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SFF Author: Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher(1971- )
Jim Butcher read his first fantasy novel when he was seven years old — The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. By eight, he’d read the rest of Narnia, Prydain, Star Wars, Star Trek, and The Lord of the Rings. So he was pretty much doomed from the start. Love of fantasy drew him toward horseback riding, archery, martial arts, costuming, music, theater, and RPGs. So, really, he can fly his nerd flag with pretty much anyone, and frequently does. Here’s Jim Butcher‘s website.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE STORIES BY JIM BUTCHER.



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Jim Butcher chats about Pokemon, responsibility, and Changes

We’re pleased to welcome today one of the defining authors of epic and urban fantasy. Jim Butcher has thrilled fans for a decade and Beth and her husband Gert were happy to chat with him about his work. Mr. Butcher recently published the final volume of his high-fantasy series CODEX ALERA. The twelfth volume of THE DRESDEN FILES, entitled Changes, comes out today! So, two lucky commenters on this post will win a copy of Changes!

Beth & Gert: Now that you’ve finished CODEX ALERA (and what a finish,


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Storm Front: A series to live and grow with

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

It is hard to believe that Storm Front, the first book of the Dresden Files, came out more than a decade ago. Jim Butcher introduces his scrappy wizard-detective in this inaugural adventure. That was a more innocent time, and Harry was a more innocent character back then.

Harry is a working wizard in Chicago. He has an office with the word “Wizard” on the door and he advertizes in the yellow pages. (“No Children’s Parties;


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Fool Moon: A potent blend of action, magic, snarkiness, vulnerability

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

In Fool Moon, Harry Dresden’s second adventure, Jim Butcher gives us four flavors of werewolf — or five, if you want to be flexible.

Harry, Chicago’s only practicing wizard-detective, is called to the scene of a gory murder by his friend and client Karrin Murphy. Murphy, a Chicago police detective, is in charge of Special Investigations (SI), Chicago’s nod to the paranormal crime that fills the city. Chicago PD is unofficial on this investigation though; it is the jurisdiction of the FBI,


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Grave Peril: About the women in Harry’s life

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

Someone is torturing the ghosts of Chicago, driving them mad and juicing up their power. Harry Dresden, wizard, is the best person to handle this, but even a wizard needs back-up sometimes. In Grave Peril, the third book of The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher introduces Michael Carpenter, a Knight of the Cross.

Michael wields a sword given to him by an angel. He has pledged his life to serving God, vanquishing evil and freeing the victims of evil.


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Summer Knight: One of the better books in this strong series

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

As Summer Knight (2002) opens, Harry Dresden’s true love, Susan, has left town, the Red Court Vampires have declared war on him and someone’s shooting at him. Oh, and it’s raining toads.

To top it off, Mab, the Faerie Queen of Winter, wants to hire him to investigate the murder of a mortal. The Faerie Queens are beautiful, powerful, alien and frightening, even to Harry:

My voice came out unsteady and more quiet than I would have liked. ‘Sort of like Tokyo,


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Death Masks: A strong entry in the Dresden series

Death Masks by Jim Butcher

With Death Masks, the fifth Dresden Files novel, Jim Butcher returns to Chicago-noir. Harry Dresden, that city’s only advertising wizard, is simultaneously challenged to a duel by a duke of the vampiric Red Court and hired by the Vatican to find the missing Shroud of Turin.

The search for the Shroud leads to a headless, handless corpse that died of plagues, several plagues, carried by magically amplified germs. It also introduces Harry to the remaining two Knights of the Sword,


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Blood Rites: Never lets go

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden never knew his mother Margaret. He knows that she was a wizard, that she used the last name LaFey, and that before she married Harry’s father she hung out with some shady characters. In Blood Rites, he discovers something about Margaret that changes everything he believes about himself.

In the sixth Dresden Files novel, Jim Butcher shakes up Harry’s world. In addition to shocking new information about his mother, Harry has to deal with a revelation about Ebenezar,


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Dead Beat: Should be made into a movie

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

Mavra, Queen of the Black Vampires, is after “The Word of Kemmler,” the ultimate how-to on being an all-powerful necromancer. Mavra wants it, and is blackmailing Harry into getting it for her. Harry must find this book, while dodging a whole collection of black wizards who are also seeking the tome.

Jim Butcher’s Dead Beat is another one of the “middle” DRESDEN books that I love so much. Just about the time when most series start getting stale, 


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Proven Guilty: The best DRESDEN book so far

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

After decades of reading SFF, and after stuffing hundreds of fantasy novels under my middle-aged belt (it occurs to me that this is not the most attractive metaphor), it surprises me when I finish book eight in a series and am eager to acquire book nine. It rarely happens anymore. But, I’ve just finished Proven Guilty, book eight in Jim Butcher’s THE DRESDEN FILES and I’m eager to move on to book nine, White Night.


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White Night: Talking to myself

White Night by Jim Butcher

White Night is the ninth novel in Jim Butcher’s DRESDEN FILES series. If you haven’t read up to this point in the series yet, please stop here and go away…

Well, now I’m sure that I’ve been left talking to myself because nobody who’s read this far is going to care what I have to say about White Night. The previous novel, Proven Guilty, was awesome, so you’d have to be brain-dead to not want to pick up White Night immediately,


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Small Favor: Butcher doesn’t let us down

Small Favor by Jim Butcher

“You’re hitting the big time, Harry!” ~Bob the skull

Small Favor is book ten in the DRESDEN FILES. If you haven’t read this far, go back! You Shall Not Pass!

Harry thought his life was getting a little calmer when Karrin Murphy calls him in to look at a really weird crime scene. Soon they discover that mob boss Gentleman Johnny Marcone has been kidnapped, and this is a problem because it violates the treaty Marcone signed which made him a neutral independent state in the supernatural world.


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Turn Coat: Butcher has wobbled off course

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

I like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series. I like the idea of a wizard-detective in novel-noir Chicago, VI Warshawski with testicles and a magical staff instead of high heels. I liked the wise-crackery of the early books, I appreciated the whimsy of Harry’s potion-making, and I loved his brown leather, weatherproof, spell-laden duster, one of the coolest pieces of outerwear in fiction. With Turn Coat, the eleventh book in the series, however, Butcher has wobbled off course.

First and foremost,


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Changes: The Dresden Files gets darker

Changes by Jim Butcher

I love Harry Dresden like he’s the crazy scary magical uncle I never had. My wife (The Asian OverLord™) gets annoyed at my exclamations of “Hell’s Bells!” and my constant need to tell people that a scar on my hand came from “Hell Fire” rather than a childhood bicycle wreck. The Dresden Files have become a part of my life in a way that few stories do.

When I first learned about Changes, it frightened me. I thought to myself: if Jim Butcher “Changes” too much,


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Ghost Story: You have to read The Dresden Files

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

Writing this review is going to be impossible without spoiling some of the series for those who have not read through Changes, just a little warning. The title of this book, Ghost Story, does a pretty good job of revealing the entire premise of the story: Harry is a ghost. Like all ghosts he has a task that must be completed in order to be at peace. A lot of what was planted in Changes bears fruit in Ghost Story.


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Cold Days: Urban fantasy doesn’t get much better

Cold Days  by Jim Butcher

If the Harry Dresden stories have ever had a problem (reflecting, I think, an issue with urban fantasy in general), it’s that they can tend to feel a little repetitive. A monster of the week shows up, and Harry goes through hell both emotionally and physically to stop him. Along the way we get the requisite number of quips, film references, attractive non-humans, old-fashioned courtesies, and cackling villains with vaguely British syntax. At the end of it all, Harry goes back to his Batcave apartment and gets to be the snarky private eye pastiche for a little bit before the credits roll.


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Side Jobs: Dresden short stories on audio

Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

Side Jobs is a collection of short stories from The Dresden Files. Some of the stories have been previously published in other collections, and some are being published for the first time. The timeline for the stories range from before Storm Front to after Changes, so aspects from every possible point in time in Harry Dresden’s life are represented.

There isn’t much of a central theme to Side Jobs,


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Skin Game: Exciting and well-crafted

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Reading a DRESDEN FILES book at this point is literary equivalent of sky-diving. I think I’ve compared the experience to a roller coaster before, but I was in error. Roller coasters, in the main, start off with a slow clickety-clack up a steep slope, and you sort of bob up and down and round and round after that before finally drifting to a long, hissing halt. Skin Game, however, dispenses with the trappings and simply shoves your exuberantly screaming self out an airplane door and directly into glorious freefall.


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Peace Talks: But wait, there’s more!

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

Fans of Jim Butcher’s DRESDEN FILES have been waiting for the sixteenth novel, Peace Talks (2020), for six years. It’s been so long that I actually had to go back and re-read the last few novels to get back up to speed on Harry’s life.

Was Peace Talks worth the wait? The short answer is “No.” Though it’s entertaining and shows us what Harry’s life has been like since the previous novel,


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Battle Ground: Pretty much what it says on the tin

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

THE DRESDEN FILES is a weird series, even for urban fantasy. My go-to example for non-aficionados is a wizard riding a polka-powered zombie T-rex through downtown Chicago, and that’s not even the wackiest thing that’s happened. So it’s saying something when I have to acknowledge that the series is in a weird place right now. Maybe I should call it weird plus. Weird squared?

For once, though, when I say “weird,” I’m not talking about the content so much as the form. The DRESDEN books have generally followed a pretty straightforward formula: Harry Dresden (wizard private eye,


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Welcome to the Jungle: Looks great, fun to read

Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher

CLASSIFICATION: If you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, or the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter comic books, then The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle will be perfect for you. Like those, Welcome to the Jungle boasts a fun mix of fast-paced supernatural action, humor and a dash of mystery/thrills. This graphic novel in particular is pretty tame in the violence/language department and is suitable for teen readers and above.


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Working for Bigfoot: Three DRESDEN FILES novellas

Working for Bigfoot: Stories From the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Most DRESDEN FILES fans probably didn’t know that one of Harry’s occasional clients is a Bigfoot named Strength of a River in His Shoulders. River has a half-human son named Irwin Pounder whom he has never met. Whenever River senses that Irwin needs help, he calls Harry Dresden, wizard for hire. So, in Working for Bigfoot, Jim Butcher gives us three novellas about three cases that Harry has worked for River.


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Brief Cases: Adventures of Harry Dresden and his friends

Brief Cases by Jim Butcher

Magic is well and good, but bullets are often swifter.

Brief Cases (2018) is a collection of a dozen short stories set in the world of Harry Dresden, a private investigator and talented wizard living in Chicago. Harry is the main character in most of the stories, but not all; a few other characters in Jim Butcher’s DRESDEN FILES universe get their chance to relate their adventures in their own voices.

This is the case with one of my favorite stories,


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Furies of Calderon: Typical epic fantasy

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

I read Furies of Calderon while waiting for Jim Butcher’s next DRESDEN FILES novel. Butcher’s little blurb at the end of his books had convinced me to give it a whirl.

Let it be known, this is not to the caliber of THE DRESDEN FILES. It is a good book nonetheless. The story follows several characters in the world of Alera who find themselves intertwined together in a land on the brink of war. Furies of Calderon is a book of themes.


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Academ’s Fury: Nearly non-stop action

Academ’s Fury by Jim Butcher

Academ’s Fury is the second book in Jim Butcher’s CODEX ALERA series. It takes place two years after the events in book 1, Furies of Calderon. Tavi, who feels like a “freak” because he’s the only Aleran who doesn’t have any magical connections with the elemental spirits called Furies that inhabit his land, is now at school in the capital city under the patronage of the First Lord. In return, he acts as the First Lord’s page and accidentally becomes involved in Aleran politics.


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Cursor’s Fury: Sloppy plot, uninspired prose, exciting story

Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher

After having dealt with the Vord horde in Academ’s Fury, there are new worries in Cursor’s Fury, the third novel in Jim Butcher’s CODEX ALERA saga. The rebel uprising has gained strength and the aging and heirless First Lord of Alera is in danger of being overthrown. Those who are loyal, including Tavi and his friends and relatives, are targets. While Bernard, Amara, and Isana make some dubious alliances to try to counter the rebels,


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Captain’s Fury: Vaguely enjoyable

Captain’s Fury by Jim Butcher

Warning: Contains spoilers for previous books, though probably nothing you didn’t already guess.

Captain’s Fury, the fourth book in Jim Butcher’s CODEX ALERA series, takes place two years after the events we read about in Cursor’s Fury. Tavi is still the captain of the Alera’s First Legion which is still fighting a war with the Canim who have sailed to Alera and burned their ships behind them. While Senator Arnos, who has arrived to take command of the war,


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Princeps’ Fury: Regresses

Princeps’ Fury by Jim Butcher

Tavi and his companions are escorting the Canim back to their home across the sea. When they arrive they find that the Canim’s land has been invaded by the Vord. Back home in Alera, unbeknownst to Tavi, his countrymen are also being overrun by the Vord and Amara, Isana, Bernard, and the First Lord are on the front lines. Will the Vord conquer both Alera and Canim, or can Tavi and Isana negotiate alliances with a couple of Alera’s enemies so they can fight the Vord horde together?


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First Lord’s Fury: Here ends a fun fantasy epic!

First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

Grab your helms, shields and swords, fantasy fans. In First Lord’s Fury, Jim Butcher is taking you to war! In the 6th and final book in the CODEX ALERA series, Butcher not only takes you to war, but makes you laugh and cry along the way. First Lord’s Fury is a very suitable ending to what I found to be a most enjoyable fantasy series. The CODEX ALERA series takes place several thousand years after a lost Roman legion found its way to another world and rebuilt a society.


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The Aeronaut’s Windlass: Begins a new series by Jim Butcher

The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

Fans of Jim Butcher (including myself) were thrilled to see that he’s started a new series called THE CINDER SPIRES. This one is quite different than his previous works. THE DRESDEN FILES, for which Butcher is best known, is a modern-day urban fantasy with a first-person narrator and a hardboiled feel. THE CODEX ALERA is an epic fantasy with a typical medieval setting and plot.

THE CINDER SPIRES is set in a more imaginative world.


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Strange Brew: Something for everyone

Strange Brew by P.N. Elrod (ed)

The theme of Strange Brew is witchcraft. This anthology features nine well-known urban fantasy authors, each with their own spin on the theme. Some of these stories feature well-known characters. Others focus on characters who are secondary in the author’s series, or characters who are entirely new. Glancing at the table of contents and doing a little mental math, most of the stories are around 40 pages, give or take a few. (The longest is Karen Chance’s at just under 60.) As is always the case with anthologies,


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Songs of Love and Death: Tales of star-crossed lovers

Songs of Love and Death edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Songs of Love and Death is the third anthology that George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have edited together. Like Warriors and Songs of the Dying EarthSongs of Love and Death brings together some of the biggest names that SFF has to offer and they set these authors to work on a common theme.

Martin and Dozois offer a cross-genre anthology that ranges from Robin Hobb’s epic fantasy “Blue Boots,” which tells the story of a romance between a young serving girl and a silver-tongued minstrel,


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Magic City: Recent Spells: A solid urban fantasy anthology

Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran

Things you should know:
1. This is a reprint anthology. If you read a lot of anthologies in the field, you will probably have read some of these before. I had read three, though two of them were among the best ones, and I enjoyed reading them again.
2. It still has some worthwhile stuff in it, especially if you’re a fan of the big names in urban fantasy (Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs) and haven’t read these stories before.


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Shadowed Souls: One way to audition a new Urban Fantasy series

Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher & Kerrie L. Hughes

Shadowed Souls is an invitational anthology edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes. Butcher is the author of three fantasy series: THE DRESDEN FILES, THE CODEX ALERA, and THE CINDER SPIRES. Hughes is an established short fiction writer who has edited several anthologies including Chicks Kick Butt, Westward Weird, and Maiden Matron Crone.

The theme of Shadowed Souls is,


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Justin reports: GenCon Indy 2010

Just reports about his visit to GenCon. Comment for a chance to win a FanLit bookmark signed by R.A. Salvatore.

Each year in Indianapolis, thousands gather for what’s called “The Best 4 Days in Gaming.” Gencon Indy was held from August 5th to August 8th, 2010. This gathering of nerds is the largest of its kind in the country. If you are into Dungeons & Dragons or board games, this is your Mecca because over 8600 gaming-related activities are held over four days. Gencon is awesome, but you may be wondering how much it relates to fantasy.


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Previous SFF Author: Paul Busson

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