An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring the Windy City’s favorite wizard.
The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue—and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you’ll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection.
From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published “Zoo Day,” Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales.
With twelve stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time readers tantalizing glimpses into Harry’s funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold.
The collection includes:
• “Curses,” from Naked City, edited by Ellen Datlow
• “AAAA Wizardry,” from the Dresden Files RPG
• “Even Hand,” from Dark and Stormy Knights, edited by P. N. Elrod
• “B is for Bigfoot,” from Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Republished in Working for Bigfoot.
• “I was a Teenage Bigfoot,” from Blood Lite III: Aftertaste, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. Republished in Working for Bigfoot.
• “Bigfoot on Campus,” from Hex Appeal, edited by P. N. Elrod. Republished in Working for Bigfoot.
• “Bombshells,” from Dangerous Women, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
• “Jury Duty,” from Unbound, edited by Shawn Speakman
• “Cold Case,” from Shadowed Souls, edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie Hughes
• “Day One,” from Unfettered II, edited by Shawn Speakman
• “A Fistful of Warlocks,” from Straight Outta Tombstone, edited by David Boop
• “Zoo Day,” a brand-new novella, original to this collection
“There’s a big yellow exclamation point floating over his head.” After a brief pause, I added, “I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested.”
It is a funny thing about me, but I don’t really care about short fiction that much. Yet I read every single one that I can that comes out in series I love. And Dresden Files is no real exception to that. Brief Cases, to the best of my knowledge, contains every short story that Butcher has written in this series at the time of this collection’s release.
The good thing about Dresden short stories is, if you don’t want to read them you don’t have to. Not a single one of these short stories are necessary to convey any real knowledge into the series. At least not any knowledge you won’t get from just reading the series. A few of them do have a bit of backstory for events that come later. But overall, these stories are just meant for Jim Butcher to have fun.
The short stories in The Dresden Files often are a chance for Butcher to explore the world of the series that we don’t normally have the time to see in the novels. The novels are telling a very grand story, and they don’t have time to go doing tasks for Bigfoot or anything. A lot of these are also told from the perspective of other characters in the series. Those were hit or miss for me.
My favourite stories, however, were the ones that followed up on something emotional that happened in the series. Showing more than could reasonably be shown in the full novels. One in particular, The Warrior, is so good because it follows up on the events that happen in Small Favor. I loved it, and I felt that particular story added a lot that I’m a little sad we didn’t get to see much of in the main novels.
The only thing missing from this collection are the graphic novels, for obvious reasons. Those graphic novels are much the same as the stories in this collection, just written for a more visual medium. While they are pretty and everything, I actually liked them less than the short stories. Though, I can’t put a finger on why.
Overall, if you’re a fan of the series, you’re probably going to enjoy this collection. Unless you’re weird like me and just have trouble reading short fiction. In which case you’ll probably find some good things in here, too.