Dreams Underfoot was the first major collection of Charles de Lint's short stories, published in 1993, most of which were previously published in short story collections. For me, this was the collection that launched de Lint into public fame as a Canadian writer of urban fantasy. I'm 3/4 of the way through the book, and I'm finding I am delighted all over again with Charles' writing.
I first read this collection in 1993 or 94, when it first came out, and I thought it the best collection of short stories by anyone I had come across. There are no bad stories in this book. Some are stronger, some are better worked out, some have such fabulous stories that I really want them to continue, a few - very few - don't touch me or disappoint because they are different - yes, even a second time around reading, I still get disappointed when I want a story to go one way and it goes another! The wonder of this collection is that it mostly amazes with a gentle touch of wonder. These are real fantasy stories, every one. They are like the gossamer feel of dreams, tiny enchantments, glimpses of a world of wonder and magic that still exist around us. I want to go to Newford. I want to live there!
There are 19 stories in all, and I am on 14, 'The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep.' I like this story just for the title alone! It feels like a song when I say it. I thought that this morning while I was reading it on the bus on the way to work. These short stories are like pieces of music put to the page.
If you are looking for something a little magical and a little dangerous and a whole lot enchanting to take you from Hallowe'en into the Christmas season, this is a book I can reccommend to do just that.
The stories are interconnected, but they can be read and enjoyed separately also. Combined together, they make a lovely interweaving of myth and city legends, glimpses of fairies and magic, wonder, magic and fear - because Faerie is dangerous, and the myths that walk the streets of Newford always change whomever they touch. This is one of the finest collections of fantasy, and I am so enjoying this collection all over again.