George Orr has a remarkable power — he can change any aspect of reality by dreaming. The problem is — he has no control over it. When Orr encounters a person who would wield this power for selfish or philanthropic reasons, the world will face a whole new kind of danger.
The characters of the book try to find their place and the meaning of life in an ever-changing reality. On this backdrop, the ethical dilemma the book tries to address is this: if one possesses unlimited and uncontrollable power, is acting upon it more of a crime or inaction?
"The Lathe of Heaven" won the Locus Award in 1971 and describes a future that is not so different from our present. A world ravaged by unending wars and pollution, where pandemics are part of life, and where the 'happy end' is starting to look more and more like a compromise.