One of the characters I find most interesting in The Voyage of the Minotaur doesn't even exist. Pantagria is a figment of Terrence's imagination-- an angelic woman living in a magical world which he visits when under the influence of the drug white opthalium. She is stunningly beautiful-- perfect-- with long golden hair, white feathered wings, and she usually flies around naked.
The idea for this character and the setting came from some short stories I wrote when I was in high school, about real people going to an imaginary place covered with purple flowers with human eyes. That this was the result of a drug was a new element for this story.
The imaginary setting is more than it appears though, because not only does Terrence visit Pantagria while he is there, but others who use the drug apparently see her too. I think this works because this is not just a drug, but a magical drug.
There are two problems with Pantagria. One is that she begins to change and Terrence's dream becomes a nightmare. The other is inherant in any drug-- using it takes away all those things that make a human want to achieve.