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ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!




Welcome to the Jim Butcher/Dresden Files/Urban Fantasy/London Megathread!
The Previous Thread: The Dresden Files: Ridin' the zombie dinosaur!
The Thread Before That: The Dresden Files (and more): A chitinous susurrus of good people
The Ghost of the Thread Before That: The Dresden Files: Harry Doesn't Wear a Hat!


Here we discuss anything and everything urban fantasy. The Dresden Files is the granddaddy of the genre, and we spend much of the OP talking about it.

When we're not gushing over Jim Butcher, we talk about other Urban Fantasy novels.

Dresden Files Homepage
Buy the books at Amazon.
Wikipedia Article

If you're new here...
Please post. We're good people. We'll use spoiler tags if you ask, but you must chat about the books you've finished. Crackpot theories are strongly encouraged. It's a tradition.

Dresden Files Series Synopsis
The Dresden Files are set in a "alternate" Chicago where magic is real, but only a few actually believe in it; it's a first-person tale told by an irascible wizard named Harry Dresden, who regularly gives the magical establishment indigestion and the police, the same. Take Sam Spade, your Average Joe Underdog Action Star, and toss in some spellcraft, and you get Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Heck of a guy.

Why Should You Read The Dresden Files?



OMG THERE ARE LIKE FIFTY BAZILLION BOOKS NO REALLY WHY SHOULD I READ THIS?
I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it.

NO SERIOUSLY CAN I SKIP SOME OF THESE? I HATE WORDS!
The first three books are somewhat amateurish. Books 1 and 2 establish the setting but are ultimately skippable in the grand scheme of things. Book 3 sets up the metaplot for the next nine or ten books.

My advice? Read book 1. If you liked it without reservation, read book 2. If you had issues with book 1, skip book 2 and move straight to book 3. Butcher is really good about re-introducing characters and locations when they first show up: you won't get lost.

Fun Links:
Harry's Warden Dossier
http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/...p?topic=19774.0 (big spoilers)

What Should I Read After Dresden?
Updated May 10th, 2017

Face it. Most Urban Fantasy is garbage, where the main (sexy!) character fucks her way through the legions of hell.

But not all of it is terrible. Here's a list of the most popular recommendations from this thread. I hope you like London.

The good stuff!
These are the books we here most frequently recommend, and they're all well worth your time. Buy these.

Daniel O'malley: The Rook and Stiletto: Similar to Laundry Files (see below), but less geeky and far more badass. Lots of spycraft, weird powers, and has a strong female protagonist. It's my personal favorite out of all the recommendations here. Reads like "What if the X-Men were a secret branch of the British government?" The sequel is different, but still good!

Ben Aaronovitch: Rivers of London: Constable-Wizard apprentice in London. Magic is scary and difficult and serious. This series is British as gently caress. Unfortunately, the US release date tends to lag far behind the British release date (several months or more). This series is exceptionally well-written.

Benedict Jacka: Alex Verus: Recommended by Butcher himself, the Alex Verus series is about a mage--a diviner, who can see the future in limited amounts--living in London as an independent mage caught in a cold war between Light and Dark mages. Don't worry about the stupid black-and-white nomenclature: they're all assholes, but at least one group is up front about it. Book one is called Fated.

Craig Shaefer: Daniel Faust series and Harmony Black series: Two different series, two different protagonists, all set in the same world. Daniel Faust is a grifter, a con man, who magics his way through the Vegas underworld. Harmony Black is a covert ops agent for the government, tasked with taking out magical threats. This author writes exceptionally fast, and his work is still good. His content his not anything like Brandon Sanderson, but his output is.


The good-but-not-as-good-as-the-things-above stuff.
These books are good--some even flirt with greatness--but just can't quite hold their own with those listed above.

Libriomancer: Jim C Hines: What if you could reach into a book and pull out anything from the story inside? Alice's shrinking potion. Aladdin's lamp. A lightsaber. The only limitations are that it has to fit through the pages of the book itself, and enough people have to have read the story. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Johannes Gutenberg agrees, and so he founded the Proctors to hide magic from the world. Now only a select few have access, closely maintained by Gutenberg himself, for now. It's all starting to become unbound...

Seanan McGuire: October Daye series: October Daye knows how cruel Faerie can be to its changeling children. Born in San Francisco and carried to the Summerlands by her pureblood mother when she was just a child, she was raised in a world that never seemed capable of understanding her. She ran away the moment the opportunity presented itself, only to find that the human world wasn't any better. There are ten books available now. The first is Rosemary and Rue. The thread suggests that, much like Dresden, you can probably start with the third: An Artificial Night. The first two are good, but the third is where the greatness inside is revealed.

Charles Stross: The Laundry Files: Computer Wizard/Secret Agent wrapped around the Cthulhu Mythos, with heavy respect for Lovecraftian Horror. All Awesome & also British. The second book is very much a love-it-or-hate-it novel.

Paul Cornell: London Falling: Look, another London book. This one is significantly darker than most Urban Fantasy. It's a police drama/procedural into a series of murders that involve a supernatural creature. It gets pretty drat grim. The first two chapters are a total mess of rapidly-shifting PoVs, but it gets much better, very quickly. Look for the sequel, The Severed Streets.

Mike Carey: The Felix Castor Series: British exorcist fighting ghosts, demons and werewolves.

Harry Connolly: Twenty Palaces 1-3 plus Prequel: A L.A. thug gets involved with Lovecraftian horrors. Great concepts. This is an excellent series that will, sadly, probably never be finished. The books were dropped by the publisher after book 3. The author self-published a prequel. Read the prequel first. It's amazing. Book 1 starts in the middle of the main character's story. The series probably would still be going strong if the author had started at the beginning rather than in the middle like he did.

Miscellaneous others
Here are some other stories you might see mentioned here and there in the thread. Opinions are mixed on these overall, but it's worth picking up the first novel in any of the series to see if you like it.

Kevin Hearne: Iron Druid: Come for the premise (the last Druid alive pisses off the gods), stay for the sidekick, leave when the lolcats show up. Most recent book is supposedly good again, so who knows!

Kat Richardson: Greywalker: Female private investigator gets into some weird paranormal stuff. Follows the Dresden school of investigation: get a lead, get beat up, find the perp, get beat up more...and so on.

Richard Kadrey: Sandman Slim: Some guy escapes Hell and goes on a Punisher-like rampage against those that sent him there in the first place. Sort of Max Payne meets the Punisher by way of Dante's Inferno.


There are a number of other suggestions near the top of page 165 of the previous thread!
http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...&pagenumber=165

I haven't vetted them yet, so I cannot vouch for their quality.

ConfusedUs fucked around with this message at 07:35 on May 11, 2017

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ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!




What do you get when you mix the Roman Empire and Pokemon?

The Codex Alera! This is Jim Butcher's other fantasy series. Comprised of six books, Alera is complete. The last book, First Lord's Fury, hit shelves quite some time ago.



The series follows a boy, named Tavi, and his friends in their adventures in a spirited romp through the depths of slavery, war, treachery, and genocide.

It also has the most hilarious origin story of any novel, ever. You could read my terrible summary below, but you're better off watching the youtube video from Comic Con 2008. It's told better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylKRYe0ZWHo

If you hate youtube, here you go. Jim Butcher got into an internet flamewar. One side argued that a good idea, even terribly written, would sell. Butcher argued that even overused ideas could be twisted into a good, viable story.

Idea guy challenged Butcher to write a story based on a terrible idea of idea guy's choice. Butcher said 'no, give me two terrible ideas.'

Idea guy picked the lost Roman Legion, and Pokemon. Soon thereafter, Butcher started outlining the story while Big Trouble in Little China played in the background.

And thus, Alera was born.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


...moved content to OP...

ConfusedUs fucked around with this message at 14:57 on May 10, 2017

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


Hey guys, be cool and don't spoil the new book yet. It's not out yet for most of us.

Xtanstic
Nov 22, 2007



See you guys in a week or so! I look forward to many classified CIA documents.

THF13
Sep 26, 2007

Keep an adversary in the dark about what you're capable of, and he has to assume the worst.


Can we not tell people to skip Fool Moon? None of the books are particularly long and some important stuff happens.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


THF13 posted:

Can we not tell people to skip Fool Moon? None of the books are particularly long and some important stuff happens.

It's a long series. Two of the most frequent questions from new readers are

"Do I have to start at the beginning?"

and

"I didn't really like the first book, but I hear this is a good series. When does it get good?"


The answer to both of those questions frequently involves some mention that they should skip Fool Moon if they didn't like the first book.

Decius
Oct 14, 2005



Ramrod XTreme

You could probably add Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series to the "what else to read"-section. Very similar to Harry Dresden, in style, tone and setting, except Alex Verus is a Diviner (can tell the future with some limitations) in - where else? - London, he has basically no combat abilities except running away, hiding really well, throwing things very accurately (it helps if you can tell where your throws would land). Ex-Dark Mage, who gave up being dark once he realised what a shitshow it is, but also not very popular with Light Mages... As said, very similar to Harry Dresden.

It also comes recommended by Jim Butcher himself.

Wolpertinger
Feb 16, 2011


Decius posted:

You could probably add Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series to the "what else to read"-section. Very similar to Harry Dresden, in style, tone and setting, except Alex Verus is a Diviner (can tell the future with some limitations) in - where else? - London, he has basically no combat abilities except running away, hiding really well, throwing things very accurately (it helps if you can tell where your throws would land). Ex-Dark Mage, who gave up being dark once he realised what a shitshow it is, but also not very popular with Light Mages... As said, very similar to Harry Dresden.

It also comes recommended by Jim Butcher himself.

Yeah, I've read these too - it's not as good as Dresden but it is still a pretty fun read. He is so very, very Dresden, though. Everyone but him can throw fireballs and suck the life out of you and freeze things solid and teleport, he can see possible futures seconds-to-minutes ahead, - all several thousands of them at once with nothing but 'probably' on the most likely ones and nothing that involves human choice (people tend to not really make and actually think about decisions constantly and just fall into habit, react to things, and stick to what they have already decided on which is how people can be predictable) and using trinkets other people have made, and that's it. Of course, everyone has to try and push him around because he's on the bottom of the totem pole as a result. Multiple dead giant badasses who underestimate him later, people are only more determined to step on him.

Wolpertinger fucked around with this message at 06:52 on May 22, 2014

Big Bad Beetleborg
Apr 8, 2007

Things may come to those who wait...but only the things left by those who hustle.



Anyone read Paul Cornell's Severed Streets yet? I finished a re-read of London Falling last night, and it's such bullshit that I have to wait another five days because I'm using the US kindle store.

I'd cancel my pre-order, but the UK ebooks are waaaay more expensive. I'm so conflicted!

e: Dammit. It's apparently because I'm in NZ, a country that was once under the thumb of the UK but we still have to wait an extra week. Weak.

Big Bad Beetleborg fucked around with this message at 07:19 on May 22, 2014

FrantzX
Jan 27, 2007


Is it possible for this thread to be just about the Dresden Files and not urban fantasy in general? Obviously people want to discuss other books in the genre, but it's not as if a new thread cannot be created. It would be nice if I didn't have to skip pass pages of discussion in order to read others' reaction to Skin Game when it comes out next week.

FRINGE
May 23, 2003
title stolen for lf posting


FrantzX posted:

Is it possible for this thread to be just about the Dresden Files and not urban fantasy in general? Obviously people want to discuss other books in the genre, but it's not as if a new thread cannot be created. It would be nice if I didn't have to skip pass pages of discussion in order to read others' reaction to Skin Game when it comes out next week.
Threads are more interesting (and less monotonous) when they branch out.

Tornhelm
Jul 26, 2008



And it generally only happens in between waiting for books. When a new one is released getting a word in edgewise about any other book is a feat worthy of notice while we're all sperging over the shiny new Dresden Files.

Edit: and even though most of us find its quality somewhat lacking, leaving off the The Iron Druid is pretty meh considering this thread is where most of us found out about it and it does have its good points/help pass the time between books.

Tornhelm fucked around with this message at 11:09 on May 22, 2014

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

gently caress the Iron Druid series.

Khizan
Jul 30, 2013



One of the things I liked about the Alex Varus books is that Alex isn't an asskicker; he can't block bullets, he can't throw fireballs, and he's not going to be able to Dresden his way out of a fight.

That's one of the things I thought I would like about the Iron Druid books, when I read the first one. Atticus isn't a mage, doesn't throw fireballs, can't block bullets with his mind, etc. I liked the idea of an urban fantasy book where the primary character -wasn't- a magical badass. It, of course, did not work out that way and he's a magical badass who just bulls his way through problems, with the caveat that he uses a magical sword and not fireballs.

I do think the Iron Druid books are worth mentioning, though; they're a notable series in the genre, albeit one that is notably mediocre. I saw questions asking about them in the old thread several times and I think a "These exist, they're not very good" note is warranted.

Tornhelm
Jul 26, 2008



Wade Wilson posted:

gently caress the Iron Druid series.

I'm not claiming they're anything great, but they're worth adding to the list. They've got some problems (not least of which is that Atticus is a 2000 year old hipster), but they do have their good points and the short stories are actually pretty decent. The next book in the series is out in June for this.

Also, Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International (the next book is out in July) are a pretty fun too.

Fried Chicken
Jan 9, 2011

Don't fry me, I'm no chicken!


I'd suggest adding links to Jim Butcher's Reddit account (so people can refer to his AMA answers) and the big "Word of Jim" repository on the JB forums. What he has said about the series gets referenced often enough it could be handy.




Tornhelm posted:

Also, Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International (the next book is out in July) are a pretty fun too.

That guy is utter human garbage though, so gently caress supporting him. If you must read his poo poo, pirate it so he doesn't see a single cent.

Tornhelm
Jul 26, 2008



Fried Chicken posted:

I'd suggest adding links to Jim Butcher's Reddit account (so people can refer to his AMA answers) and the big "Word of Jim" repository on the JB forums. What he has said about the series gets referenced often enough it could be handy.


That guy is utter human garbage though, so gently caress supporting him. If you must read his poo poo, pirate it so he doesn't see a single cent.

Sure you're not confusing him with John Ringo? Larry saying that the Hugo voters are left-biased doesn't exactly make him human garbage (hint - they are). Nor does his nomination selection slate. See John Scalzi's post regarding this "controversy" for an actual sane non-bullshit opinion regarding it.

Clinton1011
Jul 11, 2007


Fried Chicken posted:

That guy is utter human garbage though, so gently caress supporting him. If you must read his poo poo, pirate it so he doesn't see a single cent.

Can you elaborate on this, becease that sucks to hear. I loved his Grimnoir Chronicles series.

Fried Chicken
Jan 9, 2011

Don't fry me, I'm no chicken!


Tornhelm posted:

Sure you're not confusing him with John Ringo? Larry saying that the Hugo voters are left-biased doesn't exactly make him human garbage (hint - they are).

No, I'm remembering the guy who is on the side of open white supremacists. Backing rants about how black people are literally subhuman does make him human garbage.

Clinton1011 posted:

Can you elaborate on this, becease that sucks to hear. I loved his Grimnoir Chronicles series.

It gets covered better here

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...&pagenumber=107

Basically he is part of a group unofficially led by Theodore Beale/Vox Day that has been stirring a lot of poo poo in SFWA lately, trying to harass and drive out women and nonwhite authors.

Fried Chicken fucked around with this message at 12:39 on May 22, 2014

Piell
Sep 3, 2006

Grey Worm's Ken doll-like groin throbbed with the anticipatory pleasure that only a slightly warm and moist piece of lemoncake could offer



Young Orc

Tornhelm posted:

Sure you're not confusing him with John Ringo? Larry saying that the Hugo voters are left-biased doesn't exactly make him human garbage (hint - they are). Nor does his nomination selection slate. See John Scalzi's post regarding this "controversy" for an actual sane non-bullshit opinion regarding it.

Larry Correia isn't nearly as bad as Vox Day, he's just at the typical level of racism and sexism for middle-aged Republican men, i.e. quite a bit and tolerant/supporting of those who are crazy racist/sexist.

Edit: That said if we want to talk more about terrible people in SF/Fantasy we should take it to the other thread.

Piell fucked around with this message at 12:45 on May 22, 2014

Tornhelm
Jul 26, 2008



You do realise that the entire reason he suports them is to annoy the far-left? I mean gently caress, his fans got John Ringo a Fan's Choice Romance Award for Ghost. Which is equally amusing/horrifying and is something that GBS/Reddit would do out of boredom.

Tornhelm fucked around with this message at 12:52 on May 22, 2014

Piell
Sep 3, 2006

Grey Worm's Ken doll-like groin throbbed with the anticipatory pleasure that only a slightly warm and moist piece of lemoncake could offer



Young Orc

Edit: Let's take this to the other thread to stop going off topic on this one!

Piell fucked around with this message at 12:54 on May 22, 2014

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

I read the first three Dresden novels a while ago and didn't like them enough to continue - however, it sounds like the series gets much better from there, and I'm looking for some light summer reading, so I think I'll give these books another shot. Seems like Grave Peril is pretty important in setting up some major story arcs, but I don't remember it too well... is it worth re-reading this one? Or should I just skip to that party scene at the end and refresh my memory there?

why oh WHY
Apr 25, 2012

So like I said, not my fault. Nobody can judge me for it.
But, yeah...
Okay.
I admit it.
Human teenager Rainbow Dash was hot!


Daveski posted:

I read the first three Dresden novels a while ago and didn't like them enough to continue - however, it sounds like the series gets much better from there, and I'm looking for some light summer reading, so I think I'll give these books another shot. Seems like Grave Peril is pretty important in setting up some major story arcs, but I don't remember it too well... is it worth re-reading this one? Or should I just skip to that party scene at the end and refresh my memory there?

If you have read it then I'd say skim it and head onto Summer Knight. It really starts picking up right around there.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


Daveski posted:

I read the first three Dresden novels a while ago and didn't like them enough to continue - however, it sounds like the series gets much better from there, and I'm looking for some light summer reading, so I think I'll give these books another shot. Seems like Grave Peril is pretty important in setting up some major story arcs, but I don't remember it too well... is it worth re-reading this one? Or should I just skip to that party scene at the end and refresh my memory there?

The last half or third of Grave Peril is where the series gets its legs. After that point, every book is as good as or better than the one before.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010



I enjoy reading the Dresden books but I don't admit that to people I know.

Edit: Dresden really is a goon with his black coat. Also sometimes you're almost expecting him to tip his hat and say "M'lady"

apostateCourier
Oct 9, 2012



Pham Nuwen posted:

I enjoy reading the Dresden books but I don't admit that to people I know.

Edit: Dresden really is a goon with his black coat. Also sometimes you're almost expecting him to tip his hat and say "M'lady"

He doesn't wear hats.

Decius
Oct 14, 2005



Ramrod XTreme

Pham Nuwen posted:

I enjoy reading the Dresden books but I don't admit that to people I know.

I'm old enough to not give a poo poo what people think about what I'm reading, watching or listening to.

pseudonordic
Aug 31, 2003

The Jack of All Trades

Yassssss, new book new thread.

Ferret
Oct 9, 2003


I couldn't stand it anymore, and I read the five preview chapters for Skin Game up on Jim's site.

gently caress. It's going to be a long five days.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



Pham Nuwen posted:

I enjoy reading the Dresden books but I don't admit that to people I know.

Edit: Dresden really is a goon with his black coat. Also sometimes you're almost expecting him to tip his hat and say "M'lady"

Dresden is a giant creep for a huge chunk of the series and it's only really tolerable because people call him out on it instead of treating it as laudable.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010



Ferret posted:

I couldn't stand it anymore, and I read the five preview chapters for Skin Game up on Jim's site.

gently caress. It's going to be a long five days.

Looking forward to more Demonreach, especially after the previous book.

Ferret
Oct 9, 2003


Pham Nuwen posted:

Looking forward to more Demonreach, especially after the previous book.

Alfred Demonreach

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010



WARNING:
Crushes tea, and tea-related rebels.


Slippery Tilde

ImpAtom posted:

Dresden is a giant creep for a huge chunk of the series and it's only really tolerable because people call him out on it instead of treating it as laudable.

Which is wonderful every time it happens. I should ask the goon who was keeping word count how many times "Pig" and "Chauvinist" is thrown around.


Decius posted:

I'm old enough to not give a poo poo what people think about what I'm reading, watching or listening to.

'Sup. Sadly being this old means secret shames to keep company too!

I got to three, three loving books of the sword of truth on the recommendation of a "friend", gently caress the sword of truth books and everything related.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


Thyrork posted:

I got to three, three loving books of the sword of truth on the recommendation of a "friend", gently caress the sword of truth books and everything related.

I made it through all except the last three.

Did you make it to the evil chicken that's not a chicken? That's in one of the first few books. I should have stopped but didn't.

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010



WARNING:
Crushes tea, and tea-related rebels.


Slippery Tilde

I hit the bit where the "evil sisterhood" all get titty groped in a dream by the "evil emperor" and just went "I'm done!" and flung the book as far as i could.

I was at work at the time, so it hit the breakroom wall. I have no idea why THAT detail broke me, but it did. Edit: Cutting out the details, it doesn't deserve the attention in any form.

gently caress the Sword of Truth books. That is all.

Great thread title by the way.

Thyrork fucked around with this message at 21:44 on May 22, 2014

OptimusWang
Jul 9, 2007



Thyrork posted:

gently caress the Sword of Truth books. That is all.

Amen brother. I picked up the first one after Legend of the Seeker was canceled and was totally unprepared for the surprise sex surprise sex surprise sex in there. It does explain the leather dominatrix outfits and magic dildos, though.

Captain Capacitor
Jan 20, 2008

The code you say?


I'm going to be meeting Jim next week when he wanders by Seattle, so if you have any pressing questions I'll blatantly ignore them see what I can do.

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Subvisual Haze
Nov 22, 2003

The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault.

The Sword of Truth is the worst thing ever written by a human being. It's a poo poo sandwich of awful prose, surprise sex fetish, and Ayn Rand wank.

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