1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

18. Jim Butcher Discussion

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Philip Overby, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,701
    213
    So yeah, I got behind on these lately, but I'd like to start it back up. Number 18 is Jim Butcher, an author I like on multiple levels. I enjoy not only what I've read of his Dresden Files book, but I also love the story about how he came up with the Codex Alera based on a bet with a writer on a forum.



    If anyone here wants to dare me to make a best-seller out a crappy idea, go for it! :)

    Some say they're not fans of the Codex Alera, but I'd like to give it a try someday. It seems like a concept I'd be interested to see executed.

    I also like how he gives lots of writer advice in a way similar to Chuck Wendig. It's not dry or uninteresting, but just insight into how he thinks writing works. I particularly love his breakdowns of Scenes/Sequels.

    In my opinion, Butcher is one of the more interesting writers out there. I like that he approaches fantasy with a sense of humor and that he seems like an all-around nice guy to boot.

    Thoughts?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  2. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    1,384
    173
    63
    I have read all of Codex Alera, and I love it. The concept is very different from most fantasy, but he pulls it off with style and aplomb.

    I haven't read Dresden Files yet, but I do have the first book languishing on my Kindle (thanks to the arm-twisting of my editor at Otherwhere Gazette, who's a huge Dresden fan), someday I'll get to it.
     
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,701
    213
    I lost the first book somewhere of the Dresden Files, but what I read I really enjoyed. I've kind of went back and forth on my enjoyment of urban fantasy, but this one nails it I think. If I were to recommend any sort of urban fantasy to someone, I'd start with the Dresden Files. I watched the Syfy show as well, but wasn't as into it as I was the book I read.
     
  4. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    1,384
    173
    63
    That's one reason I like my Kindle... I never lose books. ;)

    Seriously, you gotta try Codex Alera. And I mean soon.
     
  5. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,701
    213
    Cool, seems like I downloaded a sample on my Kindle a while back (another reason I'm happy I have one, I won't lose books any more!) I have a long list of stuff to read, but I'd like to check it out.
     
  6. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    1,384
    173
    63
    Too bad it's not loanable, or I'd shoot you my copy for 2 weeks. :(

    Hey, authors... make your Kindle books loanable! It helps spread the word!
     
  7. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    5,534
    2,615
    313
    I've read all of the Dresden files and I really quite like them. I wasn't a big fan of the first one, but after some encouragement from a friend I gave the next one a try and haven't regretted it.
    You probably shouldn't read too many of the books back to back as they'll get a bit similar after a while, I do recommend getting through the entire series though. Many of the story arcs run along several books and having read them all you'll appreciate them a lot more than just reading a single one somewhere in the middle of the series. The characters change and evolve throughout the books which is also nice to see.
     
  8. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    1,908
    605
    113
    Codex Alera is the most intentionally awesome thing I've ever read, by which I mean that you can easily see the points when the author intends you to go "That was awesome!" The thing is, unlike a lot of authors who do that, he doesn't think awesome comes from a character doing something powerful. Rather, he approaches it as doing something intricate--carefully and methodically planning and executing a tactic to outwit, outmaneuver, or just plain baffle a more powerful foe--and in my own humble opinion, I think he's right on the money more often than not. I do think it gets a little creaky when
    Tavi gets magical powers
    --the tricks start leaning towards raw power and away from complex moving parts--but for what it's worth, I still kept reading through the final book.

    Also, Kitai is one of the few tsundere love interests I can actually stand. "I wanted a horse . . ."
     
    Mindfire likes this.
  9. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    2,888
    495
    83
    ^ And that is just one of the things that makes the Codex Alera my favorite fantasy series hands down. I just wish there was more of it. There needs to be a sequel series. Or a prequel series. Or a video game. Something.
     
  10. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    1,384
    173
    63
    I would SO buy a prequel or sequel series. :)
     
  11. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    1,474
    432
    83
    Intriguing. I'm just working my way through Dresden now, and enjoying how he uses somewhat straightforward battles somtimes every chapter or two, but keeps them fresh by finding new twists, handicaps, regulars to tie in with new arcs... Call it Fun Series strategizing, creative and not repetitive but not straining to be too smart. If Codex Alera gears the same mind up to more ambition, consider me hooked.

    (Of course, my favorite line is still: "Noone likes a smartass, Dresden." "Are you kidding? Everyone likes a smartass, as long as they're talking to someone else.")
     
  12. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    1,384
    173
    63
    That line right there definitely has me intrigued.
     
  13. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    1,474
    432
    83
    Humor's a great thing if you use it right. (So great half the stories written seem to be killed by its misuse.) The Dresden Files is one of the best at it, if you like it a bit thick but never interfering with the sense of impending doom. My other favorite exchange doesn't even have Harry in it:

    The first line is from a typical out-of-his-league cop. The second, delivered deadpan, is from a holy knight. :)
     
  14. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    1,384
    173
    63
    As I said earlier, I have the first book on my Kindle... maybe I'll make room for it in my reading list.
     
  15. danr62

    danr62 Sage

    254
    46
    28
    Ha, I'm currently re-reading the Dresden Files, and it is awesome! I've read all of them except the latest one, so I'll be finishing me re-read with that.

    Then on to Codex Alera again.
     
  16. servenvolley212

    servenvolley212 Scribe

    31
    3
    8
    I'm a HUGE fan of the Dresden Files and Butcher as a writer. I think the Dresden Files belong up there with the Gentleman Bastards series, Sanderson's stuff, and the Kingkiller Chronicles.

    I liked the Codex Alera a lot, even before I heard the origin of the series and how Butcher came up with it. That being said, it's still more YA and written on a slightly...er...lesser scale than his Dresden stuff. I love it for what it is, but I think it's more than fair to say it's not on the same level as the stuff mentioned earlier in my post.
     
  17. C Hollis

    C Hollis Troubadour

    117
    56
    28
    I tried Butcher a couple of years ago and didn't make it beyond the first book. I really don't even recall the title. I like his writing, but there were too many characters, in the book I read, that went through Soap Opera deaths (they are dead, but no wait!).

    Just not my taste.
     
  18. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    1,384
    173
    63
    That doesn't sound like Codex Alera, so it must have been one of his other series.

    You might give Codex Alera a try, it really is good.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    11,285
    3,684
    413
    I've only read his Dresden Files stuff. They're fun reads. I ran into him once and he seemed like a nice guy.
     
  20. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    11,285
    3,684
    413
    It's not the Dresden Files either, as I recall. Does he have another series going apart from those two?
     

Share This Page