As cool as winter, as hot as summer[Harry Dresden]-Peace Talks out in July!

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  • FearbreedFearbreed Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    Ivy is a construct not a wizard. Wizardry is innate, a part of the person, while the Archive is inherited from mother to daughter. It really is more like a mantle in so far as has been established in the books so far. Much like the mantle of the Knight being given to a regular mortal and giving them greater strength, stamina, endurance, healing, pain tolerance, and who knows what else, the "mantle" of Archive gives the hereditary line access to all written human knowledge including all studies of all magical theory, study, and practice as well as all the memories of the previous Archives who have wielded the power over the millennia for huge amounts of practice . Butters has performed magic even though he is wholly mundane at the guidance of Bob. Pretty sure somewhere it's stated at some point that if someone were exposed to magic enough and shown what to look for they could begin to see or get a feeling of what is happening. If Harry over the course of the books has gone from shooting a beam of fire as thick as his arm down to something a little bigger than his blasting rod and Lucio's is the size of a pencil unaided then the Archive with that much knowledge, Knowing, and experience downloaded...major powerhouse. Heck another theory that plays into Harry always wanting to play protector and is so concerned for Ivy's well being is if he found a way to take the burden of being the Archive to become the Merlin, to create Demonreach, etc. It would be how he breaks the time travel law and creates a paradox, he created Demonreach because he created Demonreach. The runes of Demonreach are written when he gains the Archive so he Knows them and can then travel back with that knowledge to create it.

    This is why I don't chime in too much, can't hardly contain myself, too much blathering. So much speculation too, none of it matters. The only thing that matters is him writing the books. I mean there are only 4-6 case books left to be released before the big trilogy ending...the end is nigh and I'm tired of waiting.

    It's getting insufferable. Waiting on Dresden books, waiting on GRRM, and waiting on the next The Wakening books. All my series seem to run into long pauses and it's all at once and will be the death of me.

    Fearbreed on
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    In Butcher's case its because of a big mess in his personal life getting in the way though iirc.

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  • FearbreedFearbreed Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    In Butcher's case its because of a big mess in his personal life getting in the way though iirc.

    Yeah, Butcher had a lot of crazy juju there for a while. Renshaw had to stop to write his masters thesis. GRRM....there are no excuses. I know there is another series I was working on that is on hiatus but it's been a while and I can't remember right now.

    Heir
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I'll have to go find the quote in Small Favour another time, but I'm reasonably certain that Ivy is noted
    to wield immense magical power deftly and against multiple targets while the whole area is heavily suppressed.

    Magical usage might be tied to the mantle of the Archive, but it's more than just knowing how to weave and channel energies better than many, I'm pretty sure Dresden notes she must have a truly remarkable reserve all the same.

    I admit I could be mistaken or forgetting something, it has been a while since I re-read the series, but I do recall that coming up. Just had to Google a little to find the book where it happened narrow things down when I get a little time.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    I know this the Dresden thread but I might as well ask since it's Butcher-related, I stopped reading Codex in book one when I got to the:
    kind of gratuitous sexual torture.

    Am I missing anything good? Should I go back to it?

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  • iguanacusiguanacus Desert PlanetRegistered User regular
    I'd say it's capital f - Fine. Nothing amazing, with a very silly premise when you drill down on it (lost roman legion + pokemon). I enjoyed it as I read it but I haven't felt the draw to go back to it unlike the Dresden books or The Aeronaut's Windlass.

  • jdarksunjdarksun Struggler Registered User regular
    Heartlash wrote: »
    I know this the Dresden thread but I might as well ask since it's Butcher-related, I stopped reading Codex in book one when I got to the:
    kind of gratuitous sexual torture.

    Am I missing anything good? Should I go back to it?
    Wait, what? Admittedly it has been a decade since I read those books, when does that happen?

  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Heartlash wrote: »
    I know this the Dresden thread but I might as well ask since it's Butcher-related, I stopped reading Codex in book one when I got to the:
    kind of gratuitous sexual torture.

    Am I missing anything good? Should I go back to it?
    Wait, what? Admittedly it has been a decade since I read those books, when does that happen?
    Kord's people use some kind of manipulation collar to rape the female antagonist. I read it years ago but I remember it being a liiiiiittle much.

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  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Heartlash wrote: »
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Heartlash wrote: »
    I know this the Dresden thread but I might as well ask since it's Butcher-related, I stopped reading Codex in book one when I got to the:
    kind of gratuitous sexual torture.

    Am I missing anything good? Should I go back to it?
    Wait, what? Admittedly it has been a decade since I read those books, when does that happen?
    Kord's people use some kind of manipulation collar to rape the female antagonist. I read it years ago but I remember it being a liiiiiittle much.

    Yeah that scene is fucked up.

    I quit when,
    Amara decides to have sex with her boyfriend in front of the King. You know, after she had embarked on a secret mission to win the war.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    I read all of Codex and do not remember one goddamn thing about it.

    I'm not sure if that's a commentary on me or the books.

    RT800 on
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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I can’t say I found the few sex scenes in the Dresden Files particularly erotic, and kind of wish Butcher would just focus on playing to his strengths.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
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  • PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    I can’t say I found the few sex scenes in the Dresden Files particularly erotic, and kind of wish Butcher would just focus on playing to his strengths.

    wasn't he heavily influenced by his ex-wife?

  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    I'll have to go find the quote in Small Favour another time, but I'm reasonably certain that Ivy is noted
    to wield immense magical power deftly and against multiple targets while the whole area is heavily suppressed.

    Magical usage might be tied to the mantle of the Archive, but it's more than just knowing how to weave and channel energies better than many, I'm pretty sure Dresden notes she must have a truly remarkable reserve all the same.

    I admit I could be mistaken or forgetting something, it has been a while since I re-read the series, but I do recall that coming up. Just had to Google a little to find the book where it happened narrow things down when I get a little time.

    (Ivy in Small Favor)
    Yeah, while stuck in a circle she was successfully fighting I think eleven? Denarians all at once, including toying with at least one of them just for the sake of being a brat about it.

    Dresden's take on the fighting inside the Hellfire circle - with the caveat that he's still a newbie himself, mind - is that Ivy is clearly preposterously efficient as much as powerful; he pulled out an analogy of a toy car powered by a couple of AA batteries somehow managing to know exactly how to haul a heavy load. Through the series he tends to get an eye for how condensed and efficient versus flashy peoples' spellcasting gets, like when he's blown away the first time he sees Luccio cast at someone.

    I imagine having immediate access to all the notes any practitioner had ever put down about channeling energy as efficiently as humanly or inhumanly possibel would have all sorts of benefits in that kind of situation...

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    I'll have to go find the quote in Small Favour another time, but I'm reasonably certain that Ivy is noted
    to wield immense magical power deftly and against multiple targets while the whole area is heavily suppressed.

    Magical usage might be tied to the mantle of the Archive, but it's more than just knowing how to weave and channel energies better than many, I'm pretty sure Dresden notes she must have a truly remarkable reserve all the same.

    I admit I could be mistaken or forgetting something, it has been a while since I re-read the series, but I do recall that coming up. Just had to Google a little to find the book where it happened narrow things down when I get a little time.

    (Ivy in Small Favor)
    Yeah, while stuck in a circle she was successfully fighting I think eleven? Denarians all at once, including toying with at least one of them just for the sake of being a brat about it.

    Dresden's take on the fighting inside the Hellfire circle - with the caveat that he's still a newbie himself, mind - is that Ivy is clearly preposterously efficient as much as powerful; he pulled out an analogy of a toy car powered by a couple of AA batteries somehow managing to know exactly how to haul a heavy load. Through the series he tends to get an eye for how condensed and efficient versus flashy peoples' spellcasting gets, like when he's blown away the first time he sees Luccio cast at someone.

    I imagine having immediate access to all the notes any practitioner had ever put down about channeling energy as efficiently as humanly or inhumanly possibel would have all sorts of benefits in that kind of situation...

    It's like someone who has shotguns for hands being impressed with someones cross-stitching.

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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    I'll have to go find the quote in Small Favour another time, but I'm reasonably certain that Ivy is noted
    to wield immense magical power deftly and against multiple targets while the whole area is heavily suppressed.

    Magical usage might be tied to the mantle of the Archive, but it's more than just knowing how to weave and channel energies better than many, I'm pretty sure Dresden notes she must have a truly remarkable reserve all the same.

    I admit I could be mistaken or forgetting something, it has been a while since I re-read the series, but I do recall that coming up. Just had to Google a little to find the book where it happened narrow things down when I get a little time.

    (Ivy in Small Favor)
    Yeah, while stuck in a circle she was successfully fighting I think eleven? Denarians all at once, including toying with at least one of them just for the sake of being a brat about it.

    Dresden's take on the fighting inside the Hellfire circle - with the caveat that he's still a newbie himself, mind - is that Ivy is clearly preposterously efficient as much as powerful; he pulled out an analogy of a toy car powered by a couple of AA batteries somehow managing to know exactly how to haul a heavy load. Through the series he tends to get an eye for how condensed and efficient versus flashy peoples' spellcasting gets, like when he's blown away the first time he sees Luccio cast at someone.

    I imagine having immediate access to all the notes any practitioner had ever put down about channeling energy as efficiently as humanly or inhumanly possibel would have all sorts of benefits in that kind of situation...

    It's like someone who has shotguns for hands being impressed with someones cross-stitching.

    I was going to compare it to Dresden lobbing medicine balls, and Ivy playing darts, but shotgun hands is a much cooler visual.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    I'll have to go find the quote in Small Favour another time, but I'm reasonably certain that Ivy is noted
    to wield immense magical power deftly and against multiple targets while the whole area is heavily suppressed.

    Magical usage might be tied to the mantle of the Archive, but it's more than just knowing how to weave and channel energies better than many, I'm pretty sure Dresden notes she must have a truly remarkable reserve all the same.

    I admit I could be mistaken or forgetting something, it has been a while since I re-read the series, but I do recall that coming up. Just had to Google a little to find the book where it happened narrow things down when I get a little time.

    (Ivy in Small Favor)
    Yeah, while stuck in a circle she was successfully fighting I think eleven? Denarians all at once, including toying with at least one of them just for the sake of being a brat about it.

    Dresden's take on the fighting inside the Hellfire circle - with the caveat that he's still a newbie himself, mind - is that Ivy is clearly preposterously efficient as much as powerful; he pulled out an analogy of a toy car powered by a couple of AA batteries somehow managing to know exactly how to haul a heavy load. Through the series he tends to get an eye for how condensed and efficient versus flashy peoples' spellcasting gets, like when he's blown away the first time he sees Luccio cast at someone.

    I imagine having immediate access to all the notes any practitioner had ever put down about channeling energy as efficiently as humanly or inhumanly possibel would have all sorts of benefits in that kind of situation...

    It's like someone who has shotguns for hands being impressed with someones cross-stitching.
    Eh, if she's cross stitching molecules? Harry's estimates aren't foolproof but his judgement was that comparing her to the Ladies was an underestimate. There is a very good chance he was right - the Ladies are probably stronger but I don't think any of them could outfight or outplot Ivy. Especially not outplot.

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  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    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!”

    I really enjoy the little slice of life moments that get mixed in. There's a lot of really nice little touches in here and the Mab sections are equally parts touching and terrifying.

    Kelor
  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Fearbreed wrote: »

    NO INFORMATION ON NEW BOOK


    God Damnit.

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  • NitsuaNitsua Gloucester, VARegistered User regular
    On his site it says he hit chapter 61 as of May 22nd, so he's getting there. Not sure how large he's planned this to be.

  • KetBraKetBra Dressed Ridiculously Registered User regular
    Nitsua wrote: »
    On his site it says he hit chapter 61 as of May 22nd, so he's getting there. Not sure how large he's planned this to be.

    New Book Information

    The site actually says he's hit Chapter 62 as of today!

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    FearbreedDavid WalgasElvenshaejdarksunvalhalla130
  • NitsuaNitsua Gloucester, VARegistered User regular
    Oh, they must have updated it recently. This morning 61 was reported. So a chapter in 7 days. Progress!

  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    Fearbreed wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    In Butcher's case its because of a big mess in his personal life getting in the way though iirc.

    Yeah, Butcher had a lot of crazy juju there for a while. Renshaw had to stop to write his masters thesis. GRRM....there are no excuses. I know there is another series I was working on that is on hiatus but it's been a while and I can't remember right now.

    The Kingkiller Choronicle? That was done before the first book was released - a lie. That is a trilogy- a lie (probably).

    Butcher earned his break, but...breaks over soon I hope!

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
    FearbreedDoodmann
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    How many chapters is this book! Give it to me now Butcher!

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    JayrichoNitsua
  • WACriminalWACriminal Dying Is Easy, Young Man Living Is HarderRegistered User regular
    Yeah a chapter in 7 days sounds like he's getting back towards his usual rate. That's exciting.

    RchanenElvenshaejdarksun
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I want to believe in progress, but at this point I'll believe Peace Talks is out when I'm holding it in my hands.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    Fearbreeddestroyah87
  • RhinocerousRhinocerous Registered User regular
    For reference, Skin Game was 51 chapters.

    Elvenshae
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    Wrong thread

    Styrofoam Sammich on
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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    I want to believe in progress, but at this point I'll believe Peace Talks is out when I'm holding it in my hands.

    Even with progress, this is still first draft, right? There's still going to be editing, cleaning up, rewriting etc...
    At least, I don't think Butcher has gotten big enough that his editors/publishers are hesitant to tell him to trim a hundred or so pages.

    I just need to be patient.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    FryPhoenix-DNitsuajdarksunElvenshae
  • KetBraKetBra Dressed Ridiculously Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    I want to believe in progress, but at this point I'll believe Peace Talks is out when I'm holding it in my hands.

    Even with progress, this is still first draft, right? There's still going to be editing, cleaning up, rewriting etc...
    At least, I don't think Butcher has gotten big enough that his editors/publishers are hesitant to tell him to trim a hundred or so pages.

    I just need to be patient.


    For Reference, Jim sent The Aeronaut's Windlass to his editor on Nov 24, 2014.


    It was finally published Sept 29, 2015. So, even in the event that he finished tomorrow, and accelerated the editing and publishing process, it's doubtful Peace Talks comes out this year.

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    jdarksunRchanen
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    KetBra wrote: »
    see317 wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    I want to believe in progress, but at this point I'll believe Peace Talks is out when I'm holding it in my hands.

    Even with progress, this is still first draft, right? There's still going to be editing, cleaning up, rewriting etc...
    At least, I don't think Butcher has gotten big enough that his editors/publishers are hesitant to tell him to trim a hundred or so pages.

    I just need to be patient.


    For Reference, Jim sent The Aeronaut's Windlass to his editor on Nov 24, 2014.


    It was finally published Sept 29, 2015. So, even in the event that he finished tomorrow, and accelerated the editing and publishing process, it's doubtful Peace Talks comes out this year.

    That is not "finally" published. That's a bit faster than average for publishing actually. A year lead time is not the least bit unusual.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
    KetBra
  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    Good to see he is getting his speed back.

    Means we might get a Dresden in 20 and a Spires in 21

    spool32 wrote:
    he pops this cobalt blue tetrahedron like he's thought of something. I'm like son, you know that's just a reskinned fireball, right?
    Elvenshae
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    KetBra wrote: »
    see317 wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    I want to believe in progress, but at this point I'll believe Peace Talks is out when I'm holding it in my hands.

    Even with progress, this is still first draft, right? There's still going to be editing, cleaning up, rewriting etc...
    At least, I don't think Butcher has gotten big enough that his editors/publishers are hesitant to tell him to trim a hundred or so pages.

    I just need to be patient.


    For Reference, Jim sent The Aeronaut's Windlass to his editor on Nov 24, 2014.


    It was finally published Sept 29, 2015. So, even in the event that he finished tomorrow, and accelerated the editing and publishing process, it's doubtful Peace Talks comes out this year.

    A lot of it also depends on the slots in the publishers calendars. Generally that is 6months to 1 year although for more popular authors sometimes they bend that more but I don't expect to see a new book from him till next year at the earliest.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    It's the slots in the publishers calendar, the attempt to hit just before summer or Christmas and a big one is when that author's last book was published. Butcher will probably get a bit of a rush treatment if they can at all manage it since it has been so long since he published. I know GRRM's publisher was working numbers about what the absolute fastest possible turnaround was for the next ASoIaF novel. For authors that have been hitting their yearly novel (or more) then the publishers want to space them out a bit and let them fall towards the longer end of the cycle.

    Shadowhope
  • 38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    When I saw that tweet for Cinder Spires I didn't see the date. Now I'm sad.
    I'm really trying to remember the reference now. It's been a long long time since I read the early Laundry books though.

    They're a bit similar but the Laundry is way more dark than Dresden.

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    DevoutlyApatheticMegaMan001HeirJayrichoForarElvenshaeBlackDragon480RchanenMancingtomShadowhope
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    I’m grumpy about the delay, but Butcher was actually dealing with some shit and is back on the ball now. Shit happens. GRRM though, that guy just lost the plot.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2019
    Eh, we’ll see.

    If Peace Talks is out next year, cool. If the next book is out a year or two later? Awesome.

    If there’s another half decade delay, I’m going to suspect it’s a bit more than just “I, like, need MY space to write”.

    But I’ll also be pushing 45 and may finally be done waiting for this story to conclude, if that’s the case.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    I find myself not actually giving a crap about if or when next Dresden files comes out.
    Maybe it's the delay, or maybe my dislike of some plot elements has overtaken my enjoyment of the rest of the story, i dunno.
    I might read it when it comes out, or not.

    I am somewhat exited about new cinder spires novel though.

  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited June 2019
    MegaMan001 on
    I am in the business of saving lives.
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  • RussadRussad MARegistered User regular
    Butcher posted on Twitter a few hours ago that he's done with Peace Talks, just needs to do the wrap-up chapter and that he'll update on publishing info when he's got it.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Fearbreed wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    In Butcher's case its because of a big mess in his personal life getting in the way though iirc.

    Yeah, Butcher had a lot of crazy juju there for a while. Renshaw had to stop to write his masters thesis. GRRM....there are no excuses. I know there is another series I was working on that is on hiatus but it's been a while and I can't remember right now.

    GRRM last published a main book in 2011, and it's at least understandable that he's been working a lot on the HBO show and some side novels as to why he hasn't released the next main book.

    Patrick Rothfuss last released a main book in 2011 and has mostly become an internet and D&D celebrity since then.

    I think the former is far more understandable than the latter.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
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