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Old 02-02-2013, 11:44 AM   #1636
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Cool Jim Butcher Q&A, Comic-Con 2008

Jim Butcher speaks and answers questions during his panel at the San Diego Comic Con 2008.






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Old 02-02-2013, 06:40 PM   #1637
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:48 PM   #1638
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Good girls go to Heaven. Bad girls go everywhere. Imelda Marcos had a pillow with that embroidered on it.
“When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better. ” ―Mae West
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:50 PM   #1639
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Cool Jim Butcher's Cold Days Holds 'Em

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Quoted from Stillpoint Digital Press



Posted on December 3, 2012 by David Kudler

Jim Butcher's Cold Days Holds 'Em

I've been reading fantasy adventure novels for a long, long time. When you read a series of books by the same author, it's hard not to expect the stakes to get raised with each title: new thrills, new surprises, new tie-ins with earlier story threads and character.

No matter the genre, if you read enough books by the same author, there comes a point where you find yourself beginning to wonder if perhaps, this time, the writer is bluffing -- that he or she has pushed the stakes so high (yet again) that the hand the writer's holding -- the story he's or she's written -- can't possibly support the kind of rash bet he or she's just made. As a reader, you sigh, swearing you won't get suckered in yet again, but hey -- you're reading this book because you want the author to win that bet. So you call the bluff.

Sometimes the author's just holding the narrative equivalent of a pair of twos -- a real let-down. We've all had that experience: the great reveal comes, but we've seen it coming all along -- or it comes out of nowhere and doesn't satisfy.

And sometimes the author's played a brilliant hand, and lays down four queens, with an ace kicker. (For those of you who don't play poker, well, that's a really good hand. It's also a clue.)

As I began reading Jim Butcher's Cold Days, the 14th novel in the Dresden Files series (starring that other wizard named Harry: Harry Dresden), I was filled with a certain mixture of anticipation and dread: Butcher has pushed his protagonist further and further with each book in the series. Harry's challenges have gotten exponentially more difficult, his enemies more vicious, and his gambits more desperate. The complications in his circumstances and in his relationships (with his friends, with his families -- even his semi-non-existent love life) have gotten increasingly complex, thorny and dysfunctional.

In the first half of Cold Days, Harry -- who finished Ghost Tale, the previous book in the series, to find a) that he was not quite as dead as he might have supposed and b) that he'd pledged himself to be the vassal and champion to the Queen of Air and Darkness, the honest-to-goodness Queen Mab -- faces an escalating series of attempts on his own life and the lives of his loved ones. Butcher writes mayhem wonderfully; the action remains taut and exciting, and Harry's smart-aleck, pop-reference-filled narrative voice (which is a wild mix of Sam Spade and George Takei) is intact, even as he undergoes some rather consciousness -- not to mention life-altering experiences.

(By the way, I've always been curious: How does a wizard who inadvertently fries every television he comes near know so much about Star Trek and Star Wars?)

As the book proceeds, the stakes, which had reached the life-or-death stage somewhere around page one, ratchet up, and up, and up. I will admit to getting something like combat fatigue when Harry was being stitched up yet again after a near-fatal encounter...

And then the real action starts. And it goes. And it goes. And...

The last quarter of the book is taken up with a battle to save the world. Again.

You can see why I wondered whether -- to change my metaphor -- Butcher was going to be able to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the proverbial hat.

He did. For me. Switching back to my initial extended metaphor: I called his bluff and was pleased to find that his hand held nothing but paint.

Did I see some of what was coming? Sort of; in the first part of the book, he stressed some concepts that had been set up much earlier in the series, reintroducing them in such a way that a wary reader was likely to say, "Ah-ha. That's coming back." And some of Harry's relationships (particularly on the romantic front) had hit such an impasse that it was clear that something had to change.

Butcher rolls out the final resolution of the grand Ragnarok battle in such a way that all of those expectations that he'd set up in me were fully satisfied -- and yet he managed to satisfy them in ways that left me surprised. A few interesting new characters are introduced; some old favorites reappear, but the cast of characters doesn't sprawl too widely to be able to keep the players straight. Harry manages to reach the end of the book in a manner that I found both fulfilling and unforeseen.

I'm fond of quoting Aristotle's dictum that the proper end to a dramatic story be "inevitable but unexpected." Cold Days manages that... in spades.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:09 PM   #1640
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Why does he refer to Ghost Story as Ghost Tale. That makes the whole article wrong. I don't believe a word it is saying.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:31 PM   #1641
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Why does he refer to Ghost Story as Ghost Tale. That makes the whole article wrong. I don't believe a word it is saying.
I was bugged by the Ragnarök reference.

Spoiler:
Odin is supposed to die in Ragnarök , which obviously didn't happen because he's Santa Claus, who was quite well at the end of Cold Days.


So there.

(And yes, file that spoilered text away in "Things that make not a damn bit of sense out of context." Also may be filed in "Things that Jim Butcher caused to make sense somehow.")
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #1642
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I hate to post after myself, but it's not my fault everyone is quiet. That post was yesterday, so I don't see this as a double post. In case anyone cares.

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...I decided to dive into one that's been on my "Next Reads" list FOREVAH - Already Dead by Charlie Huston, first of the Joe Pitt Casebooks. And then I find that Huston doesn't like the usual writing conventions, like properly formatted dialog.
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Yeesh! Both the missing cable and the annoying format sucks!! Hopefully the story is compelling enough to allow you to continue resting in bed, and enjoy your reading.
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I've seen that and gave up before starting. I wasn't going to try something that would be knowingly annoying.
Update - Actually, the story did suck me in enough that the formatting no longer bothers me. So it was well worth the initial annoyance. Haven't finished the book yet, but so far I'm willing to state that for me, Joe Pitt makes a sufficient fill-in when there's no new Harry available.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #1643
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Cool posting after oneself

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I hate to post after myself, but it's not my fault everyone is quiet. That post was yesterday, so I don't see this as a double post. In case anyone cares.







Update - Actually, the story did suck me in enough that the formatting no longer bothers me. So it was well worth the initial annoyance. Haven't finished the book yet, but so far I'm willing to state that for me, Joe Pitt makes a sufficient fill-in when there's no new Harry available.
Take it from an expert at posting after myself, nobody cares! Or at least nobody complains.

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #1644
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Take it from an expert at posting after myself, nobody cares! Or at least nobody complains.

It's funny - it doesn't bother me too much when other people do it (except when it's like 8 posts in a row because they haven't mastered multi-quote) but I'm always conscientious about doing it myself.

But then, I do tend to worry too much.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:26 PM   #1645
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Cool different strokes

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It's funny - it doesn't bother me too much when other people do it (except when it's like 8 posts in a row because they haven't mastered multi-quote) but I'm always conscientious about doing it myself.

But then, I do tend to worry too much.
Well, I think some folks probably think it rude not to reply to each post individually. Others get excited to reply and don't continue reading the rest of the available new posts but just compose and post their reply right then. Sometimes it is the last post that you're replying to and someone else has posted while you're composing and posting your reply. Also I should add that my comment "...nobody cares! Or at least nobody complains" concerns this thread particularly, and is maybe not true when posting in other threads.

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #1646
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It's funny - it doesn't bother me too much when other people do it (except when it's like 8 posts in a row because they haven't mastered multi-quote) but I'm always conscientious about doing it myself.

But then, I do tend to worry too much.
There is a problem with multi-replies. It spoils hybrid and threaded display modes for those that use them. So in the interest of others, I don't multi-reply.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:27 PM   #1647
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There is a problem with multi-replies. It spoils hybrid and threaded display modes for those that use them. So in the interest of others, I don't multi-reply.
Those that choose such unconventional methods should just be aware of it. If I had to worry if I can simply hit a quick reply (when nothing needs quoted) or quote a former post anyway, and delete the quote, that would be confusing.

And I mix and match, sometimes I reply, sometimes just post.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:29 PM   #1648
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Those that choose such unconventional methods should just be aware of it. If I had to worry if I can simply hit a quick reply (when nothing needs quoted) or quote a former post anyway, and delete the quote, that would be confusing.

And I mix and match, sometimes I reply, sometimes just post.
It may be unconventional, but it is a feature of the forum. And as such, I am not going to break it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:58 PM   #1649
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really, then you read standing up?

ok, i'll buy faux latin as an alternate to to pigeon latin..but is 'flickum bicus' a phrase a term or something else entirely?
Named after the slogan for bic lighters "Flick your bic"
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:09 PM   #1650
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Cool CORRECT!!

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Named after the slogan for bic lighters "Flick your bic"
CORRECT!! Say the secret woid' and divide $100 (in monopoly money)!

Wow, that's an old post! Are you reading the enire thread?

WELCOME!

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