Disclaimer: none of the books mentioned belong to me, of course, and the same is true also about the whole Sandman universe .
The corridors of the Library of Dreaming resemble the complicated maze of the realm of Destiny, the brother of the ruler of this place. Though actually, the real ruler of this part of Dreaming is not Dream; it's Lucien, who is the self-appointed king of this place. And this is a title that fits here perfectly: Lucien the Librarian is the king and the books of the library are the subjects in his little kingdom. In his domain, Destiny is the only one who is capable of telling where the forking paths of his maze will lead you; here it's Lucien who claims to know all the secrets whispered to him by the yellowish pages of the books taking up the shelves of the library. This whisper resembles the one of falling autumn leaves; silent and mysterious, known only to the man who is the Librarian of Dreaming and to the people who wrote them. Though in many cases, even ones who created them have long forgotten about them.
The novels no one in the mortal world ever saw fill the wooden shelves of the library. The Library of Dreaming boasts not only all the books ever written but also every novel that was ever started, conceived, thought or dreamed of but not finished. Like "The Pig's Smile" – a Pratchett-like, humorous story once dreamed of by an old woman named Ida Pillsbury. It was in July 1998 and she forgot about it as soon after she open her eyes but the book is still in the Library of Dreaming, read only by Nuala who one day took it from the shelf to relax after spending a whole afternoon cleaning the floor of the library. How much she giggled reading it. But later she put it away in its place again and forgot about it almost as utterly as Ida herself forgot. It couldn't be otherwise for writing was not Ida's job. For her whole life she was a nurse, not a writer. Somewhere in the library, if only you went deeper into the complicated maze of shelves, there is also a short ghost story Ida thought of while sitting in a classroom as a little girl many years back. But it isn't anywhere near as funny as the story of the pig who turned into a woman to win the love of the farmer she belonged to. Sometimes there are whole long shelves of books written by a single individuals but Ida only ever made up just those two. No, writing was not her job.
Writing wasn't the job of the romantic day dreamer Vanessa Chase either. Nevertheless, that didn't stop her from writing – in dreams – a whole series of novels which now fill two shelves that happen to be just under the one on which Ida's novel stands. Many of Vanessa's books are there, bound in dark leather; a bunch of romances, detective stories and children's literature which she made up in the oh-so-vivid dreams that she always forgets as soon as she wakes up. So no one will ever get a chance to read "The Way to Perfection is Long"- a story of four siblings who go to live with relatives when their parents die; "The Child of New York" – a family saga of rich New Yorkers; "The Book of Year" which is a diary of a teenage girl who dreams of becoming a movie star. Nor will any human eye ever read "The Mystery of the Forgotten Grave" in which the main hero would never have solved a criminal riddle if not for her visit to a graveyard. Actually, Vanessa once tried to put this last one to paper but after writing the first sentence, she quit. But this book still exists here, in the realm of dreaming, where its neighbors are stories by some French fan of vampire stories. She even wrote some in reality a year ago when she was a "Twilight" fan but never published them. She might have given up writing about vampires now but it doesn't mean she stopped doing this completely – not in the internal world, though in the external world she is known to her friends to have given this up. She got bored with horrors and vampires when she discovered s-f. "Vampire Leigh's Book", "Vampire Seth", "Confessions of Vampire Caleb". It's not that easy to resign from writing, as one can see by taking a look at the neat row of stories on teenage vampires in high school. A few shelves to the right there stands "The Demon of Darkness" by Tanith Lee. It's a thin book, a collection of short stories from the life of Azhrarn. Very interesting stories – if anyone ever had the chance to skim through the pages of the small book.
The library contains novels by well known authors – modern ones as well as those living in the past – and those who lived their whole life as ordinary people, unknown to anybody but for their friends and family. Here, for example we have the fourth and last volume of the Sky Lords science fiction series by Brosnan. In real life, he didn't write it – to the annoyance of many fans who complained that the ending of volume three just begs to be developed in the fourth book – but here, in this place which boasts books which were just thought or dreamed of, this novel exists. Just like there exists a short story written one sleepless night by Howard Phillips Lovecraft, telling about the life of a man who discovered a shoggoth in his sink. And another one, being a fanfic from the "Beggars in Spain" universe. It's almost as long as the novels on which it is based. The series of Nancy Kress doesn't have a rich fandom but Mr. Miles Silversides, the self-appointed fan number one of Nancy, doesn't care. His shyness and low self esteem forbade him posting his fanfic on the net – what if someone replied the whole story is pure crap? It isn't and Lucien who once took it from the shelf, would agree with it but for Miles it doesn't matter. He was a shy man for his whole life; very shy and self-absorbed, always looking for other people's tiniest traces of their critique. So the story was written only in his thoughts. Miles Silversides, a librarian himself who lives in Omaha, would be very surprised if he ever found out that another librarian from the place beyond space and time has his story kept on the shelf, having one more "Godhead" book by James Morrow on the left and several of the children's series "The Shadow Zone" on the right. The most interesting one of those is about a boy who meets his peers, one of whom is from the future and fell into his time period through a time hole, and the other is a cave boy who came to his time in the same way.
There are several shelves filled with the figments of fertile imagination of Stephen King as well. Ideas for new stories constantly are floating through his mind when the writer is asleep. And this is the result: eight shelves filled with novels, novellas and short stories the world will never know until maybe one day the writer remembers them and writes them down to allow the world to get to know such short stories as "Island of Madness", "Path of Life" or "Toy". Blood curdling "Werecat" and humorous "Girl with a Braid". To the right of those is a story by L. M. Montgomery, unknown to the world. It's quite a dirty story in which Anne and Diana are somewhat more to each other than just friends. No one knows that one night Montgomery woke up, giggling nervously at the memory of what she just dreamed about. Or that this scandalous book is still here.
As we go on, going deeper into the maze of dusty shelves straining under the burden of heavy volumes, we will see a story of a deformed girl kept in a hidden room in the castle of her aristocratic father; the story which, if ever published, would bring its author eternal fame. But it wasn't and will never be, given that its would-be author, a humble French peasant to whom the idea for this story came in a dream one night, died in the eighteenth century, never having learned to write. "Rainbow Bridge" - a series of children's literature – a series of short stories about dead pets living in a pet heaven is also here. Their author is a long dead English boy who lived in Liverpool at the end of the nineteenth century. He got inspired by the death of his pet dog yet he didn't have time to write anything before he died at the age of just ten. Three volumes of a Harry Potter spin off – this time from Voldemort's point of view. A book on keeping and breeding cats and a similar one on lions – written by some African person who knew those animals well. Many, many books on various topics and from various epochs. The corridors twitch and tangle, similar to the ones in Destiny's realm. Whole corridors of shelves with books on. Books, books, the whole ocean of books, each of them tells a different story. And only Lucien and the dreamers themselves know them. But who knows? Maybe one day the dreamers will recall them to write them down, presenting them to the whole world?