In Dreams: The Sandman, Flip, and Push

August 8th, 2022

I finished the first season of The Sandman on Netflix this afternoon. As a massive Sandman fan, for years, I personally think it is a better-than-perfect adaptation of the source material.

I also want to add how well the series is cast; Tom Sturridge as Dream is the single best casting choice I have ever seen for a character adapted from literature.

I adored every aspect and I’m obsessed.

Speaking of obsessions: dreams are one of mine.

I wrote a book called Flip back in 2014. It was about (go ahead, guess) dreams. A man, Liam, who has vivid dreams, and another man, Alen, who is killing in them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been telling someone about the book and they interrupt: “Have you ever read Sandman?”

Admission time: when I wrote Flip, I had not read even one volume of Sandman.

And I am so glad I hadn’t.

Sandman is one of those stories where you become two people: the person you were before reading it, and the person after. It’s impossible think of dreaming (and creativity) the same. There is no way I wouldn’t have been influenced by it, and I was surprised to see how many things that work and mine had in common.

You can sub a scythe for a raven.

I shouldn’t have been surprised though, considering how our dreams overlap and swim and bleed and live together.

Flip was me dealing with grief through dreams. When I finally wrote a sequel, Push, it was me dealing with post-grief; what do you fill that inexplicable emptiness with?

The Sandman, meanwhile, explains that we all must change or die.

And the thing that ties Dream’s story and Liam’s story together is that other inexplicable thing: hope.

They say a writer only has one story in them. They spend their lives telling it over and over again.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, the one story I keep telling in all of my books.

I don’t know if I’ve told it well yet.

But I do know I’ll keep trying until I do.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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