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Other Books
Over My Head (2013)
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest (2013)
Under My Skin (2012)
The Painted Boy (2010)
The Very Best of Charles de Lint (2010)
Muse and Reverie (2009)
Eyes Like Leaves (2009)
The Mystery of Grace (2009)
Woods and Waters Wild (2009)
Yellow Dog (2008)
What the Mouse Found (2008)
Dingo (2008)
Little (Grrl) Lost (2007)
Old Man Crow (2007)
Promises to Keep (2007)
Widdershins (2006)
Triskell Tales 2 (2006)
Make A Joyful Noise (2006)
The Hour Before Dawn (2005)
Quicksilver & Shadow (2005)
The Blue Girl (2004)
Medicine Road (2004)
Refinerytown (2003)
Spirits in the Wires (2003)
A Handful of Coppers (2003)
A Circle of Cats (2003)
Tapping the Dream Tree (2002)
Waifs and Strays (2002)
Seven Wild Sisters (2002)
The Onion Girl (2001)
The Road to Lisdoonvarna (2001)
Triskell Tales (2000)
Forests of the Heart (2000)
The Buffalo Man (1999)
The Newford Stories (1999)
Moonlight and Vines (1999)
Someplace to be Flying (1998)
Trader (1997)
Jack of Kinrowan (1997)
The Ivory and the Horn (1995)
Memory & Dream (1994)
The Wild Wood (1994)
Into the Green (1993)
The Wishing Well (1993)
Dreams Underfoot (1993)
I'll Be Watching You (1992)
From a Whisper to a Scream (1992)
Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood (1992)
Spiritwalk (1992)
Paperjack (1991)
Our Lady of the Harbour (1991)
Hedgework and Guessery (1991)
Death Leaves an Echo (1991)
Ghosts of Wind and Shadow (1991)
Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair (1991)
The Little Country (1991)
The Dreaming Place (1990)
Angel of Darkness (1990)
Ghostwood (1990)
Drink Down the Moon (1990)
The Fair in Emain Macha (1990)
Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon: The Hidden City (1990)
Westlin Wind (1989)
Berlin (1989)
Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon: The Valley of Thunder (1989)
Svaha (1989)
Wolf Moon (1988)
Greenmantle (1988)
Jack the Giant-Killer (1987)
Ascian in Rose (1987)
Yarrow: An Autumn Tale (1986)
Mulengro: A Romany Tale (1985)
The Harp of the Grey Rose (1985)
Moonheart: A Romance (1984)
The Riddle of the Wren (1984)
De Grijze Roos (1983)
Dreams Underfoot
Dreams Underfoot
Orb

Dreams Underfoot is a collection of 19 stories set in the of Newford, two are original.

"Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair" IASFM Nov '87
"Stone Drum" Triskell Press, 1989
"Timeskip" Post Mortem: New Tales of Ghastly Horror, ed. Paul F. Olson & David B. Silva, St. Martin's, 1989
"Freewheeling" Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue 6, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pulphouse, 1990
"That Explains Poland" Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine: Issue Two, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pulphouse, 1988
"Romano Drom" Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue 5, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pulphouse, 1989
"The Sacred Fire" Stalkers, ed. Ed Gorman & Martin H. Greenberg, Arlington Heights, IL: Dark Harvest, 1989
"Winter Was Hard" Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue 10, ed. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Pulphouse, 1991
"Pity the Monsters" The Ultimate Frankenstein, ed. Byron Preiss, David Kellor, Megan Miller & John Gregory Betancourt, Dell, 1991
"Ghosts of Wind and Shadow" Triskell Press, 1990
"The Conjure Man" After the King, ed. Martin H. Greenberg, Tor, 1992
"Small Deaths" original to the collection
"The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" Snow White, Blood Red, ed. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, AvoNova, 1993
"In the House of My Enemy" original to the collection
"But for the Grace Go I" Chilled To the Bone, ed. Robert T. Garcia, Mayfair Games, 1991
"Bridges" F&SF Oct/Nov '92
"Our Lady of the Harbour" Axolotl Press: Eugene, OR, 1991
"Paperjack" Cheap Street: New Castle, VA, 1991
"Tallulah" Dead End: City Limits, ed. Paul F. Olson & David B. Silva, St. Martin's, 1991

Reviews
Kirkus Reviews, 02/15/93:
Nineteen associated tales, 1987-93, from the author of Spiritwalk (1992), etc., two previously unpublished, the remainder deriving from magazines, small presses, and minor anthologies. Newford, with its harbor, lost subterranean Old City, Chinatown, skid row, and so forth, is de Lint's all-purpose American city; his theme is Urban Faeries, wherein the creatures and beings of magic and folklore become real and tangible to those that believe in them. Though Newford's population leans heavily toward twentysomething New Agers, characters like author Christy (his stories are often related or read by the other characters), Professor Bramley Dapple of Butler U., and the ubiquitous, good-hearted Jilly Coppercorn, weave in and out of the stories. The ideas, too, display an entertaining diversity: magic birds, stone drums, ghosts in various guises, animated bicycles, Bigfoot, gypsy magic, psychic vampires, spirits of place, Frankenstein's monster, a conjuror and a Tree of Tales, a catalyst for bad luck, dreams, orphans and angels, night people, bridges and possibilities, music and mermaids, and spirits of the city. Tidy tales, with tingling openings, mundane middles, and limp or elusive endings: initially appealing but far from memorable.

Amazon.com Customer Comments:
Skillfully interweaving magic, music, art, compassion, and contemporary issues such as child abuse and homelessness, Charles de Lint is hardly an escapist. However, in this anthology he offers glimpses of a well-realized world much like our own, just different enough to allow faerie to wander city streets barefoot in winter, or for a practical joke involving a gorilla suit to lead to a fleeting encounter with a genuine yeti. My favorite story in the collection is a gorgeous, heartbreaking retelling of "The Little Mermaid."

Rambles Magazine:
To read one of Charles de Lint's books is to peek inside of Faerie, and after reading one, a piece of that Land is lodged forever in my heart. Dreams Underfoot is a collection of stories set in Newford, Charles de Lint's mythical city, and its environs, both magical and mundane.

I say mythical, but Newford is sometimes more real to me than any other place I've been. The stories in this fat volume are all wonderful, but I will pick and choose among them and include my favorites. Each of these stories are a whole unto themselves, but together they piece together the crazy quilt that is Newford—from "Freewheeling," a poignant story of bikes with minds of their own and a life that should have been longer, to "Our Lady of the Harbour," a wonderfully sad retelling of "The Little Mermaid." These stories connect in ways that tug at your heart and make you look more deeply for the magic in your own life.

I have favorite stories in Dreams Underfoot, and some that aren't so favorite, but none that I dislike enough to mention. I will say this: Every story, every book I've read by Charles de Lint has touched me in some way—his words make me care very deeply for his characters and their surroundings.

Favorite contents of Dreams Underfoot include:
"Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair"—makes you think of magic in the flocks flying overhead, preparing for winter. "The Stone Drum"—royalty can be anything, or anyone, in disguise. "Timeskip"—a sad story of unrequited love and loss, of a ghost, of time. "That Explains Poland"—a bigfoot hunt, where the monster they were looking for wasn't exactly as monstrous as they expected. "Winter Was Hard"—a bittersweet story, one of my favorites in this book. " Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"—in my opinion, any story with Meran and Cerin Kelledy in it is worth reading just because of the characters. Wonderful!

"The Tree of Tales"—another of my favorites, and it makes me want to go out and read stories to the ancient beech tree in the back of my house. "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep"—Sophie and Jilly are two of my favorite characters; and the "Land of Dreams" is a subject I can't get enough of. "In the House of My Enemy"—really made me think about all the people in the world who don't have any magic, no dreams, no future. "But for the Grace Go I"—and this one gave me hope for those people who think they have no magic, no dreams and no future. "Paperjack"—a companion story to "Timeskip," describing what happened next. Another weeper.

Also included in Dreams Underfoot are "The Conjure Man," "Romano Drom," "The Sacred Fire," "Pity the Monsters," "Small Deaths," "Bridges" and "Tallulah."

Folk Tales:
There's a magic that we've lost sight of in the urban jungle. Mysteries abound in the corners and empty spaces and the void where our imaginations have packed up and moved to warmer climates. Maybe you find it hard to believe that the dirty, smelly, crowded modern-day city can have any sort of mystique or magic to it, but believe me, there's a lot more than what meets the eye. Legends stalk the slums, ghosts haunt the cobblestoned streets, goblins dwell in the buried part of the city, and nightmares share the roads. The city itself possesses character, spirit, and an identity.

Dreams Underfoot, Charles de Lint's first short story collection, is a passport and fully detailed map to the fictional North American city of Newford, a city which Canadian readers claim to be American, and which American readers swear to be Canadian. Me? I think it sits on the border, not just between Canada and America, but between reality and fantasy. Because in Newford, magic is something that happens frequently, subtly, and with a passion. It's all a matter of belief, and timing.

The stories collected in Dreams Underfoot cover a six year period in de Lint's career, and chart the slow evolution of Newford and its inhabitants. You can actually watch the flavor and texture of the city take shape from story to story, as characters become familiar, and connections are revealed. Certain characters in particular return in story after story.

For instance, one of the best-known characters is Jilly Coppercorn. Artist, dreamer, and all-around good person, she's like a weirdness magnet, attracting fairies, goblins, ghosts, things that go bump in the night, and friends who've experienced the same. She's one of the keystones of Newford's magic, and it's a sure bet that she'll gravitate towards anything not quite normal, either through direct experience, or by being friends with someone else.

Geordie and Christy Riddell are brothers who don't get along very well, and who appear more often than not in the background. Christy's a writer, a collector of odd tales and urban legends, a man who collects without truly believing. Geordie is a musician, a busker who possesses, sad to say, abysmal luck in relationships. One can't talk about Newford without thinking of the Riddell brothers.

They aren't the only memorable characters in Dreams Underfoot, but to go into detail about the others would require a lot more space. Suffice it to say that de Lint characters tend to be realistic, memorable, and just a shade special. Most of them have the same creative streak in them that the author has, reflecting his musical, artistic, and authorial tastes in all their many facets.

But what about the stories? Well, they're an eclectic bunch. Take "Timeskip," for example. On the surface, it's the first of Geordie's many failed romances. It's about love, and loss, and ghosts, and the first hesitant steps of any relationship, about music, and tragedy. It's a ghost story ... sort of.

Then you have "Freewheeling," which is an oddly whimsical yet poignant tale about a boy, some bicycles, and the need to be free. Like many de Lint stories, there's sadness involved, but at the same time, there's hope.

"That Explains Poland" is an odd duck. It's a monster hunt, a story about friends, and a shared peek into one of the mysteries of the world. Is Bigfoot stalking the slums? You be the judge.

"Pity the Monsters" is a story about family. But this is the kind of family that you don't want to turn your back on. Ever. With a hint of Frankenstein, and a healthy dose of creepy madness, it's not a story to read when the lights are dim and the wind is howling outside your door.

"Small Deaths" describes not just the moments in one's life when something goes irrevocably wrong (being arrested, losing a friend, someone dying), but is an odd story where a popular nighttime radio DJ meets an equally unusual man with more than one identity, and a deadly secret. It's about trust, and luck, and music.

"The Moon Is Drowning As I Sleep" is a love story, pure and simple. But it's also a fairy story, a story about dreams, and a story about secrets.

"In The House Of My Enemy" is perhaps one of the most provocative, tragic, and frustrating stories in the book, with its not-so-simple tale of abuse, teen pregnancy, and the need to feel safe when there's nowhere left to hide. It's a chilling story, and one that hits far closer to the real world than some might find comfortable. And that makes it one of the strongest stories in the volume.

"Tallulah" is another story about love and loss, this time focusing on Christy Riddell and his love life. In it, we learn about the spirit of the city, and just what sort of form it takes.

Describing these stories in any more detail would ruin the fun. These were the stories which introduced me to Charles de Lint, and this is the book I'd gleefully hand anyone as an introduction to his world. While not every story is perfect, and some don't live up to their promise, none fail outright, and a few stand out with flying colors. Because it's a collection, you can get a wide range of style, story, concept, character and theme, and that makes it worthwhile.

If you like this, you'll like his other Newford stories and books.

Green Man Review:
There's a magic that we've lost sight of in the urban jungle. Mysteries abound in the corners and empty spaces and the void where our imaginations have packed up and moved to warmer climates. Maybe you find it hard to believe that the dirty, smelly, crowded modern-day city can have any sort of mystique or magic to it, but believe me, there's a lot more than what meets the eye. Legends stalk the slums, ghosts haunt the cobblestoned streets, goblins dwell in the buried part of the city, and nightmares share the roads. The city itself possesses character, spirit, and an identity.

Dreams Underfoot, Charles de Lint's first short story collection, is a passport and fully detailed map to the fictional North American city of Newford, a city which Canadian readers claim to be American, and which American readers swear to be Canadian. Me? I think it sits on the border, not just between Canada and America, but between reality and fantasy. Because in Newford, magic is something that happens frequently, subtly, and with a passion.

These were the stories which introduced me to Charles de Lint, and this is the book I'd gleefully hand anyone as an introduction to his world.

Challenging Destiny:
Part of the beauty of Newford is the sense that it has always been there, that de Lint is a reporter who occasionally files stories from a reality stranger and more beautiful than ours. De Lint also manages to keep each new Newford story fresh and captivating because he is so generous and loving in his depiction of the characters. Yes, there is group of core characters whose stories recur most often, but a city like Newford has so many intriguing people in it, so many diverse stories to tell, so much pain and triumph to chronicle.

De Lint uses a clever mix of realism in his effective characterization and fantasy, where a skewed version of reality lets the story reflect something about human nature. Newford has both the sense of coming home and venturing out into new territory, sometimes scary, sometimes triumphal. These people will live with you in the mind for a long time after the covers of the book have closed.

Publishers Weekly, February 1993:
This collection of conceptually innovative, thematically simple stories proves again that de Lint is a leading talent in the urban fantasy subgenre.

Interzone, September 1993:
If de Lint's work were itself a piece of music, then the principle instruments on display would be Uillean pipes and electric guitars, with each paragraph an amalgam of the mythical and the commonplace, the traditional and the innovative.

Quill & Quire, May 1993:
If Ottawa-area author Charles de Lint didn't create the contemporary fantasy, he certainly defined it. …writer-musician-artist-folklorist de Lint has lifted our accepted reality and tipped it just enough sideways to show the possibilities that lie beneath the surface… Unlike most fantasy writers who deal with battles between ultimate good and evil, de Lint concentrates on smaller, very personal conflicts. Perhaps this is what makes him accessible to the non-fantasy audience as well as the hard-core fans. Perhaps it's just damned fine writing.

Booklovers, Nov/Dec. 1993:
Every story is a winner. With moody pieces offset by airy and magical fantasies, and the occasional glint of an edge just beneath the surface, de Lint does indeed create a mythology all his own.

James Schellenberg :
Dreams Underfoot is Charles de Lint's first collection of Newford short stories. Newford is a fictional city that he has used as the setting for all of his recent fiction (three collections of short stories and three novels so far, with another novel due out this year). It's impossible for me to review this particular collection without the other Newford works in my mind. That is, I can never recapture the feeling of first arriving in Newford and meeting the people and seeing the sights as a newcomer. However, part of the beauty of Newford is the sense that it has always been there, that de Lint is a reporter who occasionally files stories from a reality stranger and more beautiful than ours. De Lint also manages to keep each new Newford story fresh and captivating because he is so generous and loving in his depiction of the characters. Yes, there are a group of core characters whose stories recur most often, but a city like Newford has so many intriguing people in it, so many diverse stories to tell, so much pain and triumph to chronicle.

Suitably, Dreams Underfoot begins with a story about Jilly Coppercorn. "Stone Drum" echoes novels like Jack of Kinrowan, where Celtic mythology exists in a real setting like Ottawa. Here, we have Newford, and one of Jilly's first experiences with magic (or at least, the first that we know of). The essential feel of Newford, the texture of the city, has not quite settled in yet, but this is perhaps the only story that I would say that about. There are two types of Jilly Coppercorn stories, ones in which she is the main character and ones in which the main character comes to her for advice or sympathy. In Dreams Underfoot, Jilly plays a secondary role in "Timeskip" (which I'll discuss in a minute), "Freewheeling," "The Conjure Man," and "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep." Two other stories in this book have Jilly as the main character, "Winter Was Hard" and "In the House of My Enemy." The latter story is a powerful look at Jilly's past and the reasons for her helpfulness toward a pregnant junkie. This story is also written in a weird and wonderful mix of first person and third person, and it's a little trickier than it appears at first.

"Timeskip," the second story in Dreams Underfoot, introduces another main character of Newford, the fiddler Geordie Riddell, who is one of Jilly's best friends. Geordie finally gets lucky in love, only to have his girlfriend captured by a ghost. De Lint brings closure to this particular painful memory of Geordie's in "Paperjack," which is the second last story of this collection. Geordie's brother, the folk-tale writer Christie, gets the last story in the book, "Tallulah." Again, this is a sad love story, and the Riddell brothers don't have much luck in love.

A few of the other stories in Dreams Underfoot have characters who will reappear later, in novels or in other short story collections. Sophie, one of Jilly's good friends, has some frightening serial dreams in "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep," a state of affairs which happens again in The Ivory and the Horn's "Mr Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery" and "Where Desert Spirits Crowd the Night." Maisie is a former street kid who is getting her life back in order and is taking care of Tommy. Her first story is in "But For the Grace Go I," where we also see Angel in action (Angel being a social worker who is always on the front line). Maisie reappears in The Ivory and the Horn's "Waifs and Strays" as well as with Jilly in "The Pochade Box."

The remaining stories in Dreams Underfoot make for an eclectic and fascinating variety of people and events. "That Explains Poland" has an encounter with Bigfoot in the Tombs, a kind of goofy tale reminiscent of Robinson's Escape to Kathmandu. The Tombs is a kind of slum area of Newford, abandoned by greedy developers, taken over by street kids, and sometimes the home of crime and dark doings. "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow" is a very effective longer piece about a girl named Lesli, Lesli's mother, and two people named Meran and Cerin who are not quite what they appear. Lesli runs away from home, which forces the mother to examine some things about her life which she did not want to think about. "The Sacred Fire" is an out-and-out horror story, with a fantasy-tinged premise. Nicky is a street kid, given a helping hand by Luann. However, Nicky wasn't joking when he said that there were spirits out to get him...

And so Newford has a vast variety of people and events to keep the readers' interest. De Lint uses a clever mix of realism, in his effective characterization, and fantasy, where a skewed version of reality lets the story reflect something about human nature. Newford has both the sense of coming home and venturing out into new territory, sometimes scary, sometimes triumphal. These people will live with you in the mind for a long time after the covers of the book have closed.

Editions
Tor; hardcover, 1993 Tor; mass market, 1994
Reprinted in The Newford Stories, SF Book Club, hardcover, 1999 ereader.com; e-book, 2000
Orb Books; trade paperback, 2003

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to rturner@sfsite.com.
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