Dreams Underfoot

2003 Orb Books re-issue with cover art by John Jude Palencar

Dreams Underfoot (Newford -1) paperback

Dreams Underfoot (Newford #1), Paperback, 459 pages, Published July 1994 by Tor—ISBN: 0812516214

Dreams Underfoot (1993) — The first book in the Newford Series and first Newford collection (itself collected en toto in Newford Tales omnibus.

"There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is how far is it from midtown, and how late is it open?" — attributed to Woody Allen.

Category (YA, Adult) Edit


Description  Edit

Dreams Underfoot is a collection of 19 stories set in the of Newford, two are original. These are early stories that introduce Jilly Coppercorn and her friends in Newford. ~ Charles de Lint: Dreams Underfoot (1993)

Dreams Underfoot (1993): (Collection of Stories) Welcome to the music clubs, the waterfront, the alleyways where ancient myths and magic spill into the modern world. Come meet Jilly, painting wonders in the rough city streets; and Geordie, playing fiddle while he dreams of a ghost; and the Angel of Grasso Street gathering the fae and the wild and the poor and the lost. Gemmins live in abandoned cars and skells traverse the tunnels below, while mermaids swim in the grey harbor waters and fill the cold night with their song. ~ Dreams Underfoot

From Terry Windling's Intro Edit

"The book you hold is neither a novel nor a simple gathering of short stories. Rather, it is a cycle of urban myths and dreams, of passions and sorrows, romance and farce woven together to create a tapestry of interconnected dramas, interconnected lives - the kind of magic to be found at the heart of any city, among any tightly knit community of friends." ~ The Cauldron:


theme is Urban Faeries, wherein the creatures and beings of magic and folklore become real and tangible to those that believe in them. ~ Publisher's Weekly


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 Riddell (his stories are often related or read by the other characters), 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. ~ Charles de Lint: Dreams Underfoot (1993) Description

Settings Edit

  • Newford
  • Los ángeles
  • Faerie, Dreamland
  • Lankelly, aka the Wood


  • Battersfield Road — "Conjure Man", "Paperjack-18"
  • Beaches — ritzy area — "That Explains Poland"-5, "Paperjack"-18
  • Butler University — "Stone Drum", "The Conjure Man"
  • Lower Crowsea — "Stone Drum"-2
  • Duffy’s Used Books on Walker Street — "Paperjack"-18
  • Fan — restaurant on Lee street — "Romano Drom"-6
  • Fitzhenry Park — "Stone Drum"-2, "The Sacred Fire"-7, "Winter Was Hard"-8, "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"-10, "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17, "Paperjack"-18, "Tallulah"-19
  • Foxville — "Timeskip"-3
  • Upper Foxville ("Tombs") — "That Explains Poland"-5,
  • Green Man Gallery — "In the House of My Enemy"-14,
  • Gypsy Records — "Timeskip"-3
  • Kathryn's Cafe — "Stone Drum", "Conjure Man", "Paperjack"
  • Kelledy House — "Stone Drum", "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"
  • Kelly Street Bridge — "Tallulah"-19
  • Kickaha River — "Paperjack"-18, "Tallulah"-19
  • Lee Street — restaurants and cafes; "Small Deaths"-12,
  • Market in Lower Crowsea— "Small Deaths"-12, "The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep", "Tallulah"-19
  • Metro Zoo — "Romano Drom" (Elderee)
  • Monkey Woman’s Nest: Mex Rest on Williamson; — "Timeskip"-3, "That Explains Poland"-5,
  • Newford Public Library — "Paperjack"-18
  • Old Brewster Theatre — "Paperjack"-18
  • Old City — "Stone Drum"-2
  • Old City Hall — "Paperjack"-18
  • Old Firehall on Lee Street (community center) - "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"
  • Rosses (part of Foxville) — "Paperjack"-18
  • Silenus Gardens (in Fitzhenry Park) — "Paperjack"-18
  • Stanton Street — "Timeskip"-3
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral — "Paperjack"-18
  • Tombs — "That Explains Poland",
  • Watley’s Department Store downtown —
  • Williamson Street Mall — "Small Deaths"-12, "Paperjack"-18
  • Williamson Street — "Timeskip"-3,
  • Yo Man - Club on Gracie street near Landis Ave. ("Freewheeling")
  • Your Second Home: sleazy bar in Foxville — "Timeskip"-3

Supernatural / Mythical ElementsEdit

magic birds, Gemminssprites, Bodachs, hobs, stone drums, ghosts in various guises, animated bicycles, Bigfoot, gypsy magic, psychic vampires, spirits of place, Frankenstein's monster, conjuror, Tree of Tales, a catalyst for bad luck, dreams, orphans, angels . . .

  • Skookin: Goblin-like creatures in Old City; Goon is one;
  • Polrech: aka Mahail’s hound—hyena-wolf-hound-like creature with saber-tooth-like fangs
  • Sprites: little winged spirits known as flower faeries—spirits of trees, bushes, flowers weeds that grew in parks and gardens.
  • Bodachs: wizened, little, monkey-like Faeries.
  • Gemmins: live in abandoned cars;
  • Skells: winos, bag ladies and the other homeless and indigents that live in the Tombs; traverse the tunnels below;

Publications: Edit

  • The Daily Journal — Newspaper — "That Explains Poland"
  • The Newford Star — Newspaper — "Romano Drom"
  • In the City — night scene guide — "Romano Drom"
  • The Crowsea Times — monthly community paper — "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"

Jilly Appearances Edit

  • Lead or Second Lead: "Stone Drum"-2, "Winter Was Hard"-, "In the House of My Enemy"-14
  • Supporting Role: "Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair"-1, "Timeskip"-3; "Freewheeling"-4; "The Conjure Man"-11; "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep"-13, "Paperjack"-18
  • Mentioned Only: "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow" (poster), "Tallulah"
  • Non-Appearances: "That Explains Poland"-5, "Romano Drom"-6, "The Sacred Fire"-7, "Pity the Monsters"-9, "Small Deaths"-12, "But for the Grace Go I"-15, "Bridges"-16, "Our Lady of the Harbour"

Characters Edit

Characters groupd by story and arranged in order per the Table of Contents.

Characters What Story About
Ellen Brady woman "Uncle Dobbin's" -1 helps Reece rid Booger w: Balloon Men
Reece, aka Peregrine Laurie Runaway teenager "Uncle Dobbin's" -1 being followed by a 'booger';
Uncle Dobbin bird shop owner "Uncle Dobbin's" Character in Christy's book: "How to Make the Wind Blow"
Nori Wert Dobbin's assistant "Uncle Dobbin's" gets lesson in how to keep her magic
Professor Bramley Dapple art history professor, Butler U "Stone Drum"-2; "Uncle Dobbin's"-1, usually offers information and advice; manservant: Goon
Goon Skookin "Stone Drum"-2; "Uncle Dobbin's"-1, wears garish clothing; butler for Prof Dapple; takes Skookin throne
Jilly Cop-percorn artist; Former runaway "Stone Drum"-2; "Winter..Hard"-8, "House..Enemy"-14; / "Timeskip"-3; "Freewheeling"-4; "Conjure Man"-11; "Moon is Drowning"-13; "Paperjack"-18, "Uncle Dobbin"-1; must return stone drums; gets Geordie w: Sam; helps Zinc; seeks Gemmins; advises Sophie; seeks Paperjack; rescued by Angel
Meran Kelledy flutist; Dryad, Cerin's wife; "Stone Drum"-2; "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"-10; goes with Jilly to Old City; helps find Lesli;
'Sam', Samantha Rey blonde girl "Timeskip"-3; "Paperjack"-18 Geordie falls for her; she gets caught in a timeskip
Geordie Riddell fiddler; Christy's bro "Timeskip"-3; "Paperjack"-18, / "Winter Was Hard"-8, falls for Sam; ghost took her back in time; gets Sam's letter from G-daughter, Paperjack helps;
Stanton Street Ghost Ghost "Timeskip"-3; "Paperjack"-1 takes Sam back in time with him;
Sue Ashworth Jilly's uptown friend "Freewheeling"-4 Jilly takes her to bail out Zinc
Zinc possibly schizophrenic, "Freewheeling"-4 "Frees" bikes, cops jail him; possibly magic touched
Lou Fucceri police officer "Freewheeling"-4 helps street kids; rescued Jilly; Jilly asks help for Zinc;
Psycho Puppies band "Freewheeling"-4 A band that plays at YoMan —not as punkish as name implies
LaDonna Da Costa Young Woman "That Explains Poland"-5 go on Bigfoot hunt in Tombs
Lori Snelling Young Woman "That Explains Poland"-5 go on Bigfoot hunt in Tombs
Ruth Young Woman "That Explains Poland"-5 go on Bigfoot hunt in Tombs
Bigfoot Otherworlder "That Explains Poland"-5 LaDonna, Lori, Ruth hunt him in Foxville
Byron Murphy sports therapist, Butler U "That Explains Poland"-5 dresses up as Bigfoot for Lori's hoax on friends
Pipo Da Costa Young Man "That Explains Poland"-5 got sis to skip school as kids
Lorio Munn Guitar, half-Romany gypsy "Romano Drom"-6 given the power to guard the Road by Elderee; No Nuns Here
Terry Dixon Bass guitar player "Romano Drom"-6 Lorio Munn's band-mate, No Nuns Here; girlfriend: Jane
No Nuns Here band "Romano Drom"-6 Lorio Munn: guitar; Terry Dixon: bass; Zoe Brill plays on radio to get Bob to call;
Elderee guardian of the Gypsy road "Romano Drom"-6 gives Lorio Munn the power to guard the Road
Dorn Mahail’s minion; Otherworlder "Romano Drom"-6 tries to stop Lorio from Walking the road; sent the potrech (Mahail’s hound) that wounded Elderee
Luann Somerson young woman "The Sacred Fire"-7 stops to help old classmate in a gutter; he's being hunted by spirits
Nicky Straw street bum "The Sacred Fire"-7 being hunted by spirits
Babe Gemmin leader "Winter Was Hard"-8 Jilly looks for her on cold day, recalls meeting her;
Frank Hodgers senior man "Winter Was Hard"-8 believes in the Gemmins; Jilly visits him;
Johnny Defalco Hash dealer "Winter Was Hard"-8 in the Tombs; gave 'Babe' her name;
Harriet Pierson human woman "Pity the Monsters" -9 abducted after bike accident with a monster
"Flora" (Anne Boddeker) witch "Pity the Monsters" -9 in charge of Frank, a put-together monster
Frank put-together giant monster "Pity the Monsters" -9 Flora wants Harriet to mate with Frank (rape)
Lesli Batterberry teen runaway "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"-10 Cutter abducts her, intent on turning her out; Cerin seeks to save her using Fae; 
Cerin Kelledy harper "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"-10 / "Stone Drum"-2 (mentioned); Meran's husband; Meran sent to save Lesli using fae help; 
Anna Batterbery Lesli's mom "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"-10 Daught: Lesli, Husb: Peter, mom: Helen;
Helen 'Nell' Batterberry Lesli's Grandmother "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"-10 Friend of Kelledys
Cutter pimp, abducts Lesli "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"-10 gets customer who likes virgins: would rape her
Susan and Paul pimps "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow"-10 Susan lulls her in as friend who'll help get Id, place to stay;
Wendy St. James Poet "The Conjure Man" -11 John Windle shows her Tree of Tales
John Windle Conjure Man "The Conjure Man" -11 inspires Wendy to take care of the Tree of Tales sapling; Dog: Ginger
Ginger dog "The Conjure Man" -11 goes everywhere with John Windle
Zoe Brill All night radio DJ "Small Deaths"-12 runs afoul of Gordon Wolfe
Hilary Carlisle human "Small Deaths"-12 Zoe's friend
Gordon Wolfe seemingly sinister "Small Deaths"-12 approaches Zoe one evening
Bob alter personality "Small Deaths"-12 Gordon Wolfe's alter personality
Rupert dog "Small Deaths"-12 Zoe Brill's pet
Sophie Etoile artist "The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" -13, "In the House of My Enemy"; good friend of Jilly's. Lives partially in a dream world.
Jeck Crow man, crow "The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" -13 Sophie falls for, he helps her save the Moon
Granny Weather hag-like witch "The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" -13 urges Sophie Etoile to save The Moon
The Moon a Faerie "The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" -13 Bogles, quicks, haunts trap her under water by a big rock in a bog
Christy Riddell author "Tallulah"-19 / "Uncle Dobbin's" -1; "Stone Drum"-2, "The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" -13, knows lucid dreaming; falls for Tallulah; writes "mythistories";
Annie Mackle Pregnant homeless girl "In the House of My Enemy"-14 Jilly takes her in, sponsors her
'Angel', Angelina Marceau helps runaways; Runs distress center "In the House of My Enemy"-14, "But for the Grace Go I" -15 helps kids get off the streets into a sponsorship program
Jillian Sophie Etoile Annie's baby "In the House of My Enemy"-14 named after Jilly Coppercorn and Sophie Etoile
Robert Carson age 15 pimp "In the House of My Enemy"-14 turned Jilly out for drugs
Maisie Flood former street kid "But for the Grace Go I"-15 getting her life; taking care of Tommy;
Tommy Flood Mentally handicapped man "But for the Grace Go I" -15 being taken care of by Maisie
Rexy tiny dog "But for the Grace Go I" -15 part of Maisie's her family
Margaret Grierson AIDS Clinic Director "But for the Grace Go I"-15 killed by cultists;
Mr. Hammond HS Math teacher "But for the Grace Go I"-15 raped Moira Jones
Moira Jones human woman "Bridges" -16 trying to turn a new leaf, gets stuck in a world of despair
Jack (Despair), Diane (Hope) embodiments of Hope and Despair "Bridges" -16 Jack claim her as his, Diane she's free if she hopes; City of Bridges
John Fraser passerby "Bridges"-16 good guy who helps Moira home
Sandra work friend "Bridges"-16 Moira Jones works and hangs out with her
Eddie mail clerk "Bridges" -16 tried to force Moira Jones into sex, left her far out of town
Chuck Anderson HS ex-boyfriend "Bridges" -16 told Eddie Moira Jones was 'easy'
Matt Casey guitar, vocals, bouzouki "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17 aloof; Katrina falls for him; Band: Marrowbones
Katrina Ludvigsen mermaid "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17 trades her voice for legs in order to get close to Matt
Amy Scallan band member "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17; "Paperjack"; Matt and Nicky's bandmate, tries to help Katrina
Nicky Doyle Matt's bandmate "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17 tired of Matt's loofness
Johnny Ryan Matt's bandmate "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17 tired of Matt's aloofness
Lucia Han Chinese, friend of Amy's "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17 rescues Katrina from road
Marrowbones Irish folk band "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17 Matt Casey, Amy Scallan, Nicky Doyle, Johnny Ryan; plays at Feeney’s Kitchen
Paperjack old black man, busker "The Conjure Man"-11, "Our Lady of the Harbour"-17 "Paperjack"-18, origami sculptures, tells fortunes
Bossman homeless Harmonica player "Paperjack" -18 tells J and G were to find Paperjack
Ian Begley Daily Journal reporter "Paperjack" -18 Called Geordie Riddell with onto on Samantha Rey's family
Tallulah Woman, spirit of Newford "Tallulah" Christy Riddell

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add

Cover ArtistsEdit

~ Source: ISFdb: Dreams Underfoot

Publications Edit

The collection was released three times: Originally with the Terri Windling cover in 1993 and it was reprinted in 1994. In 1999 an omnibus of the first three collections (Dreams Underfoot, The Ivory & The Horn and Moonlight & Vines. Then, in 2003 Orb Publishing re-released in Trade Paperback format with a new introduction and a lovely John Jude Palencar cover.

It is also available in Russia and from Peanut Press R-book and in audiobook format.

Publishing InformationEdit

Publisher: Tor Books, Atheneum Books

TOC: Table of ContentsEdit

Table of Content —list sans tableEdit

  • 13 • Introduction (Dreams Underfoot) • (1992) • essay by Terri Windling (4pgs)
  1. 17 • "Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair" (1987) • novelette (26 pgs) (45pg chapbook)
  2. 43 • "The Stone Drum" (1989) • novelette (26 pgs)
  3. 69 • "Timeskip" (1989) • shortstory (15 pgs)
  4. 84 • "Freewheeling" (1990) • shortstory (19 pgs)
  5. 103 • "That Explains Poland" (1988) • shortstory (20 pgs)
  6. 118 • "Romano Drom" (1989) • shortstory (17 pgs)
  7. 135 • "The Sacred Fire" (1989) • shortstory (12 pgs)
  8. 147 • "Winter Was Hard" (1991) • shortstory (17 pgs)
  9. 164 • "Pity the Monsters" (1991) • shortstory (14 pgs)
  10. 178 • "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow" (1990) • novelette (30 pgs)
  11. 208 • "The Conjure Man" (1992) • shortstory (19 pgs)
  12. 227 • "Small Deaths"(1993) • novelette (22 pgs)
  13. 249 • "The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" (1993) • novelette (20 pgs)
  14. 269 • "In the House of My Enemy" (1993) • novelette (25 pgs)
  15. 294 • "But for the Grace Go I" (1991) • shortstory (16 pgs)
  16. 310 • "Bridges" (1992) • novelette (16 pgs)
  17. 326 • "Our Lady of the Harbour" (1991) • novella (40 pgs)
  18. 366 • "Paperjack" (1991) • novelette (32 pgs)
  19. 398 • "Tallulah "(1991) • novelette (? pgs)

TOC: Table of Contents ChartEdit

—Stories include (all Newford):

pg Story Title Supes Characters Places
13 1-Introduction (1992) by Terri Windling Original cover by Terri Windling n/a
17 2-"Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair" (1987) Balloon Men, witch, gnome, talking pig, crow magic, Booger Ellen Brady, Reece, Dobin, Nori WertDapple, Goon, Jilly, Christy, Greg Longman, Long, Los Angeles
43 3-"The Stone Drum" (1989) Skookins, Old City, curse Jilly, Meran Kelledy, Professor Dapple, Christy, Goon Old City, Kathryn's Cafe, Kelledy House, Fitzhenry Park, Crowsea
69 4-"Timeskip" (1989) Stanton Street Ghost Samantha Rey, Geordie Riddell, Jilly Coppercorn Gypsy Records, Monkey Woman’s Nest, Moore’s Antiques
84 5-"Freewheeling" (1990) Fae magic Jilly Coppercorn, Sue Ashworth, Zinc, YoMan (club)
103 6-"That Explains Poland" (1988) Bigfoot, Tombs, Monkey Woman’s Nest, Foxville, LaDonna Da Costa, Lori Snelling, Ruth, Tombs, Upper Foxville, The Zorb, Oxford theater, Watley’s Dep Store,
118 7-"Romano Drom" (1989) Mahail’s hound (Polrech), Dorn Lorio MunnTerry DixonEldereeNo Nuns Here the Fan, Metro Zoo
135 8-"The Sacred Fire" (1989) soul-sucking vampires Luann Somerson, Nicky Straw, Tombs, Fitzhenry Park
147 9-"Winter Was Hard" (1991) Gemmins Jilly Coppercorn, Babe, Frank Hodgers, Johnny Defalco Tombs
164 8-"Pity the Monsters" (1991) Frenkenstien-like Monster, Harriet Pierson, "Flora" (Anne Boddeker), Frank (monster) Tombs
178 10--"Ghosts of Wind and Shadow" (1990) Faeries, Sprites, Bodachs, Dryad CerinMeran, Jilly, Lesli, Susan, Paul, Cutter, Lower Crowsea, Fitzhenry Park
208 11-"The Conjure Man" (1992) Tree of Tales Wendy, Ginger, John Windle, Jilly Butler U, Kickaha Riv, Kathryn's Cafe, Lower Crowsea,
227 12-"Small Deaths" (1993) Bringer of Small Deaths Zoe Brill, Bob, Gordon Wolfe, Hilary Carlisle, No Nuns Here, Rupert Williamson Street Mall, Lower Crowsea
249 13-"The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" (1993) The Moon, Hag, Faeries: quicks, bogles, haunts; Black Snag, Crows (Corbae) Sophie Etoile, Jeck CrowJilly, Granny Weather, Christy Riddell Market in Lower Crowsea, Dream world,
269 14-"In the House of My Enemy" (1993) Faeries, Bodachs, Jilly, Annie Mackle, Lou Fucceri, Angel, Sophie Etoile, Five Coyotes Singing Studio, Green Man Gallery, Angel’s office on Grasso Street
294 15-"But for the Grace Go I" (1991) none Maisie, Tommy, Angel, Rexy, Franklin, Mr. Hammond, Tombs,
310 16-"Bridges" (1992) Jack Despair and Diane Hope Moira Jones City of Bridges, Market in Lower Crowsea, the Rosses, Kickaha River, Kelly Street Bridge,
326 17-"Our Lady of the Harbor" (1991) Katrina Ludvigsen (Mermaid), Maraghreen (lake witch), Matt Casey, Amy Scallan, Lucia HanMarrowbones, Nicky Doyle, Johnny Ryan, Paperjack, Feeney’s Kitchen, The Harp, Kathryn's Cafe, Owlnight, Fitzhenry Park, Hartnett’s Point
366 18-"Paperjack" (1991) fortune-telling; Jilly, Geordie Riddell, Paperjack Rosses, (part of Foxville), St. Paul’s, Kathryn's Cafe, Newford Library
398 19-"Tallulah" (1991) Spirit of Newford Tallulah, Christy Riddell Old Market, Kickaha Riv, Fitzhenry Park, Kelly Street Bridge;

~ More info, previous printings: Charles de Lint: Dreams Underfoot (1993) Description

~ TOC Source: IFSdb Publication Listing

First Sentences Edit

She would see them in the twilight when the wind was right, roly-poly shapes propelled by ocean breezes, turning end-over-end along the beach or down the alley behind her house like errant beach balls granted a moment's freedom. ~ Dreams Underfoot: The Newford Collection ~ Shelfari

Synopsis per Story Edit

1–p17 • "Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair" (1987) • novelette (26 pgs)

✥ When she was younger, Ellen Brady had seen them all the time, bouncing in the wind like tumbleweeds. She called them the Balloon Men. Now she wonders if they really exist. Reece knows he can see things other people can't, and he's running from a nightmare. has much to say about the nature of Magic. (cover blurb) ✥ Ellen Brady and Peregrine Laurie see things that delight and disturb. ✥ There is magic in the flocks flying overhead, preparing for winter. ✥

2–p43 • "The Stone Drum" (1989) • novelette (26 pgs)

Jilly Coppercorn found an artifact in Old City—a stone drum—which Professor Bramley Dapple explains is owned by Skookins—goblin-like folk rumored to be living in the ruins of Old City. Removing it caused Jilly to be cursed, and so she must return it. Meran Kelledy helps her return through the mazed of tunnels under the subway. But in the end, Jilly is "cursed" with knowledge: that such creatures exist and given the sight to see them. ~ The Cauldron ✥ One of Jilly's first experiences with magic. ✥ 

3–p69 • "Timeskip" (1989) • shortstory (15 pgs)

✥ The fiddler Geordie Riddell, one of Jilly's best friends, finally gets lucky in love, only to have his girlfriend, Samantha Rey captured by the Stanton Street Ghost. All record of Sam disappears with her, with the exception of a single photograph that he and Jilly find a few weeks later in Moore’s Antiques in Lower Crowsea. Only Geordie and Jilly know she ever existed in modern day Newford. The story is followed-up in "Paperjack" later in the book. ✥ More: The Wordwood | Stanton Street Ghost

4–p84 • "Freewheeling" (1990) • shortstory (19 pgs)

✥ About a young, possibly schizophrenic, possibly magic touched young man, Zinc, whose “freeing” of bicycles are interpreted by the law as stealing. ✥ Bicycles ride free, and Jilly Coppercorn takes Sue Ashworth with her to bail out Zinc. ✥ Oddly whimsical yet poignant tale about a boy, some bicycles, and the need to be free.

5–p103 • "That Explains Poland" (1988) • short story (20 pgs)

✥ An encounter with Bigfoot in the Tombs. ✥ Three young women—LaDonna, Lori and Ruth—take the challenge offered by the newspaper headlines and go hunting for Bigfoot in Upper Foxville. ✥ A bigfoot hunt, where the monster they were looking for wasn't exactly as monstrous as they expected.

6–p118 • "Romano Drom" (1989) • shortstory ("Gypsy Road") (17 pgs)

  • Chars, Places, Supes: Lorio Munn, Terry Dixon (band-mate), Jane, Elderee, Dorn, Mahail’s hound (polrech), Slimy Ted (club owner), Mahail, No Nuns Here, the Fan, Zoo, Heart’s Shadow, In the City, The Newford Star,

Lorio Munn discovers that there’s more than one way out of an alley. ✥ Lorio had no idea when she helped the wounded creature she found in the alley that it would lead her to a magical path set before her because of her Romany blood and the evil she must face so that the magic of the path would be protected. ~ (1) Alurel's Fireside Tales - Romano Drom ✥ Lorio meets Elderee, wounded in an alley. He looks like an orangutan. Elderee passes on the power to Walk the gypsy road—Heart’s Shadow—claiming she can do it with her Romany gypsy blood. Lorio fights off a potrech, Dorn and dreams with a tentacled monster. She grows in confidence and a sense of purpose. ~ "Romano Drom". 

7–p135 • "The Sacred Fire" (1989) • short story (12 pgs)

✥ Luann Somerson spots Nicky Straw, her old classmate, in a gutter and doesn’t just walk by. ✥ Out-and-out horror story, with a fantasy-tinged premise. Nicky is on the street, given a helping hand by Luann. However, Nicky wasn't joking when he said that there were spirits out to get him. ✥ Luann Somerson helps Nicky Straw—she gives him a meal, clothes and a chance to cleanup. After dinner he tells her he hunts vampire-like soul eaters that he calls "Freaks"— all while he remembers the deaths of his daughter and wife in his memory. He's been hunting them since. Luann is scared by his story so Nicky leaves. One of the Freaks comes after Luann, Nicky returns in time to kill it. The cops come and put Kicky in jail where he is murdered by the Freaks leaving the cops baffled—and Luann a believer as well as their new target.

8–p147 • "Winter Was Hard" (1991) • short story (17 pgs)

✥ Jilly recalls her former acquaintence with Babe and the Gemmins, and Frank, too, as she trudges through a bitterly cold day to the Tombs where they used to live—driven by some compelling quest. (from the story)

Jilly Coppercorn walks the Tombs on the eve of the Winter Solstice as a geas, “something you just have to do” ✥

9–p164 • "Pity the Monsters" (1991) • short story (14 pgs)

  • Chars, Places, Supes: Harriet Pierson, Frenkenstien-like Monster, "Flora" (Anne Boddeker), Frank, Tombs,

Harriet Pierson does and, then, does not, pity them. ✥ Riding her bike through a blizzard, Harriet Pierson has a near-collision with a seven-foot tall hideous looking monstoer-like man. While passed out from a hit on her head, Harriet is carried away and finds herself in the tombs with a crazy old lady and a monster who wants to mate with her.

10–p178 • "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow" (1990) • novelette (30 pgs)

Lesli Batterberry has a flute lesson with Meran Kelledy that changes her life, but changes life of her mother, Anna, even more dramatically.

✥ Longer piece about a girl named Lesli Batterberry, 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.

11–p208 • "The Conjure Man" (1992) • shortstory (19 pgs)

Wendy St. James talks to the conjure man on an autumn day and shows Jilly Coppercorn what she saw with him.

✥ Wendy meets John Windle she sees bullies cause him to take a hard fall from his bike. He leads her to Butler University campus, shows her that a 400 year old oak tree haa been cut down by the head librarian for no good reason. She was the Tree of Tales. "She held all the stories the wind brought her...and with each tale she grew." Jilly advises Wendy on what she can do.  ~ The Cauldron

Jilly helps Wendy St. James find an acorn from the Tree of Tales, telling her that only she can be the one to plant and nurture it, since both John and the tree itself chose her. ~ Cauldron

12–p227 • "Small Deaths" (1993) • novelette (22 pgs)

Zoe Brill meets Gordon Wolfe, complains to Hilary Carlisle about the creepy-ness of the whole scene, and wishes that her dog (Rupert) was more of a tough guy. ✥ About the light inside us and how the choices we make can lead to "small deaths." ✥

13–p249 • "The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep" (1993) • novelette (20 pgs)

Sophie Etoile, one of Jilly's good friends, has some frightening serial dreams. ✥ Sophie dreams of trudging through a bog and meeting a hag who shows her a woman tapped facedown with a giant rock pinning her with quicks, bogles, haunts surrounding her—she is The Moon. She next meets Jeck Crow; they become lovers. Both Jeck and Granny Weather urge her to save The Moon and how to do it. Finding strength and courage to face the monsters, Sophie goes to save the Moon and discovers things about herself. Not believing any of it is true, she visits Christy Riddell to ask about lucid dreaming. (from the story)

14–p269 • "In the House of My Enemy" (1993) • novelette (25 pgs)

Jilly Coppercorn takes in Annie, 15-years-old and eight months pregnant. ✥ A powerful look at Jilly's past and the reasons for her helpfulness toward a pregnant junkie. ✥ When Jilly takes in Annie Mackle, she recalls the years of rapes and sexual abuse by her brother and the blame and indifference by her parents. She recalls her life after she ran away. Jilly agrees to sponsor Annie with the help of Angelina Marceau. They get her an apartment near Jilly loft. She stays with Jilly till the baby's born. The baby is named after Jilly and Sophie. But Annie has lost all faith in herself and the possibility of a future—it was knocked out her by the abuse in her childhood.

15–p294 • "But for the Grace Go I" (1991) • short story (16 pgs)

  • Chars, Places, Supes: Maisie Flood, Tommy Flood, "Angel" (Angelina Marceau), Rexy, Franklin (postal clerk), Tombs, Mr. Hammond, Margaret Grierson (AIDS Clinic Director), Zeb (mental facility), Flood Street, Grasso Street, Angel’s office

✥ Maisie is nineteen year old street kid who's settled into a put-together kind of family life with her dogs and Tommy—a sweet, big guy incapable of taking care of himself. They squat in an empty building on Flood street in the Tombs. Angel keeps trying to get her off the street, but she puts up a wall fearing for Tommy and her dogs. One day, Maisie gets a wake-up call and from that she decides to let Angel help her live a better life if she helps Tommy, too.

16–p310 • "Bridges" (1992) • novelette (16 pgs)

Moira is rather rudely dropped off but finds her way to a not-entirely-unhappy ending. ✥ Dumped on the roadside far outside the city after a bad date, Moira finds herself in a strange place nothing like the real world. She is guided through the city by Jack who takes her past people lost in despair. Diane, his sister, meets them at the city's center. Jack is the embodiment of Despair and Diane is Hope. To go home, Moira has a choice to make as to whether she has hope or not.

17–p326 • "Our Lady of the Harbour" (1991) • novella (40 pgs)

✥ “The Little Mermaid” is retold, with Matt Casey (genius, musician, outsider) and Amy Scallan (who confides in her friend, Lucia Han) and Katrina Ludvigsen. ✥ 

18–p366 • "Paperjack" (1991) • novelette (continued from "Timeskip") (32 pgs)

Jilly Coppercorn and Geordie Riddell go looking for Paperjack. ✥ Geordie finds closure to the painful memory of having his girlfriend, Sam, captured by the Stanton Street Ghost. ✥ Paperjack is a homeless busker making origami and telling fortunes. Jilly's worried, he's looking ill. Paperjack tells Geordie's fortune, with leads him to tracking down Sam's granddaughter who gives him a letter from Sam. When Paperjack is nowhere to be seen, they search for him.

19–p398 • "Tallulah" (1991) • novelette (32 pgs)

✥ This is a sad love story starring Christy Riddell. ✥ We meet Christy Riddell, talk of his stories having dotted the collection, and hear the tale of Tallulah, whom he (kind of, but not really) wishes he’d never met. ✥ Christy meets Tallulah on his favorite bench in Old Market by the river. They walk, talk a lot, fall in love and change each: he more open and she softer. But some things are not meant to last. She does't want Christy to watch how the city's darkness changes her.

~ Sources:


Goodreads | Charles de Lint Quotes

"Dreams want to be real, they hang on and try to slip out into our waking world." — Sophie Etoile's dad ~ "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep"
“Small deaths…They’re those pivotal moments in a person’s life that change it forever: a love affair gone wrong, not getting into the right post-graduate program, stealing a car on a dare and getting caught, that kind of thing. They’re the moments that some people brood on forever; right now they could have the most successful marriage or career, but they can’t stop thinking about the past, about what might have happened if things had gone differently.” ~ “Small Deaths"

Awards Edit

  • World Fantasy Award (Finalist, 1994: Collection) ~ Link


Goodreads | Lists That Contain Dreams Underfoot (Newford, #1) by Charles de Lint

Notes Edit

This is not really a short story collection as much as a group of individual tales all set in Newford and involving many of the same characters (and often building on events that occurred in previous stories). ~ GR Reader
The collection’s title comes from, the genesis is offered in the epigraph from Yeats: “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” ~ Taking a Tour of Newford « Buried In Print
Sophie Etoile has some serial dreams in "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep,"—which also occur in: The Ivory and the Horn's "Mr Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery" and "Where Desert Spirits Crowd the Night.".

Sources Edit

  • "Uncle Dobbin’s Parrot Fair” first appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, November 1987.
  • “Timeskip” first appeared in Post Mortem, edited by Paul F. Olson and David B. Silva; St. Martin’sPress, 1989.
  • “That Explains Poland” first appeared in Pulphouse, the Hardback Magazine #2.
  • “Freewheeling” first appeared in Pulphouse, the Hardbook Magazine #6.
  • “Romano Drom” first appeared in Pulphouse, the Hardback Magazine #3.
  • “The Sacred Fire” first appeared in Stalkers, edited by Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg; Dark Harvest, 1989.
  • “The Stone Drum” was first published by Triskell Press, 1989.
  • “Winter Was Hard” first appeared in Pulphouse, the Hardback Magazine #10.
  • “Paperjack” was first published by Cheap Street, 1991.
  • “Bridges” first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October/November 1992.
  • “Tallulah” first appeared in Dead End: City Limits, edited by Paul F. Olson and David B. Silva; St.Martin’s Press, 1991.
  • “Small Deaths” is original to this collection.
  • “Ghosts of Wind and Shadow” was first published by Triskell Press, 1990.
  • “Pity the Monsters” first appeared in The Ultimate Frankenstein, edited by Byron Preiss; Dell, 1991.
  • “The Conjure Man” first appeared in After the King, edited by Martin H. Greenberg; Tor Books, 1992.
  • “Our Lady of the Harbour” was first published by Axolotl Press, 1991.
  • “In the House of My Enemy” is original to this collection.
  • “The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep” was first published in Snow White, Blood Red, edited byEllen Datlow and Terri Windling; William Morrow and Co., 1993.
  • “But for the Grace Go I” first appeared in Chilled to the Bone, edited by Robert T. Garcia; MayfairGames, Inc., 1991.

See AlsoEdit

Other Newford Collections: Edit

External LinksEdit




Story Links

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