The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country
Title: The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country
Author: Neil Gaiman
World Fantasy Award Winner
A collection of short stories that follows the main character, Dream, the lord of dreams, as he is faced with the challenge of undoing past sins and changing old ways. It was the first comic book to be given a World Fantasy Award.
The third book of the Sandman collection is a series of four short comic book stories. What’s remarkable here (considering the publisher and the time that this was originally published) is that the main character of the book—the Sandman, King of Dreams—serves only as a minor character in each of these otherwise unrelated stories. (Actually, he’s not even in the last story.) This signaled a couple of important things in the development of what is considered one of the great comics of the second half of the century. First, it marked a distinct move away from the horror genre and into a more fantasy-rich, classical mythology-laden environment. And secondly, it solidly cemented Neil Gaiman as a storyteller. One of the stories here, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” took home the World Fantasy Award for best short story—the first time a comic was given that honor. But for my money, another story in Dream Country has it beat hands down. “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” has such hope, beauty, and good old-fashionedchills that rereading it becomes a welcome pleasure. —Jim Pascoe