Dear Jim Butcher

That sound you hear? That would be me, in the corner, curled into a ball,whimpering gently. I just finished Changes, book 12 of the Dresden Files. Based on past publishing patterns it will be a year before I find out

 what happens next to Harry Dresden...

Have you read the Dresden Files yet? Harry Dresden is a both a P.I. and a wizard. The Chicago he inhabits is populated with vampires, werewolves, all manner of Fae, beings that claim to be demons and angels (nobody sanewould argue with them) and pretty much any other stripe of magical creature you can think of. The Dresden Files is the series other urban fantasies want to be when they grow up. They are fairly light quick reads but they really do need to be read in order, starting with Storm Front.

Several years ago, I bought the first two on a whim. I forgot about them until my husband came to me with book two in hand to ask if there were any more and could I go get them right now please? Huh. Obviously I was missing something. I started reading them myself. I was hooked. Now I snatch up each new installment on the release date and finish it before bedtime. This is my absolute favorite series. I've seen it enjoyed by both male and female readers. I've talked mystery/detective story readers into giving it a try despite the fantasy elements and they've enjoyed it.

A few years ago I heard the author speak at a convention. He was charming and witty. When asked how many books were planned he said he had a twentyyear mortgage. At this point I'm not sure how it will end. Harry Dresden may die horribly or finally see a moment of untarnished happiness - probably right before dying horribly. I'm not sure which I'm rooting for. He's done dubious things for good reason, he's allied with not nice beings for a good cause, he's made mistakes, some with bloody, tragic prices.  But so far, Harry Dresden keeps getting back up and trying again.  He's got a lot of flaws, headed up by a smart mouth, although it's sarcasm rather than cynicism.

And while it may sound like these are twelve grim volumes of unremitting gloom, they are frequently very funny. The characterization is truly top notch. I care what happens to Harry, I care a lot at this point. But I can't really describeanything that happens in book twelve without venturing into spoiler territory. What I can tell you is that on October 26th Butcher is releasing a book of short stories called Side Jobs.  It contains the collected Dresden Files short stories from various anthologies plus a few new ones. One of them is written from the perspective of a secondary character and is set immediately after the end ofChanges. I am pre-ordering Side Jobs because I can't wait until next April. The author is an evil, cruel, and terrible man and I need a hint of what happens in book thirteen right now.

PS, the tv show?... Meh, it was OK. If you like genre TV and want to watch something on DVD you'll like it well enough. But it doesn't hold a candle to the books.