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The Sandman: The Dream Hunters Cover of Sandman: The Dream Hunters. Publication information Publisher Vertigo Publication date 1999 Main character(s) Dream Creative team Writer(s) Neil Gaiman Artist(s) Yoshitaka Amano "The Sandman: The Dream Hunters" is a novella by English author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano of Final Fantasy fame. The story is tangential to The Sandman comic book series, and can be read without prior knowledge of the main sequence. It won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative. The story deals with a love affair between a Buddhist priest and a fox spirit or kitsune. Gaiman's afterword states that it was based on an old Japanese folk tale, drawn from Y. T. Ozaki's Old Japanese Fairy Tales and retooled to fit in the world of the Sandman, but no such tale is to be found in Ozaki's work. Gaiman has since stated when asked that the story was entirely of his own devising, most recently in the Foreword to The Sandman: Endless Nights. In December 2007, Gaiman noted on his blog, "I learned from Wikipedia that Sandman: The Dream Hunters was actually based on Pu Songling's Strange Stories From A Chinese Studio, which I thought I ought to read."[1] Contents 1 Plot 2 Comic book adaptation 3 Awards 4 References 5 External links Plot A kitsune (fox) and a tanuki (raccoon dog) make a bet that whichever of them drives a Buddhist priest from his temple, they will claim it as their own. Both of them fail, and the raccoon dog flees in disgrace. The fox, however, has fallen in love with the monk, and in the form of an immensely beautiful woman, she apologizes to him for their behavior; he allows her to stay in the temple, provided that she does not cause him any more trouble. Meanwhile, in a house in Kyoto, a rich onmyoji is consumed by a nameless fear, and consults three hags living at the edge of town. They give him instructions to alleviate this fear; the result is that the aforementioned monk will become trapped inside a dream, and his body will sleep continuously until it dies. The fox overhears this from several demons employed by the onmyōji, and in an attempt to avert this, she travels to the Dreaming, where she meets Morpheus in the shape of an enormous black fox (In the story, he is referred to as the King of All Night's Dreaming). He listens to her plight, and in the ensuing conversation, the fox formulates a plan to capture a baku, and use it to take the monk's place on the third night. The plan is successful, but the monk is distraught at the fox's condition, and leaves his temple so that he may find the means of awakening her. He encounters Binzuru Harada, who offers him physical abuse for abandoning his temple, then instructs him on how to find Morpheus. After a journey through the realm of dreams (during which he encounters what appear to be Japanese counterparts of Fiddler's Green and Cain and Abel from the Sandman comics), he arrives at the palace. A raven, who is the departed spirit of a poet, guides him through it, and he is granted an audience. Morpheus tells him what the fox had done, and that if he rescues her, her efforts will have been in vain, but the monk insists, and goes to meet the fox, where she is trapped inside a mirror in her human form. Initially she is reluctant, but again he insists. The narrative then gives an ambiguous statement on whether they then give formal farewells or make love (possibly Gaiman's way of implying that there are contradictory versions of the story, giving it an extra layer of authenticity), and then he takes her place, giving her the advice, "Seek not revenge, but the Buddha." The fox informs Morpheus of this advice, then tells him she will seek the Buddha after seeking revenge. She awakens, and the monk dies several days later. The fox tracks down the Onmyoji and seduces him in her human form, giving no indication of her true nature, but insists that he cannot touch her because of his affluent position and power. Maddened with lust, he burns down his house and that of the hags, killing them and his family and servants, and meets with the fox. She cajoles him into disrobing, then reverts to her true form and bites out one of his eyes, leaving him with his madness. In the Dreaming, Morpheus and the raven ponder the events and their significance; Morpheus is satisfied that events played out as they should have, and that everyone involved learned an important lesson, particularly the monk. The narration ends by saying that since then, some people have had dreams of the monk and the fox (in either of her forms) walking through a field together. Comic book adaptation For the 20th anniversary of Sandman, Neil Gaiman announced at Comic-Con 2007 that P. Craig Russell would adapt the story into comics form.[2] Sandman: The Dream Hunters was released by Vertigo as a four-issue monthly series from November 2008 to February 2009, featuring cover art by Yuko Shimizu (not to be confused with the designer of Hello Kitty of the same name), Mike Mignola, Paul Pope and Joe Kubert. Awards In 2000, it was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Related Book[3] and won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative.[4][5] References ^ Gaiman, Neil (December 25, 2007). "Blinking at the daylight". http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2007/12/blinking-at-daylight.html. Retrieved December 26, 2007.  ^ Parkin, JK (July 28, 2007). "SDCC '07: The Neil Gaiman Panel". http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=123005. Retrieved August 1, 2007.  ^ http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Hugo2000.html ^ Koshy, Nithin D. (February 6, 2010). "Chasing dreams in an expressionistic Wonderland". Express Buzz. http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Chasing+dreams+in+an++expressionistic+Wonderland&artid=jC7QpeUfIUw=&SectionID=41ptteGX1Qw=&MainSectionID=41ptteGX1Qw=&SEO=&SectionName=42QPdTRt8sE=. Retrieved February 10, 2010.  ^ http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Stoker2000.html External links "A dark tale 'of enduring charm'" The Comics Get Serious--Review of Sandman: The Dream Hunters Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano, The Sandman: The Dream Hunters The Sandman: The Dream Hunters at Comicbookdb Comic-book version at Vertigo v · d · eThe Sandman by Neil Gaiman The Sandman Library 1: Preludes and Nocturnes • 2: The Doll's House • 3: Dream Country • 4: Season of Mists • 5: A Game of You • 6: Fables and Reflections • 7: Brief Lives • 8: Worlds' End • 9: The Kindly Ones • 10: The Wake • 11: Endless Nights Spinoffs The Sandman: The Dream Hunters • Death: The High Cost of Living • Death: The Time of Your Life • Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold • The Little Endless Storybook • Death: At Death's Door • Dust Covers–The Collected Sandman Covers 1989-1997 • The Quotable Sandman • The Sandman Companion • The Dreaming • Sandman Midnight Theatre • Lucifer • House of Mystery Characters The Endless: Destiny • Death • Dream (Daniel Hall) • Destruction • Despair • Desire • Delirium Dreams: Cain and Abel • The Fashion Thing • Goldie • Matthew Cable • Merv Pumpkinhead • Corinthian Humans: Fury • Hector Hall • Jed Walker • Rose Walker • Foxglove • Hob Gadling • John Constantine • Dr. John Dee • Sandman (Wesley Dodds) • Element Girl • Prez • Martian Manhunter • Mister Miracle • Dr. Jonathan Crane • Wildcat Demons: Lucifer • Mazikeen • Etrigan the Demon Faire Folk: Auberon • Titania • Nuala v · d · eNeil Gaiman bibliography Novels American Gods · Anansi Boys · Coraline · Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett) · The Graveyard Book · InterWorld (with Michael Reaves) · Neverwhere (novelization of his television series) · Odd and the Frost Giants · Stardust Single author collections Angels and Visitations · Fragile Things · M is for Magic · Smoke and Mirrors Other book-length fiction A Walking Tour of the Shambles (with Gene Wolfe) Picture books Blueberry Girl (illustrated by Charles Vess) · The Wolves in the Walls (illustrated by Dave McKean) Short fiction "Murder Mysteries" · "Snow, Glass, Apples" (adapted as Two Plays for Voices) · "We Can Get Them for You Wholesale" · "A Study in Emerald" · "I, Cthulhu" Books edited by Neil Gaiman The Sandman: Book of Dreams Comic books and graphic novels Angela · Black Orchid · "Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" · The Books of Magic · Creatures of the Night · Mr. Hero the Newmatic Man · Death: The High Cost of Living · "Green Lantern/Superman: Legend of the Green Flame" · Harlequin Valentine · The Last Temptation · Death: The Time of Your Life · Eternals · Marvel 1602 · Midnight Days · Marvelman · Neil Gaiman's Only the End of the World Again · The Sandman · The Sandman: Endless Nights · The Sandman: The Dream Hunters · Signal to Noise · Tekno Comix · The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch · Violent Cases Screenplays and films Babylon 5: "Day of the Dead" · Beowulf (with Roger Avary) · Princess Mononoke (English adaptation) · Stardust · Neverwhere · MirrorMask · A Short Film About John Bolton · Death and Me (unproduced screenplay) · Coraline · Statuesque · Doctor Who: "The Doctor's Wife" Non-fiction Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion