All Things Jim Butcher discussion

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Ghost Story Delay

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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 16 comments Hey, I was just wondering what people thought that Jim had to delay the book until July 26, 2011. He reason that he put on his website is (paraphrased): “It came down to, readers could either get a half-assed story in April, or a full-assed one in July!” On twitter, he said " Okay okay, enough frippery. Must go work on chapter 34 of Ghost Story. Freaking faeries, complicating my life." Do people as he said want a half ass story or a full one? So just wondering what people thought of the 3-4 month delay in publication.


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 16 comments It always somethings one way or another dealing with the faeries.


message 3: by Zaanodes (new)

Zaanodes | 2 comments Full-assed, please! I will wait, impatiently wait, but wait!


message 4: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 3 comments I'm with you, as torturous as it has been, it will be worth waiting for the full-ass version. Sweet torture!


message 5: by Carlos (new)

Carlos Torres (catcubano) | 1 comments Absolutely full-ass. A quality book is always better than a crappy one. I like Harry too much to jeopardize his reputation. ;)


message 6: by Shari (new)

Shari | 3 comments As always it will be worth the wait, but oh what a long wait!


message 7: by Chompa (new)

Chompa | 5 comments With how good his last book was, I'm willing to wait. If Butcher thinks it needs more work - he's the expert!


message 8: by Phogbound (last edited Jan 28, 2011 05:05AM) (new)

Phogbound (phogboundverizonnet) Well, my two favorite current authors are Jim Butcher and John Sandford (the Prey thrillers) so I've had much practice waiting. The only ass request I have is that the upcoming book KICKS ass!


message 9: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Haney (haneyg) | 40 comments Mod
Considering that Harry is dead in the next book, I think we'll all definitely want a full, well rounded story at optimum competition.

No deus ex machina please. ;)


message 10: by Chompa (new)

Chompa | 5 comments I don't get onto chat boards often and there's a good reason for it. I don't want to know what is going to happen in a book before it comes out. Gregory, I'm going to happily consider you misinformed (doesn't matter if you are or not). My understanding is that the Dresden Files was going to be around for about 20 books or so. Please don't try to point out how you are correct. I'm on this chat just to share in the enthusiasm for Butcher's work.


message 11: by Gregory (last edited Feb 05, 2011 07:11PM) (new)

Gregory Haney (haneyg) | 40 comments Mod
You are correct Chompa, Butcher has stated that the Dresden Files will be 20 normal books, plus a 3 book apocalyptic finale.

Not quite sure what you mean though about being misinformed. I don't know anything about the next book besides what the Amazon description says:

When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin.

But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own.

To save his friends-and his own soul-Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic...



message 12: by Dana (last edited Feb 07, 2011 02:01PM) (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Is Jim even capable of writing a half-assed book? Perhaps if Bob were to joyride in Jim's body? (No, if Bob was involved it would just be erotic fiction, not half-assed fiction.)

I truly doubt that he could have written anything we would have been disappointed in but I too will wait patiently as I know it will only benefit the story. In all honesty it comes as no shock to me that the story is taking a bit longer than he anticipated. He is most likely having to 're-do' to an extent what an author usually takes care of the first few novels in a series...which is to create the world the characters interact in. In this story, with Harry being dead, I'm fairly sure Jim is having to set the scene, so to speak, much more than he has for many novels in the past few years.

He can't use magic so all that spell-cooking time in the novels is now dedicated to some other form of Harry-kickbutticus-behavior. Additionally, we are probably going to be saying hello to more new characters in this text than we have in a l-o-n-g time. All those new characters need backgrounds, explanations of what kinds of beasties they are, etc.

One of the main consolations in regard to the wait is that I am betting this is one of his more dense novels. Phogbound, I am betting we are going to get XXX-KICK-ASS on this one!

I have a (technical?) question for you guys...

Do you think Harry will be able to interact with Bob as a spirit? Will Bob even be 'his' anymore if he is technically dead? I know he permenantly sealed the necromancer garbage in Bob so he can't go ballistic if a baddie got him so all is seemingly safe, but doesn't he lose is Bob-mojo when he dies? I'm thinking Bob would pass to Molly. AND, does anyone remember what is supposed to happen to Molly if Harry dies? This Damocles business isn't portrayed as the most flexible stuff. AND what about the swords? Who is supposed to watch over them? (Ugh, I meant to just ask about Bob but I popped the cork and I can't stop!)

I know that Harry being dead and presumably hounded by a bunch of snarlies (one of Shannon's words) is my expected focus, however, I find myself drawn back to the responsibilities that are left behand upon his death. Harry doesn't strike me as your 'Last Will and Testament' kind of fellow if his accounting and organization skills are indicator.

If Jim only answers one third of the questions I have, the book will be 900 pages long!

PS - Do you think Butters is going to have to autopsy Harry? I am going to bawl like a little girl I just know it. Damn!


message 13: by Phogbound (new)

Phogbound (phogboundverizonnet) Good stuff, Dana! I'm sure that I have forgotten reading it but what happened to Harry's Wizard Death Curse. Did he fire it off or is that the clue that he isn't truly dead?

He certainly used it as a threat often enough so I was wondering why he would go "go gently into that good night"?


message 14: by Deter (new)

Deter | 2 comments Dana wrote: "Is Jim even capable of writing a half-assed book? Perhaps if Bob were to joyride in Jim's body? (No, if Bob was involved it would just be erotic fiction, not half-assed fiction.)

I truly doubt t..."

Hey Dana I doubt Jim would have anyone collect Harry's body other than a servant of the Winter Court. So I seriously doubt Butters will have to do anything grizzly to Harry. Also I believe Harry had specified that Murphy was the executor to all his physical items, so guess what? Murphy should get Bob and if she's the smart cookie Jim writes her to be then she'll probalby have Bob out and looking. As for the swords, I'll have to reread the book. I'd imagine they might fall to Murphy but I can't remember who has them at the moment.
Cheers. Hope that might relieve some anxiety.

And honestly its just my best "guess".


message 15: by Mike (new)

Mike Griffith | 19 comments Harry didn't get a chance to throw his death curse before he got killed and he didn't get a chance to see who did it.

I'm glad he's waiting and taking his time as well, I'd rather have him take his time and do it right. Although after Changes I can see why he's having a hard time topping that one.


message 16: by Phogbound (last edited Feb 09, 2011 07:32AM) (new)

Phogbound (phogboundverizonnet) OK. However, I thought that the Death Curse was automatic - like a deadman's switch. While alive, Harry expended a minute amount of control to restrain it. When he died, the curse - no longer held in check - fired. I also assumed that it was targeted at the hand that killed him - even if unseen.

This is sort of like the fight I once saw at the Gencon Convention (a fantasy game convention hosted by the D&D people of TSR). Two mages in full regalia were having a disagreement over whose magic was "real" when they started emphasizing their various points with their fists. Hilarious! Rolling around on the floor trying to beat the bejesus out of each other. Harry would have loved it!


message 17: by Mike (new)

Mike Griffith | 19 comments I was under the impression that it had to be consciously thrown and/or aimed, that's why Kincaid said that the way to kill Dresden was to shoot him with a sniper rifle from far away. I don't think its an automatic thing.


message 18: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Haney (haneyg) | 40 comments Mod
Mike wrote: "I was under the impression that it had to be consciously thrown and/or aimed, that's why Kincaid said that the way to kill Dresden was to shoot him with a sniper rifle from far away. I don't think..."

Bingo, that's exactly what I remember too.


message 19: by Celina (new)

Celina | 3 comments I think Kincaid said that not because the Death Curse isn't an automatic thing, but that it has a certain range - a sniper would be out of the range of the death curse...


message 20: by Kate (new)

Kate | 7 comments I specifically remember from when Harry killed one of the necromancers in Dead Beat that refused to awknowledge that he could die, that the wizard has to realize he is dying and focus the death curse at a target or it doesn't work. It basically involved the wizard taking all their life energy and throwing it at someone before it faded away naturally. Which is why they only ever do it when they are about to die.

Remember in Turn Coat, they discovered that LaFortier didn't release his death curse on those who were standing right next to him when he died either, so its not an automatic thing.

Harry thought Kincaid's sniper thing would work because he wouldn't hear the shot before it hit him, so he wouldn't have time to know the bullet was coming and prepare his curse before he died.

I"ve read these books WAY too many times :-)


message 21: by Celina (new)

Celina | 3 comments @Kate WOW, I bow before your all-inclusive knowledge of the Death Curse :D Hmmm... you're not a Wizard, are you? :D


message 22: by Kate (new)

Kate | 7 comments I am not allowed to answer that question... :-)


message 23: by Dana (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Deter-

Thanks for the reminder about Murphy. I completely forgot about her having been 'offered a job' with one of the swords, so obviously she will end up with them, duh! Murphy probably will end up with his wizard-stuff as well but since Molly is the only other wizard of Murphy's acquaintance (meaning she can actually use the stuff) then I'm thinking she will give those items to Molly.

I'm interested as to why you think the Winter Court would end up with Harry's body. He wasn't killed by magic, so not a summer court attack, and if I remember correctly, doesn't the power of the Winter Knight instantly return to Mab when whoever was the knight at the time, died? I guess she could always 'fey' herself there and highjack his body, but unless she could revive him I don't know why she would. She can't do that can she? Or if she could, why would she ever have to replace her knights? Couldn't she have just kept the original (not the creep Harry killed) alive? Hhhmmmm

The reason I was worried about Butters was that Murphy was scheduled to be there in like 5 or 10 minutes, so it is possible that she is going to have to find his body floating in the water. She's a cop, and human, and don't all suspected murder victims have to go through the autopsy process?

This whole thing just sucks! I'm sure the book will be ridiculously good, but Harry dead is just 'no bueno' my friends.


message 24: by Dana (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Kate-

You can't possibly read Jim's books too many times. :)

I am currently nursing my dissappointment over the delay by reading the Codex Alera series...for the fourth time. I would say it was an addiction but that would require acceptance and I am still firmly entrenched in denial.


message 25: by Kate (new)

Kate | 7 comments I bought all the audiobooks for both series and have them on an almost constant loop for my drive to work. And my workouts. And anything else that needs a background of awesome.

I just started Alera this past May, and I've read or listened to them all 3 times now. Dresden is at 6 or 7 times depending on the book.

Its not an addiction. I can stop whenever I like. :-). Just don wanna


message 26: by Earl (new)

Earl C (eral) | 10 comments I totally forgot about LaFortier! Guess I need to reread the entire series. :)


message 27: by Deter (new)

Deter | 2 comments Dana wrote: "Deter-

Thanks for the reminder about Murphy. I completely forgot about her having been 'offered a job' with one of the swords, so obviously she will end up with them, duh! Murphy probably will e..."


Are you sure you want my take in the Winter Court conspiracy?

My theory on the Winter Court retrieving Harry’s body has to do with a few things. Firstly Harry was under a time constraint to report to Mab, with the clock ticking down this might have been a measure to ensure he kept his end of the bargain. Seems weak but think back how many times Harry’s thumbed his nose at the faerie Queen and might have ‘tricked’ her in getting away, also in ‘controlling the mortgage’ on Harry wouldn’t she have the ability to bring him back to life? So… having him shot, collected and brought to a place of her choosing might very well fit into her motif. As to your comment on ‘why’, she’s currently entertained with Harry, plus he’s a major power broker having removed the entire Red Court. He’s the ultimate rookie draft that just went pro! And she owns the rights to his contract.
Having said that might also be reason for any other factions to shoot him just to level the playing field, though that seems a slippery slope, as it would be comparable to shooting Archduke Franz Ferdinand (start of WW1 in Europe).
But think on this, if he is dead and the mantle has reverted back to Mab and Harry is reanimated then wouldn’t he be free from Mab ? Though he hadn’t actually started his ‘service’ so that might be a loophole, anyhow I’m speculating.
Comments ? or have I had way to much coffee this morning.


message 28: by Phogbound (new)

Phogbound (phogboundverizonnet) Earl wrote: "I totally forgot about LaFortier! Guess I need to reread the entire series. :)"

Like you needed an excuse... lol


message 29: by Earl (new)

Earl C (eral) | 10 comments Don't *need* an excuse, but it certainly doesn't hurt. :)


message 30: by Steve (new)

Steve (stevil) | 1 comments While I don't look forward to a four month delay, I count my blessings when compared to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. That is a longer delay than even Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time... and he died.

I would much rather have a powerful book the way Jim Butcher is capable of writing.


message 31: by Earl (new)

Earl C (eral) | 10 comments Butcher has managed a remarkably prolific output without a loss in quality. Martin's quality was excellent but I think he just got lost in all the details and hasn't been able to pull them together satisfactorily. Jordan...I certainly wished him no ill will but Sanderson has been doing a wonderful job of tying up the story and finishing everything.


message 32: by Dana (last edited Feb 11, 2011 09:27PM) (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Deter...HA! I love it! Rookie draft pick-that's beautiful my dear man.

Do I want to hear your theory? Are you unstable? Of course! You seem to be the foremost expert on Winter Court conspiracy theory anyway so I have 'gone to the source' on this it appears. :)

I think you are right about Mab and her capricious behavior in regard to Harry being entertaining. I forget often how my thought process of, "Why would you do that?", is in complete contrast with the fey, "It entertains me so why wouldn't I?", mentality. The contract thing though I think started ASAP once he accepted it. I would really hope that having a freaky bout of vouyeristic, popsicle sex with Mab on FeyTV would count as a real commitment to the job. Yikes!


Soooo, if she can reanimate him, then she would have to con him into becoming the knight again. Oh...OH! Do you think that this could be how we see the return of Harry? He has to renew his knight contract in exchange for her cooking up 'Harry Part Deux'? Hhhmmmm.....this has potential since I think she is the only player we know of with enough juice to do the job, correct? What ideas do you all have for Harry returning to the living world?

I'll tell you one other thing that I am interested in, is seeing what kind of interaction might be coming up between Harry's spirit and the nasty spirit that Harry bonded with out on the island.

Cripes, I need to read the series again next week so I don't give myself an aneurism trying to remember details like this. Kate...you seem to be the human reference library for this series, what kind of nasty was that island-spirit-demon-guy? It had something to do with Harry's ability to pull hellfire/soulfire right?

I know the day is coming where Harry steps into his Luke Skywalker role and can do this uber-wizard, whammy action that no one has seen since days of yore. I can't wait! Just the thought of Harry putting the smack down on that pompous, schmucatelli Merlin is giving me a hyperactive, giggling fit. Boy, I hope Jim gives us a little more insight into that in this next installment. Vague hint here and smoke-veiled reference there is making me crazy! (Not a word peanut gallery!)

And Deter, coffee is like Jim's books, there is no such thing as too much. :)


message 33: by Kate (new)

Kate | 7 comments Hmmmm...... Demonreach (island spirit) is a relatively new and unexplored entity. The only thing it has done for Harry that we know of so far is give him that knowledge of everything on the island. It's not thrilled to have him around, but they have a grudging respect thing going on. It will be very interesting to see if they interact in the spirit world somehow. And how that would go.

The hellfire thing he got from playing with the Danarian demon Lashiel. And the soulfire is what he got from Uriel the angel when he gave up the hellfire.


message 34: by Dana (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments See, I was right. Human reference library. :) Am I going to have to start using citations and footnotes when I talk about your post comments? Crap! How do you footnote in a chat post?

I remember vaguely that there was somethign else important in regard to him bonding with Demonreach though. That's why I made the Jedi comment. Isn't there something (once again vague) going on where since Harry can control hellfire, then he can control 'hellfire' demons and that is VERY unusual? I remember one of the council being moderately freaked out that he bonded with that island. Gah, what was that?!? Just a minute...


message 35: by Kate (new)

Kate | 7 comments I don't recall anything about hellfire demons, but the hellfire ingenerak freaked a bunch of wizard type people out. But he gave that up when he gave away Lashiels coin. The soulfire that he got let him beat the crap out of the Danarians. Which was highly unusual.

The gatekeeper was freaked that Harry bonded with the island because it was a very powerful and cranky thing and it was hinted that the gatekeeper and demonreach had gotten into a scuffle at some point an it didn't go well for either if them. The only other thing that happened with Harry and the island was that his sight "came in". When he first got there, but according to Luccio that is a normal thing for wizards of harry's age and it only happened there because the island was going to be important in the future.

As for citing me, you can just say Kate the Librarian said so. I am in fact a librarian type, so that works :). Endless audio book loop. I pick up all kinds of things. Maybe I should slip a non fiction in there sometimes..... :-)


message 36: by Kate (new)

Kate | 7 comments Afterthought and a correction.

It occurs to me that you might be thinking of "he who walks behind", the demon that Harry absolutely should not have been able to defeat when he was a teenager. We still know next to nothing about why he could do that.

Which brings me to correcting my calling the Denarians demons. Technically they are fallen angels, and demons are creatures from outter planes. Or whatever the laws of magic refer to them as. Outter reaches? I am actually not sure about something! Other dimensions of badness beyond the Never Never.


message 37: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Haney (haneyg) | 40 comments Mod
I seem to remember some hinting that Harry's mother was somehow connected to Demonreach, both hinted at by Gatekeeper and Harry's grandad, Black Staff.

In truth, I think there is some serious mojo with Harry's mom and her past, something the Council is afraid Harry could tap into.


message 38: by Dana (last edited Feb 12, 2011 02:20PM) (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Ha Ha! Gregory! Yes! That's what I'm talking about!

You get this feeling that it is on the horizon. The hint you spoke of with his mother, his mother's connection to the fey, his Godmother is the Leannansidhe(sp) (no small thing), him beating 'he who walks behind' when he was young, his only 2 friends (Murphy and Micheal) are holy warriors, his ability to bond with Demonreach, etc. I know he doesn't have hellfire anymore but I got the feeling that the fact that he could channel that power at all wasn't something every Joe could do. Same with soulfire. I know it is technically a gift but not all gifts can be used by the recipients. Being chosen to carry 2 (I know one is Murphs) of the 3 swords is nothing to sneeze at either.

Jim has created a bagful of these moments that seem totally unrelated and that often can be written off to, "Oh well Harry was the only wizard around, or just got lucky, or blah, blah, etc." They all result in him developing this freakish wizard resume. It's just this suspicion that rolls around in the back of my head when I read his books. Oh well, Deter shared his Winter Court conspiracy theory and this is my version I guess. ;D

One of the things that reinforces this so powerfully for me is that the things he does are rarely (if ever), things that other wizards can do. (Or do without being evil wizards at least.) They all seem singular to Harry and he collects a new 'gift', be it a skill or artifact, in almost every book.

Look at my cool mini-city!
Check out my skull that is the greatest spirit of intellect ever!
Oh cool! I have a holy sword!
Neat! I have 2 holy swords!
Bitchin'! I can move through worlds with my mom's map!
I'm the man! Check out my hellfire!
Step aside, soulfire comin' through!
Did you know I'm the only necromancer in the world who isn't tainted? Like me ride, Sue?
Yesterday? I was kicking tail on 'he who walks behind'. No biggie...
This Demonreach island looks like a great place to hang a hammock! Let's bond!
I let this Denarian rent out half my brain for a few years. She only had one coin to pay rent with though so I let her stay for free......

And the list goes on. Having the hero of a book gain in power and skill is par for the course in any work of fiction to my mind. With Harry though, he is always gaining skills that to our knowledge NO ONE has currently or has ever posessed.

And Gregory, you brought up what to me is the biggest clue. The fact that the council, especially the Merlin, seem so wary of any new thing that Harry does. Honestly they know very little though so I can only imagine their reaction if they really knew Harry's potential. Their caution is highly telling to me.

Who knows? I'm probably delusional! :) I'm starting to feel a bit like Mel Gibson...never a good thing. Later!


message 39: by Kate (new)

Kate | 7 comments Oh there is definately something going on with Harry that is connected to this murky past that no one seems to want to talk to him about. I'm looking forward to the apocolypic trilogy, just because it sounds like the kind of space where/when all Harry's random amazing abilities will come together and be awesome incarnate.

The fact that the Angels seem to be grooming him for something is also really interesting, considering that all the wizards think he is dangerously close to going evil because of this unknown past.


message 40: by Dana (last edited Feb 27, 2011 01:15PM) (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Attention!!!

Penguin is posting chapters 1-3 of Ghost Story (Dresden Files, No. 13) by Jim Butcher on Tuesday 03.01.2011!!!! Yippee!!

Note: This will be on Penguin's site, not Jim's.

Chapter 4 will be the following Tuesday 03.08.2011 on Jim's site and one more week of waiting will reward us with chapter 5 on 03.15.2011. Soooooo cool!!

Info here:

Ghost Story Chapter Release


ALSO, for those of us that were chatting about the possibilities with Deamonreach...

I was watching an interview with Jim (one of the best I've ever seen) and Jim talks about this subject. He says we will actually find out about this connection in the last chapter of GS, sweet!

And he speaks about the swords as well. Apparently Fidelacchius won't see a partner for another book or two. Amoracchius wont' see a partner until the end of the series or the 'apocolyptic trilogy ending'.

Things to look forward to! Ahhh, anticipation. :)

The interview is here in 7 parts:

Jim's MarsCon Interview



message 41: by Dana (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments I live to hate Penguin Books.

They changed their minds and only posted the first chapter. The others they won't post until June...jerks!


message 42: by Earl (new)

Earl C (eral) | 10 comments More on death curses:

"I drew in a breath and straightened my back. I lifted my chin, trying to prepare myself. If I was going to go down, I'd go down as a wizard should--proud and ready to face what was beyond. I could spill out my death curse, a potent working of magic, if I had time to speak it. Maybe I could counter MacFinn's curse with it, take the horrid transformation off of him that Saint Patrick had allegedly lad on him. Or maybe I could bring down Marcone's criminal empire with it."

-"Fool Moon" p. 331


message 43: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Haney (haneyg) | 40 comments Mod
Thanks Earl, I think that settles it. The death curse must not only be with forethought and concentration, but must also be spoken aloud to be effective.

So this is why Harry died at the end of Changes without his Death curse firing, solving Phogbound's question 30 threadposts ago Lol


message 44: by Celina (new)

Celina | 3 comments Wasn't "Die Alone" a death curse thrown on Harry?


message 45: by Dana (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Celina wrote: "Wasn't "Die Alone" a death curse thrown on Harry?"

Oh, good memory. Yes, I believe it was. Does anyone remember which book that was in?


message 46: by Earl (last edited Mar 02, 2011 10:09PM) (new)

Earl C (eral) | 10 comments I'm pretty sure it was in Dead Beat. It was the Denarian guy, Cassius, I think?


message 47: by Dana (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Was that the guy he killed in Sue's museum?


message 48: by Earl (new)

Earl C (eral) | 10 comments I think Mouse actually killed him, but yeah.


message 49: by Dana (new)

Dana (erato) | 68 comments Mouse ROCKS!

I am the opposite of most people with pets...where they couldn't have one as a kid and now love them feverishly. I was inundated with pets of ALL kinds as a kid so now I'm not much into them. Mouse, however, I could make adjustments for. He is one cool canine.


message 50: by Earl (last edited Mar 03, 2011 10:45PM) (new)

Earl C (eral) | 10 comments I've got Mister's younger sister...she *only* weighs in at 20lbs but she's got the ankle slamming thing down pat. ;)

Mouse is, indeed, all kinds of awesome.


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