Metronome by Oliver Langmead

"A deep and often beautiful foray into the nature of dreaming, with imaginative overtones of Gaiman and Borges."
Lucy Hounsom, author of the WORLDMAKER trilogy

‘You and I, we wear our wounds. I wear my scars, you wear your tattoos, and we don’t forget who we are.’

The Sleepwalkers hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. They traverse the connected dreamworlds where reason is banished and the imagination holds sway.

But tonight, one Sleepwalker has gone rogue. Abandoning her oath to protect the dreamscapes, she devotes herself to another cause, threatening to unleash a nightmare older than man

Once a feted musician, Manderlay lives in an Edinburgh care home, riddled with arthritis. He longs for his youth and the open seas, to regain the use of his hands and play the violin again. 

For too long, Manderlay's nights have been host to dark, corrupted dreams. His comrades in the retirement home fear Manderlay is giving in to age and senility - but the truth is much worse. The dreamworld is mapped with music – and one of Manderlay's forgotten compositions holds the key to an ancient secret. The Sleepwalkers are closing in on him. He might be their saviour, or his music might be their damnation...

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About Oliver

Oliver Langmead was born in Edinburgh and lives in Glasgow. He has an LLB in Law, and an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study with a distinction, and is currently working towards an MLitt in Fantasy. His first book, Dark Star, featured in the Guardian's Best Books of 2015. Website:

further reading

'Dream a Little Dream': an interview with Oliver Langmead
Wag the Fox

'Dream Sequences and Dream Worlds' by Oliver Langmead

'Why I Don't Like Dragons' by Oliver Langmead
Fantasy Faction

'A Few Words on Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger' by Oliver Langmead
Civilian Reader


With its shades of the tarot, its nod towards the secrets of alchemy, and the genius Jules Verne-ness of the wonderful steampunk airship Manderlay finds himself travelling within, this is a book that speaks to the subconscious and is genuinely thrilling to read.
Starburst Magazine

Metronome's cover is worth the entry fee alone. A fantastic story in every sense. 4*
– Jon Wise, The Sunday Sport

Metronome is packed with fabulous ideas and humour. By creating a dream world, Langmead gives himself the scope to pull in inspiration from literally anywhere ... but despite having a potentially infinite palette, his world is coherent and never self-indulgent.
Shoreline of Infinity

I loved this book ...the characters have depth (even if some are not real), and the dream is written like a dream: time feels as if it’s speeding up or slowing down, environments change, people appear and disappear, etc. In this novel, dreams play to the beat of a metronome—tick too slow and you’ll only get so far, but tick too fast and you are bound to lose more than just your timing
Andromeda Spaceways Magazine

There is a lot packed into these pages, but Langmead brings everything together in a way that makes perfect sense. The ending hit all the emotional notes I expect from a really great story, and yes, I’ll admit it made me cry. My advice? Grab a copy of Metronome as soon as possible and READ IT.
Books Bones & Buffy

Metronome is an engaging high concept fantasy, incredibly readable and beautifully written.
Fantasy Faction

A fun, fast-paced, and well developed book, Metronome by Oliver Langmead is sure to please both fantasy fans, as well as surrealists and intellectuals.
Roadside Reader

There is so much I want to say about Metronome ...  It is fascinating. It’s totally engaging.
 Jera's Jamboree

There are many influences to be found driving the narrative, ranging from Escher to the The Tower of Babel, Jazz to art, and this made for a rich texture. As we board the Metronome the story really takes off.
Fantasy Book Review

... a literary fantasy novel with a few New Weird elements. It reads like an exotic and highly unusual blend of elements taken from Anthony Huso's The Last Page series, China Miéville's Bas-Lag series, Neil Gaiman's novels, David Edison's The Waking Engine and Douglas Thompson's science fiction stories with a tight focus on dreams and what's possible in the dream world.
Rising Shadow

As with the best fantasy stories the strength of this tale is in the underlying interpretation left to the reader to decipher.
Never Imitate

Beautifully imagined and executed.
Fantasia Reviews

Well written and often impressive.
Mithila Review

... a strange but beautiful dream of a book.
Magnificent Octopus

Most of the action takes place in a lovingly built dreamworld. Here Langmead excels, the worldbuilding plays a starring role
Pete Sutton

...the dreamscapes Langmead paints are by turns surreal, nightmarish and beautiful. The result is something refreshingly different.
Marc Joan

Metronome takes the aesthetic success of Dark Star and utilizes it in a new, colorful, and dynamic adventure/quest that takes full advantage of the fantastical potential for dreams.

To keep it short: it's made of awesome... The writing is superb, the story is gripping and touching. Go buy it, now!
The Middle Shelf

The move away from the story of the old man in his nursing home to the adventures in the dream world is perfect. The world that is created is amazing and I truly loved it. The descriptions were fantastic, detailed but concise enough to make you completely immerse yourself.
The Book Geek Says

Metronome takes the reader and the narrator on a fantastical journey worthy of a Miyazaki film. The writing creates a beautiful, wondrous landscape. 4*

Metronome paperback
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Metronome ePub
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Metronome Kindle
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Paperback ISBN: 978-1-907389-39-9
ePub ISBN: 978-1-907-389-40-5
Publication date: 16 January 2015
Format: Paperback, ePub and mobi