeky reasons to point out that Daikaiju would probably not do soundtracks for Japanese monster movies in Ally’s universe, because there would not be so many japanese monster movies, because we never dropped the bomb on Japan. Hence, no latter day resentment resulting in 60 foot radioactive lizards attacking Tokyo.

  53. Derek says:

    I’ll go ahead and add needlessly to the comments for this episode. This is probably the best story Escape Pod has purchased. It’s a simple geeky love-story, completely understandable, and just the rest about of sci-fi odd.

    Good work, Mr. Eley

  54. [...] of this year’s Hugo nominees. Available right now are these nominees for Best Short Story: Impossible Dreams by Tim Pratt The House Beyond Your Sky by Benjamin Rosenbaum Eight Episodes by Robert Reed Kin by Bruce [...]

  55. Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) says:

    Holy Crapsticks. Without having read any of the other comments yet, I love this story. I am not usually a sucker for this kind of romantic reality bending, but Pete kept shrugging off my geek-stereotype expectations and acting like a human being instead of a caricature. And Ally’s description fit perfectly with one of my favorite alternative models, which lent a bit of voyeuristic thrill to the whole narrative for me. First rate storytelling here, my friends.

    Thanks to Steve, Matthew, and most of all Tim Pratt for this gem.

  56. Hakan says:

    Awesome, this story was really good. This was the last Hugo nominated story I listened to. The rest appears to be all flat, and to put it bluntly, not well written compared to this one. I hope it gets the award. Kudos to Timm Pratt.

    Matt’s delivery was incredible. Thanks Steve!

  57. Samanda says:

    Not terrible, not saying I could do better … but a little predictable.

  58. [...] 2007 Hugo Award Nominees Escape Pod has a number of this years short story nominees available: Impossible Dreams by Tim Pratt, The House Beyond Your Sky by Benjamin Rosembaum, Eight Episodes by Robert Reed, and [...]

  59. One of the best love stories I have ever heard, full stop. It left me feeling so satisfied.. thank you!

  60. [...] Go read it or listen to it. It’s just delightful. That it coincedentally shares a name with one of my favorite Iron [...]

  61. PopePat says:

    Simply put: that was sweet. Every story should have such verisimilitude in the characterization of love — whether love for film & other enjoyments, or love for other people. Tim, you have love down pat!

  62. I just had to write more about this one – on my blog.

    The story is a fantasy genre love tale about two lonely souls meeting each other in a Video Store that shouldn’t be there.

    Why did I like it? The protagonists are ordinary people in an urban 80’s to 00’s world. There is nothing special about them, they are lonely, they are struggling, they are trying to do the best they can. I empathised strongly with the characters because of this. The story wasn’t sappy or romantic; it portrayed a burgeoning attraction that made my heart beat faster, hoping it would have the chance to grow into something more. The resolution of the story was satisfying: it painted the final details of the characters perfectly, their actions succinctly matching the images I had built up in my head for each of them.

    It was simply beautiful: think of the most soulful love song you have ever heard, and you will be playing that song in your head as you think about this story later..

  63. Scott O. says:

    This is late, but I’m way behind and I just got to it. Here’s my take:

    WOW…Best…Ever…Story…So Far.

    Congrats Steve, This one was golden.

  64. [...] love films? You like Science Fiction? Or even both? — You have to read/listen to Impossible Dreams by Tim Pratt. It is one of the Hugo Nominees of this year in the category Short [...]

  65. [...] May 10th episode of Escape Pod, an original science fiction podcast, was called Impossible Dreams and it was really quite good. It reminded me of watching old episodes of the classic Twilight Zone [...]

  66. Anon says:

    Wow, that was amazingly good. It really hit home too. I’m something of a movie nerd (although not nearly as much as the main characters) and I even predicted some of the alternate movies in the story, like Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones. (I just KNEW they were going to use that!) I totally guessed the Citizen Cane ending too.

    It reminds me a lot of some of my relationships with girls too. Especially when I’ve tried to have long distance relationships with girls who shared some of my unique interests in movies, music, etc. There’s something about a long distance (or internet) relationship that’s eerily similar to the parallel-universe relationship in the story. I’m guessing I’m not the only nerd here who’s had that sort of experience. ;-)

    Anyhow, it was really well read, and definitely deserves its Hugo nomination!

  67. [...] -Impossible Dreams (EP105): Both my husband and I loved this one and we talked about it for a couple of days. The story did not start out as much for me, but I was in love by the end—especially the reason she gave. The writer obviously knows a lot about movies and this alternative history and universe jumping worked beautifully with the movie knowledge. It made me want to go see some of the great films. [...]

  68. Norm says:

    Loved it, I’m sure some in my writers workshop, Critters, would complain it’s not sci-fi. It did have more of a fantasy twilight zone feel, but with a modern twist and a bit of a tongue in cheek attitude. Original spin on an old plot, truly enjoyable.
    Accessible language, unlike House beyond the sky. More stories like this, please, Steve!

  69. [...] Tim’s story “Impossible Dreams” at Escape Pod. [...]

  70. Bob says:

    Great alternative history story, up there with the likes of Harry Turtledove. It’s always great to hear the little details of how alternate Earths evolved, what the people, customs and now even the entertainment they enjoy are like.

  71. M Mancini says:

    I think that this story was very well written. I like how the two different universes are so similar yet all of the little differences make them so different.

  72. T Hodgdon says:

    This story is a great example of a two para-universes that come together. I like how the portal between the two worlds keeps on getting smaller and smaller. It is a great alternative history story and it makes you think what it would be like if there were worlds like that.

  73. T Hodgdon says:

    This story is a great example of a story about two para-universes that come together. I like how the portal between the two worlds keeps on getting smaller and smaller. It is a great alternative history story and it makes you think what it would be like if there were worlds like that.

  74. A Tellier says:

    A story like this really does make you think that the possibility of other worlds or parallel universes isn’t so far fetched. I liked how this was a more modern day sci-fi story because it makes the story feel more real.

  75. Jgarand says:

    I Liked the way the story was written and ended. The only thing I wanted to happen that didn’t was Allie bringing his favorite movies with her (especially Enders Game)

  76. B Burwell says:

    Impossible dreams was very well written. I liked the ending, but i think it would have been a better ending if he went to ally’s world and we got to learn a little about th eother differences there.

  77. JPrice says:

    I am not sure how Ally would go about her new life, with all of the differences she will have to figure out. BUT since the story was written rather like a movie (with a fairly predictable ending, and a relationship developing in a few days), I may be reading too far into things.
    Regardless, I enjoyed the story, actually for the simpleness of the outcome. Ally said that “some movies reassure us that life makes sense, and some movies remind us that life doesn’t make any sense at all” – the story did both.

  78. PSophinos says:

    I believe that “Impossible Dreams” was a very well-written piece. The author did a great job of writing about the two very distinct or “parallel” universes that each character is living in. Even though it was great for some of the readers, I didn’t really enjoy the romance part of the story at the end. I don’t relate love to science fiction stories.

  79. Cengle says:

    I liked this story but as I listened to it I was afraid that it would end without letting the main character see any of the movies or get to know the girl. I was happy at the end when both these things happened even though he only got to see one movie, I feel like if he had not gone through this experience he would be stuck all of his life not in real life but in his “life” in his collection of movies.

  80. Klinton says:

    I really enjoyed that this story had a happy ending. There was no irony in it, and I was very glad that he could share with her the fact they lived in parallel universes. I am also glad that there was no open ending that left you guessing. This story was very thorough.

  81. Arichburg says:

    i thought it was a pretty good book that actually had a good ending to it, he got you so caught up in the story that you just wanted there to be a happy ending with them ending up together. I also enjoyed how he let their love for movies allow them to both be open to the reality that they were in parallel universes.

  82. I liked this story, it had a good twist to it, and i liked how the stored clerk learned about the crazy happening. It had an unusual ending compared comparing to most stories running a similar path, but i felt it worked well.

  83. B oppici says:

    I liked the idea of this story and it kind of made you think about the possibility of other dimensions. However I did not like the corny ending to the story and thought that there should be more scientific evidence behind the dimension appearing and why its appearences were shorter every day.

  84. swhite says:

    i thought the story was great very mysterious. i liked the idea about the alternate universe and how everything is opposite and how the two world collide just by a movie store. this short story is a must read.

  85. D-Pratt/Rave/Maple/Boy/Muscles says:

    excellent story, I like how the author didn’t overlook anything about the differences between the two universes (unless it was important in the story). there was no “well what about this”

  86. Dawon says:

    Impossible Dreams reminded me of an episode of the Twilight series; where a man was sentenced to Mars and falls in love with a robot. I guess its the thought that you can find love, even in a parallel-universe. I’m glad it had a happy ending, even though it was predictable….the end

  87. Benny says:

    The story was awesome. When I got what had happen to the parallel-universe, Japan had never been nuked, I wonder what else happened did other things since that moment all change. It was great no less.

  88. Benny says:

    When I got what had happen to the parallel-universe, Japan had never been nuked, I wonder what else happened did other things since that moment all change. It was great no less.

  89. I liked the story, thought it was well written and I appreciated the connection to the Twilight Zone. However, I thought that the time it took to convince the two main characters that they were in an inter-universal breach of quantum laws was far to short (he watched a single Twilight Zone episode, she looked outside..).

  90. [...] Amersons? Thought not. Because they don’t exist. Except in Tim Pratt’s wonderful story, “Impossible Dreams,” they do. The story features a film buff who stumbles upon a video and DVD shop with films [...]

  91. BlahDeeBlahEnCroute says:

    Sorry, but didn’t care for this at all. Nothing but dry, repetitive recitations of names and titles lifted from movie-geek trivia books, with a banal “romance” tacked on for no reason, other than a pointless “feel good” ending. Everything is spelled-out in droning step-by-step, like a manual. Needs serious editing. And more purpose than just celebrating movie geekdom. Seriously, if this is a “wow,” I fear for the future of sci-fi/fantasy/whatever-the-heck genre this fits into.

  92. Robert Mote says:

    I enjoyed this story, as it showed a new world through an interesting light, the movies. Movie fans love to speculate on what might have been, and this story gives life to that inspiration. Lastly, it shows how love of movies can lead to a love for people, as the guy comes for the movies, but gets the girl in the end.

  93. jarret says:

    dont really care that was gay

  94. [...] a nice, date movie type of introduction to the kinds of stories that are done on Escape pod, try Permanent Link- EP105- Impossible Dreams.  Published 23 June 08 05:33 by PhilWh Filed under: Life in [...]

  95. [...] is as sweet as penny candy. Too sweet for me. When it comes to magic shop stories, I prefer “Impossible Dreams,” by Tim [...]

  96. That was quite interesting for starters. It came off as something playful yet it still has sense to keep you going on.

  97. [...] I found on Escape Pod Origin Story Is about the life of a superhero as told by his older brother. Impossible Dreams This Hugo Award winning story is about a movie lover who finds a very interesting video [...]

  98. [...] You can find it at  – http://escapepod.org/, as with much of Science Fiction, please note that it’s not always conservative work safe, but there is a warning whenever the story moves into less standard territories.  If you want a nice, date movie type of introduction to the kinds of stories that are done on Escape pod, try Permanent Link- EP105- Impossible Dreams. [...]