Monday, November 1, 2010

Jim Butcher's "Side Jobs"

I love the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, so I was tickled to see an anthology, while we await the resurrection of the next book mid-2011. I enjoyed the stories in this anthology, some more than others.

It was odd reading short stories from the series that aren't actually connected to the books. Sure, the characters and events are all there, but it was strange having stories that didn't feel "cannon" to the main series. Most of these stories, according to the author notes, were written at the request of agents and anthology editors, so perhaps that's why they feel disjointed from the series.

All of these pieces have been previously published, either on Butcher's website for free or in various anthology collections. It does contain a new novella, Aftermath, which takes place less than an hour after the end of the last published Dresden books, Changes.

Aftermath was great and disappointing all at once. The story seemed, again, disconnected from the overall plot of the series and get I the feeling that nothing beyond "there is a power void now" is relevant to the overall series. I hope I'm wrong, but that's the feeling I got.

Still, saying that, I enjoyed Aftermath and I'm happy I picked up the book for that alone. The ebook price is a little steep at $12.99, but most of the big publishers are charging those kinds of prices. It was also frustrating trying to purchase this as a Canadian, as it apparently isn't "available" to Canadians (though the hard cover is out up here). I ended up just getting an American friend to buy it for me and email me the file. Note to publishers: Limiting the availability of your digital products is really silly.

If you have never read the Dresden Files, do not pick up this book. You'll be completely lost. Start with the first book of the series (Storm Front) and I'll see you in a couple of months.

If you are a Dresden fan, add this to the collection if you don't have the others. Otherwise, borrow from a friend so that you can read Aftermath.

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