Dreams Underfoot – A Brief Introduction to the Award-Winning Collection

Dreams Underfoot is a captivating compilation of stories written by Charles de Lint, one of the most acclaimed authors in the genre of urban fantasy. Published in 1993, this book has left a lasting impact on readers around the world and has received numerous awards and accolades for its innovative storytelling and unique blending of folkloric elements with modern-day urban settings.

Overview of the Book

In Dreams Underfoot, de Lint takes us on a thrilling journey through the streets of Newford, a fictional city where magic intertwines with reality. It is a place where unexpected encounters with mythical creatures, ancient spirits, and ordinary people finding extraordinary powers are commonplace.

Each story in this collection serves as a standalone narrative while maintaining interconnectedness with the larger Newford universe. The tales explore the lives of various characters, revealing their dreams, struggles, and triumphs in a seamless fusion of myth, urban fantasy, and contemporary fiction.

Stories and Characters

Dreams Underfoot introduces readers to a myriad of unforgettable characters, each with their own hopes, fears, and secrets. The author expertly weaves these characters’ lives together, creating a rich tapestry of emotions and experiences.

1. Jilly Coppercorn: Jilly is a vibrant artist who dances between realities, using her creativity to heal and inspire those around her. Her journey unfolds throughout the collection, reflecting her growth as a character and her ability to shape her own destiny.

2. Geordie Riddell: Geordie, a musician with a troubled past, finds solace in his music and connects deeply with the spirits of the city. His encounters with otherworldly beings and his own inner demons form a significant part of this book’s narrative.

3. The Onion Girl: This enigmatic character embodies the duality of strength and vulnerability. Through her story, de Lint explores themes of personal transformation and the power of facing one’s deepest fears.

These are just a few examples of the diverse and fascinating characters that populate the world of Dreams Underfoot. From musicians to painters, homeless poets to mischievous fairies, each story introduces readers to new facets of both the human and fantastical realms.

Awards and Recognition

Dreams Underfoot quickly gained critical acclaim upon its release, receiving numerous awards and nominations. Some of the notable accolades include:

– Bram Stoker Award for Best Collection (1993)
– World Fantasy Award for Best Collection (1994)

– Aurora Award for Best Long-Form Work in English (1994)
– Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature (1995)

These awards are a testament to Charles de Lint’s exceptional storytelling abilities and the lasting impact of Dreams Underfoot in the literary world.


With its powerful narratives, masterful blending of myth and reality, and an array of compelling characters, Dreams Underfoot has become a beloved cornerstone of urban fantasy literature. It continues to inspire readers and writers alike, inviting them into a world where dreams and reality collide in breathtaking ways.

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