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As cool as winter, as hot as summer and all Wizard [Harry Dresden]-Next book is not out!

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Posts

  • NitsuaNitsua Newport News, VARegistered User regular
    When the originals first came out, they were only in paperback since it hadn't reached the popularity it would have later. I think after about six or seven books in, they put out hardcover versions of the ones that didn't have any, but they were only done with a limited run. So them being expensive and hard to find makes sense.

  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    I'm a full convert to the e-future for books, so dodge that book related bullet.

    Until e-books start self destructing if you don't get the limited run collectors edition.

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
    kimeNitsuaElvenshae
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Don't. Give. Them. Ideas.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    WACriminalPailryderNitsuaElvenshaeJuliusRchanenMoridin889Tofystedeth38thDoeHefflingvalhalla130
  • NitsuaNitsua Newport News, VARegistered User regular
    Don't let Harry near your e-book device. Lol

    ElvenshaeRchanen
  • WACriminalWACriminal Dying Is Easy, Young Man Living Is HarderRegistered User regular
    A short way into Storm Front, my partner said that she was having a difficult time enjoying the story because of the sexist (and otherwise problematic) elements. In order to convince her that we should keep going, I agreed to read ahead and edit around any especially gross sections, leaving just enough for characterization because Harry's outdated aspects are at times plot-relevant. Basically giving her the version of the series that I would hope Butcher would write if he were starting fresh in 2018. It's not really that difficult, gives me something to do during downtime at work, and so far she's enjoying it way more than before. She would even describe herself as hooked on the series, now. And it's an interesting exercise for me, because it's making me more aware of the subtle ways this stuff presents itself -- things I generally knew, but was able to let fade into the background until now.

    Working through Grave Peril still, and uh...Jesus Christ, Jim. There are things worth describing about women besides their boobs and legs, you know. Especially if the woman in question is a character we literally just saw in the previous chapter, so we know what she looks like.

    Cold Days spoilers
    Really not looking forward to Cold Days, with the mantle's influence playing with Harry's thoughts. I may end up needing to just summarize certain chapters.

    That's if I survive the inevitable cringe surrounding young-Molly in general.

    I understand and can even partially appreciate that there's a certain noir tone that's encouraged by persistent sensuality. I get it. And this is still my favorite ongoing series.

    But damn.

    Harry DresdenRingoKetBrakimeCantide38thDoeMancingtom
  • RhinocerousRhinocerous Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Recently posted to Jim Butcher's site.
    Why’s Peace Talks Taking So Long?
    (An explanation, so you can stop emailing complaints to the feedback box, which doesn’t reach Jim, and mainly just frustrates the folks running this site.) Personal problems/life events spanning the past several years are what gummed up the works.

    -Got divorced, with all the fallout that comes from that
    -His dog died, who was “the brains of the operation” as Jim tells it
    -Got engaged
    -Moved to another state to live with his fiancee
    -Had to live in an apartment with no private writing space for years longer than intended because the contractor setting up his new house has blown the deadline by a couple years at least

    That latter bit made it especially hard for him to get traction on Peace Talks. Thankfully the house is finally inhabitable and Jim’s been back at work.

    As of December 17th, 2018 the current draft of the novel is up to chapter 38. Progress!

    For reference, Skin Game was fifty one chapters.

    Rhinocerous on
    kimezepherin38thDoeElvenshaeNitsuaMr RayMancingtom
  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    So... two more years?

    ohKiGmg.png
    Steam Bnet:KetBra#1692 Yo Satan
    zepherinHeirElvenshae
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    I've been working through my re-read and was hoping to finish off my hardcover collection.

    Imagine my dismay to see that books two through six (Fool Moon. Grave Peril. Summer Knight. Death Masks. Blood Rites) are each hundreds of dollars on eBay and Amazon, when the fuck did that happen?

    Any tips or tricks to help me finish my collection without spending a mortgage payment?

    I've bought about 5 books on Amazon for xmas gifts this year and other than one that came out this year, the hardcovers were all at least $90. I think Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was like $400+. It's definitely become a thing.

    steam_sig.png
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    KetBra wrote: »
    So... two more years?

    From what I hear, once he gets rolling on a book, he gets rolling. He's not Stephen King by any stretch of the imagination, but he chugs along well enough.

  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    KetBra wrote: »
    So... two more years?

    He isn't Martin. I would say probably 6 months of writingish and then 3-4 months of editing. Maybe a Christmas gift for us next year.

    03x29di.png
    zepherinPailryder
  • JayrichoJayricho Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I can’t imagine the frustration at hiring a contractor to build a house and having it take years longer than expected.

    PolaritieWACriminalMoridin889ElvenshaeHefflingMr RayTrace
  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    KetBra wrote: »
    So... two more years?

    He isn't Martin. I would say probably 6 months of writingish and then 3-4 months of editing. Maybe a Christmas gift for us next year.

    Eh, add on time to do publicity printing, distribution, I doubt we'll see a book next year.

    ohKiGmg.png
    Steam Bnet:KetBra#1692 Yo Satan
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    KetBra wrote: »
    So... two more years?

    He isn't Martin. I would say probably 6 months of writingish and then 3-4 months of editing. Maybe a Christmas gift for us next year.

    Once he is actually in a place and frame of mind to work butcher writes fast. I also expect we should likely see something by next xmas if he is cranking away on it now. Books were not being made in recent years because due to various reasons he simply was not writing at all. Once the muse starts him off and writing he slams stuff out pretty quick.

    zepherinElvenshae
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    He used to knock out a book a year, give or take.

    Now, a glance at his Wiki page noted that the Cinder Spire series is apparently supposed to be 9 books long, so that'll probably get in there as well.

    I don't want to be one of those entitled fans who get linked videos about how GRRM/Butcher is not my bitch or whatever, but it'll have been half a decade between Skin Game and Peace Talks at this rate. I sincerely and politely hope he's able to knock off another 2-4+ in the next half decade so we can see some tangible progress towards the conclusion of the franchise. Especially if he still intends for there to be another dozen or whatever Case Files books, and a concluding Apocalyptic Trilogy, as has allegedly always been the plan (or at least has been for about as long as I can remember being into the series).

    That's like 10-20 years of releases, even at a steady rate. Like, I'm not a terribly old man, but I also don't want it to become a race against the grave (for him, me, or both) to actually finish the storyline off.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    kimeRT80038thDoeElvenshaeNitsuaCantide
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    I also have been re-reading Skin Game. Damn I forgot a lot of that book. Its really good though. I read it because I just finished the last short story collection over Thanksgiving and was like, "What happened?"

    03x29di.png
    Elvenshae
  • PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    Jayricho wrote: »
    I can’t imagine the frustration at hiring a contractor to build a house and having it take years longer than expected.

    or keeping that contractor? Like once you slip by 6 months it's time to shop around? I have to wonder what some of the details were that kept this ongoing for this long. Did the contractor have all the money up front because Jim made a bad business decision? Did he switch and the new contractors had the same problems? Was the house he wanted built magical and they couldn't find the unicorn blood?

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Pailryder wrote: »
    Jayricho wrote: »
    I can’t imagine the frustration at hiring a contractor to build a house and having it take years longer than expected.

    or keeping that contractor? Like once you slip by 6 months it's time to shop around? I have to wonder what some of the details were that kept this ongoing for this long. Did the contractor have all the money up front because Jim made a bad business decision? Did he switch and the new contractors had the same problems? Was the house he wanted built magical and they couldn't find the unicorn blood?

    I don't know personally, but I can't imagine switching to a different contractor in the middle of a build seems likely to speed things up. Seems like it would almost certainly slow things down while they inspected and determined every fucked up corner cut the original contractor had done and how much they have to fix and all that before they even start to continue the work.

    Sure, in retrospect (now that the house was completed years after planned), it probably seems like that would be the logical way to go. But, if you're in the middle of construction that's already running behind schedule, getting further behind schedule so a new contractor can step in probably seems like a bad idea. Especially if your current contractor can talk a really good game.

    Either way, it doesn't seem likely that we, as fans, will ever know the full story about what happened with the house beyond what we know now.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    kimeMazzyxElvenshae
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    I would think the time-frame for a project is usually baked into a contractor's contract.

  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    Probably, but you still need a house. He now has a house. WRITE, DAMN YOU!!!

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
  • 38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    Likely a substantial down payment would be lost by swapping ou the contractor.
    WACriminal wrote: »
    A short way into Storm Front, my partner said that she was having a difficult time enjoying the story because of the sexist (and otherwise problematic) elements. In order to convince her that we should keep going, I agreed to read ahead and edit around any especially gross sections, leaving just enough for characterization because Harry's outdated aspects are at times plot-relevant. Basically giving her the version of the series that I would hope Butcher would write if he were starting fresh in 2018. It's not really that difficult, gives me something to do during downtime at work, and so far she's enjoying it way more than before. She would even describe herself as hooked on the series, now. And it's an interesting exercise for me, because it's making me more aware of the subtle ways this stuff presents itself -- things I generally knew, but was able to let fade into the background until now.

    Working through Grave Peril still, and uh...Jesus Christ, Jim. There are things worth describing about women besides their boobs and legs, you know. Especially if the woman in question is a character we literally just saw in the previous chapter, so we know what she looks like.

    Cold Days spoilers
    Really not looking forward to Cold Days, with the mantle's influence playing with Harry's thoughts. I may end up needing to just summarize certain chapters.

    That's if I survive the inevitable cringe surrounding young-Molly in general.

    I understand and can even partially appreciate that there's a certain noir tone that's encouraged by persistent sensuality. I get it. And this is still my favorite ongoing series.

    But damn.

    I get the impression if he started a new series he’d just describe everyone as blockish. In my imagination everyone in cinder spires are Tetris pieces trying to avoid lining up and clearing.



    steam_sig.png
    WACriminalRingoRchanenElvenshae
  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User regular
    I'm on a re-read that I started with book 3, I'm up to Turn Coat now and man, I love
    Mouse. Especially when Ancient Mai is all "That is a Foo dog! Where did you get it? And why where you allowed to keep it?!

    Me on Twitch!
    Dohaeris210 on PSN / SniperGuy710 on Xbone Live
    Me on Steam
    kimeKetBraPenumbraForarjdarksunElvenshaeJayrichoHefflingdestroyah87Visskarvalhalla130
  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    Have you read the new short story collection yet?

    ohKiGmg.png
    Steam Bnet:KetBra#1692 Yo Satan
    38thDoeSniperGuyElvenshae
  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User regular
    KetBra wrote: »
    Have you read the new short story collection yet?

    Yep, it was good. Planning to re-read when I get there. It definitely makes
    the reread interesting, knowing just how smart Mouse is the whole time. I keep wondering what he'd think in doggy talk.

    Me on Twitch!
    Dohaeris210 on PSN / SniperGuy710 on Xbone Live
    Me on Steam
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    Mouse is the true hero we deserve.

    03x29di.png
    jdarksunPolaritiePailryderkimeRchanenMoridin889ElvenshaeJayrichoHeirHefflingNitsuaMancingtomvalhalla130
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I'm on a re-read that I started with book 3, I'm up to Turn Coat now and man, I love
    Mouse. Especially when Ancient Mai is all "That is a Foo dog! Where did you get it? And why where you allowed to keep it?!
    By that point, it's quite clear that it's because Mouse allows it. That's the only permission that matters.

    Now, why Mouse stays with Dresden could be any number of reasons, but Mouse isn't talking. We don't know much about Foo dogs beyond them being more or less guardian spirits with physical form.

    Steam: Polaritie
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    ElvenshaeJayricho
  • Moridin889Moridin889 Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I'm on a re-read that I started with book 3, I'm up to Turn Coat now and man, I love
    Mouse. Especially when Ancient Mai is all "That is a Foo dog! Where did you get it? And why where you allowed to keep it?!
    By that point, it's quite clear that it's because Mouse allows it. That's the only permission that matters.

    Now, why Mouse stays with Dresden could be any number of reasons, but Mouse isn't talking. We don't know much about Foo dogs beyond them being more or less guardian spirits with physical form.
    Mouse tells Leanansidhe that he won the right to be with Dresden. That's in Changes when they are running through the jungle.

    I assume the flaming poo flinging monkey voltron was a setup of some sort.

    ElvenshaePhoenix-DMr Ray
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    My favorite Mouse moment:
    “That bitch!”

    omgbfz5lzi1s.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
    JayrichokimeBlackDragon480
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    My favorite Mouse moment:
    “That bitch!”

    Mine is
    "Restore them before I rip your ass off. Literally rip it off."

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    Rchanen
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Since the holiday forums are inaccessible for another year, figured someone should repost the new short story that Butcher put out for Christmas. Just in case there's some additional discussion to be wrung from it while we wait for the next book.

    SPOILER WARNING: The story includes spoilers for some of the events of Changes, Cold Days and also (potentially) Peace Talks.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/12hNgNIqJM5jqHqC-J-jfLA0WNDG2zEW8TrK_uPzpUJg/edit#

    Christmas Eve
    by Jim Butcher (©2018)
    For my readers who, for whatever reason, aren’t sleeping tonight. Merry Christmas, you magnificent weirdos.
    –Jim
    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except me and Mouse.
    I sat in the middle of a lopsided circle of parts that spread out before me in a 180 degree arc, glowering at an instruction manual. “Why do they bother putting the assembly instructions in twenty different languages,” I all but screamed, “and then just have a drawing with numbers and letters and arrows!?!”
    “Woof,” Mouse said, commiserating. He was over two hundred pounds of patient grey floof, and was better with people than I was.
    I went back to trying to assemble the stupid bicycle. Maggie needed to learn to ride a bike. A lot of little girls would have wanted the pink and purple bike. But Maggie’s favorite color was red. She insisted that the red ones go faster.
    “You need a degree and a NASCAR pit crew to do this!” I muttered darkly.
    Mouse sighed. Then he nudged my hand with his nose until I dropped the part I was trying to assemble. Then he picked up a different part in his huge, patient jaws, and handed it to me.
    “What am I supposed to do with this?” I demanded. “Other than wipe your drool off, you moose.”
    Mouse chuffed, and nudged my other hand with his nose.
    “I know you want to help,” I said. “But these two parts don’t—”
    The parts clicked together and locked, easily.
    Mouse’s tail went thump, thump, against the floor.
    “Nobody likes a wiseass,” I said darkly.
    Mouse’s tail went thumpthumpthumpthump and he grinned a doggy grin at me.
    “Are you laughing at me?” I demanded.
    Mouse sneezed.
    I sighed, and ruffled his ears. “Fine. If you can’t beat them, join them.” I held up the paper so Mouse could peer at it. “Which one is next?”
    Mouse selected the next part, and I started bumbling around with it until I got it right. Then we did the next one. The fire in the fireplace crackled and popped. It was the only light.
    There were quiet footsteps and then Michael Carpenter appeared, a large man in his fifties with a thick, powerful build. He wore a comfortable robe belted over his pajamas, and carried a coffee mug in his hand. He paused in the doorway to his own living room and regarded me struggling, smiling quietly.
    “Maggie and Hank crashed about an hour ago,” he said. “So you have the rest of the night to get it done.”
    “Just say it,” I muttered.
    “I wouldn’t dream,” he replied. He took a sip of eggnog from his mug. His wife Charity made wicked potent nog. “It just wouldn’t be fair.”
    “You must have done a million of these things,” I said.
    “Or two,” he said, nodding.
    I spread my hands over the parts in exasperation. “Well?”
    “Oh,” he said, his voice serious—but his eyes were twinkling. “Harry, I wouldn’t dream of taking this joy away from you. This is what being a father is all about.”
    “Staying up all night cutting myself while I try to figure out this stupid thing?” I demanded.
    “Don’t forget being woken at the crack of dawn by excited children,” he said.
    I groaned.
    Michael smiled faintly. “Don’t moan about it, Harry. I got pretty used to my Molly showing up at my bedside at 5AM with a cup of burnt coffee she made herself.” Something sad and tired touched the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. “It’s the most annoying thing you’ll ever miss once it’s gone.”
    I sighed.
    I looked up at him.
    “Most of my memories of my dad are of Christmas mornings,” I said. I swallowed and looked down at the potential bike. So much thought had to go into preparing it. Getting it ready for the world. “I just don’t want to screw it up.”
    Sympathetic pain flickered on his face. “Harry,” he said, “what do you remember most?”
    “Coffee,” I said instantly. “My dad would let me drink coffee on Christmas morning.” I smiled, remembering. “I mean, it was more like a cup of milk and sugar with a little coffee thrown into it, but I thought I was pretty big stuff. We’d make breakfast together and then he’d sit with me and open my presents and we’d spend the day playing with them.”
    Michael took a sip of nog and nodded thoughtfully. Then he smiled at me and said, “I think you’ll do just fine.” He cocked his head slightly, as if listening to a comment coming from an earbug. He let out a little snort and shook his head.
    “What?” I asked him warily. I looked around the room, at any potential unseen angelic presences and demanded, “What?”
    “Spoilers,” the ex-Knight murmured. “Merry Christmas, Harry.” And he limped silently from the room.
    I squinted at him, feeling very much as if I had somehow been bamboozled. Then I muttered something dark about the duplicity of paladins, retired or not, and went back to trying to figure out the bike. I got into it, focusing with as much intensity as I would spend on any spell. This was a mere child’s bicycle. It was no match for the intellect of a Wizard of the White Council.
    Plus I had Mouse to help.
    I’d been going along for a goodly while when there was a sudden gust of wind outside, so cold that it came flooding down the chimney, so intense that it made the flames flicker and gutter before they sprang up again. I looked up sharply, as my wizard’s senses told me that power was in motion. The flames in the fireplace guttered again, leaving the room in almost absolute blackness. When they sprang back up, the flames were green and blue and purple, dancing merrily.
    And the Queen of Air and Darkness stood above me.
    Queen Mab was as tall as me tonight—it changed, based upon her mood and her intentions. Her skin was white as frost, her lips as dark as frozen mulberries, and her hair had been made from the first snowflakes to fall through the virgin air. She was stunningly beautiful, immortal, had the power of a demigoddess, was the unquestioned queen of the wicked fae—and she was my boss.
    “My Knight,” she murmured, inclining her head.
    I wasn’t sure what protocol dictated for this particular circumstance, so I bowed my head slightly and said, “Good evening.”
    “Guardian,” Mab said. She bowed her head rather more deeply to Mouse.
    I get no respect, no respect at all.
    Mouse regarded Mab solemnly. His tail had stopped wagging. But he thumped a paw twice on the floor in response.
    Mab regarded the circle of parts around me, her head tilted. “A conjuring?”
    “Yeah. Kind of,” I said, scratching at my hair. “You aren’t here to call me in to work, I hope.”
    “Do not be ridiculous,” she said. “It is Christmas.”
    I lifted my eyebrows. “Christmas spirit? You?”
    She lifted her chin slightly. “Christmas falls within the realm of Winter, does it not?”
    I huffed out a little laugh. “Yeah. I guess it does. But I thought you had people for that.”
    “I do,” Mab said. “Yet…” She frowned, as if concentrating to make sure she repeated the phrase correctly. “It does not do for the boss to spend too much time in the office.” She paused for a breath and then said, “I have brought your gift.”
    I think my jaw bounced off my knee before it landed in the pile of parts. “What?”
    “You are participating in the holiday this year,” Mab said. “I have an obligation to my vassals.”
    “What?” I repeated.
    She took one hand out from behind her back and presented me with a small gift bag of wintry blue, covered with cheerful silver snowflakes.
    I eyed the bag. “Is it going to explode? Or try to eat me?”
    “Do not be tiresome,” Mab sighed.
    “Faeries don’t give gifts,” I said. “What kind of trick is this?”
    “The kind that isn’t,” she replied. “I am not giving you a gift. I am fulfilling to you an obligation.”
    I felt a smile touch the corner of my mouth. “Obligation, eh? Suppose I don’t accept?”
    A pained expression touched her eyes for about a tenth of a second. “That would be your choice. As would be the consequences.”
    “Well. That’s the first time I’ve ever been threatened into accepting a Christmas present,” I said.
    I took the bag. Inside was a jewelry box. Inside the jewelry box was a plain band that probably wouldn’t have fit on my pinky. It was made from some kind of silvery, opalescent metal. I brushed a fingertip over it. It hummed with stored energy.
    “Potent,” I said. “What does it do?”
    “It is meant for your daughter,” Mab said. “And it will give her powers.”
    I snapped the box shut and eyed Mab. “Excuse me?”
    She made an impatient sound. “Not like that, wizard,” she said. “If you give her the ring she will… have a certain amount of influence, until next stroke of noon, over the forces of winter.” She sighed. “And it will play music.”
    I narrowed my eyes. “What music?”
    Mab leaned over, opened the box, and obligingly touched the ring. It immediately buzzed and the room filled with a swirl of music, as a woman’s voice sang, “The snow glows white on the mountain tonight…”
    I shut the box on the sound and eyed her. It was just possible that I’d already heard that song enough to make my teeth itch.
    “Now I understand,” I said drily.
    “You are welcome,” she replied.
    “Just out of curiosity,” I said, “is it going to be possible for her to freeze someone’s heart and turn them into an ice statue?”
    Mab looked baffled. “Those are the powers in the motion picture. Should I have cheated her?”
    I rubbed at the spot between my eyes. “Got it. We’ll go someplace nice and quiet to play with this gift.”
    “Make sure she knows who gave it to her,” Mab said.
    Then the fire guttered again. When it returned to life, it was golden and merry, the way fire is supposed to be—and Mab was gone.
    “Leave me!” I called quietly to the empty air where she’d been. “Take me back! Haunt me no longer!”
    Mouse’s jaws dropped open in a grin.
    “Seriously?” I said, “You’ve read A Christmas Carol?”
    Thumpthumpthumpthump.
    “Yeah, well,” I said. “Let’s get back to work.”
    And we did. We’d been going for a while when sleet suddenly rattled against the windows outside, the silent snow turning into a quiet chorus of clicks and pops. Wind gusted again—and there was the sudden sound of a key in a locked door.
    The front door of the Carpenter house opened slowly and quietly, and a tall young woman with white-blonde hair and ruddy pink cheeks, wrapped in a long and stylish winter coat came in out of the cold.
    “Molly,” I said, smiling.
    My former apprentice, now technically also my boss, beamed at me, crossed the floor and promptly gave me an enormous hug, which I returned.
    “Merry Christmas, Harry,” she said.
    “Merry Christmas, Molls,” I said. “Tell me it wasn’t you who talked to Mab about Maggie’s present.”
    “That was Sarissa,” Molly said. “She showed Mab the movie.”
    I tried to imagine Mab watching a Disney movie. She did not like Disney—not the company, and not the man. Disney had, in Mab’s opinion, done too much damage to the old faerie tales by sanding off all the unpleasant bits. According to Mab, it had weakened humanity in the face of supernatural forces, when they found out that the actual wicked fae were nothing like Disney promised.
    Trying to imagine her watching musical numbers made my brain hurt.
    I tilted my head and said, “You’re here to bring me a gift?”
    “Part and parcel of the whole Winter Lady gig,” she said, smiling. She rummaged in her coat and came out with a silver envelope decorated with white snowflakes. She presented it with a flourish and a little bow. “It’s a little symbolic, but I think you’ll like it.”
    I opened the envelope. It had one piece of paper in it. On it was written a very large number.
    “What is this?” I asked.
    “The total of everyone’s medical bills from last summer,” she said, her voice quieter, soberer. “Everyone who got hurt. It’s all paid for.”
    I didn’t want to think about the peace talks.
    Pain. So much pain.
    “What about the funerals?” I asked. My voice was bitter.
    Molly was quiet for a long moment before she said, gently, “Those too.”
    I bowed my head.
    I counted my breaths.
    “I’m sorry,” I said. “You’re trying to be kind and I’m just…”
    “Don’t,” she said. “It’s supposed to hurt, Harry. I’m glad you hurt. It means you’re still you.”
    I looked in the direction of the den, where Maggie and the youngest Carpenter children had fallen asleep watching movies.
    “Sometimes,” I said, “I can’t believe how arrogant I am. If it wasn’t for the kid…”
    Molly leaned down and rapped me sharply on the crown of the head with one knuckle. I eyed her and scowled. “Hey.”
    “Stop it,” she said. “You didn’t choose for things to fall out the way they did. You did everything in your power to stop anyone from being harmed. And you risked an awful lot getting in everyone’s face after the battle. It helped a whole lot of people.”
    “People who might not have gotten hurt in the first place if—”
    Molly rapped me on the head again and said, “You’re like a broken guilt record.” She sighed. “Can I give you a piece of advice, Harry?”
    I squinted at her. “What.”
    “When I was a kid, my mom spent a whole lot of time telling me how I should behave.”
    “And that worked out,” I said.
    She smiled, a flash of warmth that vanished into a little sadness. “Looking back, mostly what I did was whatever my dad did.” She put a hand on my shoulder, leaned over, and pressed a cool, sisterly kiss against my cheek. “Maybe you should think about what you want to teach Maggie.”
    I scowled and looked down.
    “You can forgive yourself, Harry,” she said gently. “The world won’t end. And it would be good for your daughter.”
    “Cheap shot,” I said.
    She nodded. “But no less true.”
    I looked down at the half-assembled bike. “That… is something I never learned to do,” I said.
    “Then I guess you’ve got some work ahead of you.”
    Dammit.
    I hate it when the Grasshopper has me dead to rights.
    “I’ll try,” I said.
    “Good enough for me,” said the Winter Lady. She laid her cold hand against my cheek for a moment and then rose.
    “You’re not staying?” I asked.
    Molly shook her head. “Still trying to get my cohorts back to full strength. I’ve got pickups in Japan, Norway and Siberia tonight. I’ll be back in time for morning presents.”
    “Good,” I said. I wanted to see her face when she saw the Hoth-gear Princess Leia action figure I’d gotten for her. “You made some enemies last summer. Watch your back, Molls.”
    Molly gave me a brilliant smile that was just a little too toothy to be warm. “I don’t watch my back, Harry,” she said. “I make other people watch theirs.”
    “All the same.”
    She rolled her eyes. “I’ll be careful.”
    “You’ll be dead!” we both shouted together, and grinned like fools.
    We traded another quick hug, and Molly left.
    As soon as she was gone, I let the smile drop. Mouse made a soft, pained sound and leaned against me.
    Six months was not a long time in which to say so many goodbyes.
    My dog leaned against me and I stared at the fire and wept for a time. But I was tired of tears. I was so damned tired of them.
    I picked up the piece of paper. If you left off the decimal points, it was a prime number. It represented the costs of medical care for tens of thousands, and funerals for thousands more. On a rational level, I knew Molly was right. It could have been worse. Much worse.
    But in my heart, all I could see was blood on asphalt, and all I could feel were empty places inside me where people should have been.
    I got up and walked quietly to the den, where my daughter Maggie was asleep with the other kids, her cheeks pink. She was a tiny girl, the lowest percentile for height and weight in her class, and she’d come back from her first semester of school with a GPA higher than 4.0. All I had was a GED. I didn’t even know how to calculate GPA. But I think I had a good idea of what the letters stood for.
    I watched her chest rise and fall for a little while, and the pain receded. I took a deep breath.
    I’ve fallen apart before. I’ve let the madness have me.
    But I was a father now.
    I no longer had that luxury. Thank God.
    Nothing you ever do can change the past. Can’t live your life looking backwards or you’ll spend it walking in circles.
    That little girl was the future.
    I nodded. And then I went back to the bicycle.
    Mouse was fluffy and faithful but he was also pretty much just a kid himself. He helped out valiantly for another half an hour or so and then just sort of fell over sideways and started snoring. I smiled at him. He’d done enough. I could muddle through the rest on my own.
    I cleared my mind of everything except solving the problem in front of me and anticipating Maggie’s happiness. The fire crackled. I added more wood. A deep and peaceful warmth settled somewhere between my chest and my stomach.
    And then I understood why Michael hadn’t helped.
    I was just putting the extra bullet hole stickers I’d picked up onto the bike when the fire crackled and popped and flared up.
    “Merciful Heaven, what is this?” I mused aloud.
    There was a sound that can only be described as a “foomph,” and a sudden flood of soot from the fireplace and then…
    Well. Then.
    He had a round face. And a little round belly. That shook when he laughed. Underneath all the chain mail.
    Kringle was a tall, burly man with long, silvery white hair and a magnificent snowy beard. He wore hunting leathers under a mail shirt, and over that was a heavy, magnificent crimson hooded robe trimmed in white fur. He carried an enormous sack over one shoulder—and there was no sword at his hip.
    He looked at me and let out a low, rumbling laugh.
    “Hey,” I said quietly.
    Kringle looked down at the bike I’d put together. He knelt by it, examining it closely.
    “This was done properly,” he said, a calm note of approval in his voice.
    “Thanks,” I said. “I’m not your vassal. We’ve worked together on some things, but I’m not even your friend. So if you’re here to give me a gift, I’m not sure why.”
    “Because tonight,” Kringle said, “that is what I do.” His blue eyes crinkled at the corners as he smiled. “And because you’re on my list, lad.”
    I snorted. “Please.”
    Kringle eyed me for a moment. Then he winked and said, “Call Kris Kringle a liar on Christmas Eve one more time.”
    “L—” I began.
    But something made me think better of it. I went back to putting stickers on the bike instead.
    “Good,” Kringle said. “And yes. I’ve brought you a gift.”
    “Tell me it’s not a pony for Maggie,” I said. “I’ll be housebreaking it for years.”
    Kringle tilted his head back and chortled again. It was impossible not to smile when he did. But I could cover it up with a scowl as soon as he stopped, so I did.
    “No. It’s not for Maggie.” And he put down his sack and started rummaging inside, muttering cheerfully to himself.
    In a twinkling, he’d come up with a small, cubic package wrapped in green and red patterned paper that… I’ll be damned, that had an image of Mouse’s grinning face as part of the pattern. There was a tag on it. To: Harry. From: Santa Claus.
    And the package was warm.
    I eyed it and then looked up at Kringle.
    “Well, lad,” Kringle said, chortling again, and gestured at the package.
    I opened it.
    Inside was…
    Was…
    A plain white coffee mug. The kind you buy at a craft store.
    Painted on it in a kindergartner’s attempt at writing, the scarlet letters drawn like pictograms by someone too little to understand them, were the words: NUMB3R ON3 DAD.
    The handwriting was mine.
    The cup was full of a light brown liquid.
    Something happened to my eyes and I couldn’t see the cup any more. Just a blur of firelight. But I picked it up and sipped milk and sugar with a little splash of coffee in it.
    For just a second, I smelled my dad’s old aftershave. For just a second, I heard him laughing, laughing so hard that tears had to have been rolling from his eyes. For just a second, I felt a hand, his hand, on my shoulder.
    I drank from the cup I’d given my father on our last Christmas together, and the entire time I did, the memories of those Christmas mornings, of the laughter and hugs and the play, ran through my mind in IMAX, so vivid that I felt myself losing my breath at the memories of chasing my father around the yard with my new plastic light saber.
    I left the last sip in the bottom of the cup, kept my eyes closed, and said, “I love you, dad.”
    When I looked up at him, Kringle was smiling down at me. He winked. Then he picked up his sack, slung it over his shoulder, and turned to the fireplace.
    “Oh,” he murmured, laughter in the back of his throat. “One more thing.”
    I heard a thump behind me.
    I turned.
    My daughter Maggie stood in the doorway from the den. She’d dropped a pillow that she’d evidently been carrying. She was staring, slack-jawed, at Kringle.
    “Ho, ho, ho,” he chortled quietly. He nodded his head politely toward Maggie, laid a finger aside of his nose, and… just vanished up the chimney.
    “Oh, wow,” Maggie breathed. She met my gaze and her eyes were wide. “Oh, wow!”
    As if the sound of her voice had been a starting pistol, Mouse bounced to his feet, suddenly awake and looking around excitedly.
    “What are you waiting for?” I demanded of my daughter. I rose and rushed toward the front door. “Come on!”
    Her little face with her big dark eyes went incandescent with joy and she sprinted after me, Mouse hard on her heels.
    We all ran to the front door and I flung it open to the night air.
    We saw the snow cascade off the roof. We saw the sleigh leap into the air, reindeer and all.
    “Oh wow!” Maggie exclaimed. “Santa’s real! And he left me a bike!”
    I looked down at her, and then back up at the departing sleigh, smiling hard enough to break my face.
    “Yep,” I said. “He sure did.”
    And we heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight.
    “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
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  • MancingtomMancingtom Registered User regular
    I'm so glad I found this series.

    Elvenshae
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited January 5
    What have people found is the best way to get the Audiobooks for the series?

    Audible has them, but ye gods they are expensive.
    iTunes has them, and they are still expensive, but less so than Audible at a glance.
    Kobo has some of them, but exasperatingly doesn't have the early ones.

    Aside from YARRRR of one form or another, I'm just looking for a reasonable way to own them cost effectively. I'd rather not get looped into yet another $10-15 a month subscription fee, but it's not a hard line in the sand. Kobo has a 'credit' thing where you get to own one book per month as part of the subscription, or buy them at a rate of 3 for $42, and $14 per book seems to be one of the better rates I've found thus far (iTunes is like $24).

    Not exactly a Dresden specific question, but I had been doing a little digging to help get a friend into the series and realized that even half a decade later I still didn't know of a way to get ahold of the entire series for less than $NeverNever.

    (of course, I already own them in paperback/hardcover, so that's part of the desire to keep this from being an expensive endeavor, and I recognize that ~$14 Canadian per book might be the best I'm going to get outside of a deep sale somewhere)

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited January 5
    I found most of my Dresden books on the cheap at used bookstores.

    Also I was surprised to learn that James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) does the narration for the Dresden Files audio books.

    Dunno why that's surprising just... small world, I guess.

    RT800 on
  • Banzai5150Banzai5150 Registered User regular
    I use audible with the $20’sh/mo sub. Gets me 3 books a month.

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  • psyck0psyck0 Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    What have people found is the best way to get the Audiobooks for the series?

    Audible has them, but ye gods they are expensive.
    iTunes has them, and they are still expensive, but less so than Audible at a glance.
    Kobo has some of them, but exasperatingly doesn't have the early ones.

    Aside from YARRRR of one form or another, I'm just looking for a reasonable way to own them cost effectively. I'd rather not get looped into yet another $10-15 a month subscription fee, but it's not a hard line in the sand. Kobo has a 'credit' thing where you get to own one book per month as part of the subscription, or buy them at a rate of 3 for $42, and $14 per book seems to be one of the better rates I've found thus far (iTunes is like $24).

    Not exactly a Dresden specific question, but I had been doing a little digging to help get a friend into the series and realized that even half a decade later I still didn't know of a way to get ahold of the entire series for less than $NeverNever.

    (of course, I already own them in paperback/hardcover, so that's part of the desire to keep this from being an expensive endeavor, and I recognize that ~$14 Canadian per book might be the best I'm going to get outside of a deep sale somewhere)

    Have you tried your public library? They often have a good supply of audio books.

    Play Smash Bros 3DS with me! 4399-1034-5444
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