Tag Archives: Jim Butcher

Book Marks: Mean Streets

51VR1DT5AVL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Mean Streets is another urban fantasy anthology that I bought because it has a Jim Butcher story about the wizard, Harry Dresden. That story, “The Warrior,” might be my all-time favorite Harry Dresden short story, with the possible exception of the story that is the precursor to book one.

“The Warrior” has some of my favorite elements in Harry’s world – the human, Michael, who was entrusted with a sword from heaven, Michael’s family, and a really interesting battle between good and evil. I love this story! (5 stars for this one)

“The Difference a Day Makes” by Simon R. Green is a pretty freaky story about a sort of underworld and some seriously strange characters. Parts of it I really liked, and parts of it were too much for my comfort level (some weird sex stuff). It was really good writing with some of the most unique characters and details I’ve read in urban fantasy.

“The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog” by Kat Richardson was weird from the beginning, but the kind of weird that keeps you turning pages when you’re sleepy because you have no idea what is going on and you really want to know. 🙂 I liked the whole story, and it made me want to see more with this character.

“Noah’s Orphans” by Thomas E. Sniegoski interested me from the beginning because it seemed to be about heavenly angels and fallen angels. But then I realized all the angel characters were fallen angels, so I had to readjust how I was reading and understanding the story. I mostly liked it except for one big, glaring problem for me. The presentation of the Almighty as described by the fallen angels were completely unlike the God I know. He was presented as capricious and untrustworthy. That put me off. But it was otherwise unusual and interesting and well-written.

Altogether, I was very happy with this anthology. I’d certainly recommend it to you.

4 stars, Liked It

Book Marks: Dark and Stormy Knights

510TzMpWHUL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_I’m a huge Jim Butcher fan. I love his Dresden Files series so much, I go looking for short stories in that world that I haven’t read before. This week and next week, I’ll tell you about two anthologies I read this month, both with Dresden Files short stories in them. (Yay!)

Dark and Stormy Knights has nine short stories by popular authors in the urban fantasy genre. I particularly liked “Even Hand” by Jim Butcher (duh), “The Beacon” by Shannon K. Butcher (yup, Jim’s wife, never read her before but I want to now), “Even a Rabbit Will Bite” by Rachel Caine, “Dark Lady” by P.N. Elrod, and “Rookwood & Mrs. King” by Lilith Saintcrow.

The stories include a wizard, a vampire and a ghost, a dragon hunter, and some seriously strange supernatural entities, as well as lots more weird and interesting characters. Pretty cool.

I’ve read little to nothing by most of these authors, so I was eager to try them out. But many of them used a character in a series that I wasn’t familiar with, and didn’t give enough back story to help me understand the context of the story. That was disappointing and made the stories less enjoyable.

That being said, this was one of the urban fantasy anthologies I enjoyed the most. If you like this kind of story, try out this anthology. Fun stuff!

4 stars, Liked It

Escapism Is Not a Bad Thing

j0309600A few years ago, when I was in my master degree program for creative writing in Sydney, I was telling a friend that sometimes it’s hard to take my work seriously enough to put in the long hours necessary to find success.

“My sister helps kids walk,” I told my friend, Nic, a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Randwick Children’s Hospital. “I write romances.” I made a face. “It’s hard to think of myself as helping the world be a better place.”

“But you are helping,” Nic insisted. “When I lose a patient at work, forgetting about it for a little while in the pages of a book is exactly what I need.”

Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it that way until Nic said it. But that’s what I do; when life is getting to be too much, all I want is a little down time with a good book. I want a story that will make me laugh or gasp or in any way take my mind off my own troubles.

Nic put me on the road to having the right attitude about being a writer of silly stories. Silly is exactly what people need sometimes. I mean, really, why else do I love reading about a wizard in Chicago battling the forces of evil? (I love you, Jim Butcher! In a purely platonic and professional way, of course. 😉 )

I write about superheroes because I love stories of good versus evil. I write romantic stories because I believe that love is the answer to everything. And I write things that make me laugh because I love to laugh! And I love to make other people laugh!

So thanks, Nic, for helping me to see that my job is important. I take my silly stories more seriously since talking to you that night. Now I’m focused on making sure I become the best escape artist I can be – to help you and everyone else who needs a little break now and then. 😉