Friday, January 30, 2009

"Something Borrowed" a short story from the Dresden Files

"Something Borrowed" a short story from the Dresden Files
by Jim Butcher
From the book "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding"
edited by P.N. Elrod
Published by St. Martin's 2006

Okay here I am waiting for the next Jim Butcher "Dresden Files" novel "Turn Coat" and I have nothing to read. So I go look on his website ( ) and find he has written a few Dresden short stories. I can't get enough of Wizard Harry Dresden's wit, wisdom and ability to kick serious supernatural butt, so I'm going to devour all the stories I can.

I picked up the book and have found it full of some fun supernatural short stories, I'll be posting a review of the book as a whole later. Here I am to tell you of this adventure of Harry Dresden. This story takes place between Dead Beat and Proven Guilty.

As you can probably tell from the title of the collection all the stories have weddings as the centerpiece. Weddings are hard enough to bear but throw in some monsters, faeries, vampires, wizards et. al. and you have a real mess on your hands. And we all know Harry Dresden is a magnet for trouble.

In the beginning of this story Harry has been "drafted" to be the best man for the wedding between the werewolves Billy and Georgia. He is being forced into the position because the original best man (another werewolf) was severely injured during a battle the night before. Harry was involved in the battle but turned out to be battered less than the wolf. So with a black eye and sore muscles, Harry is being fitted with a last minute tux. Georgia's evil stepmother (not supernaturally evil, just evil) is being a control freak in everything that could make this wedding go bad. Harry is one such thing.

After dealing with the step-mother, Billy expresses to Harry he's concerned for Georgia, she doesn't answer her phone. He asks Harry to check on her. Harry goes to her apartment to discover a scuffle had taken place, so he calls in backup, in the form of Lt. Karrin Murphy of the Chicago police, Special Investigations unit.

Harry and and Murphy track down Georgia to discover a faerie is seeking revenge on the werewolves from when they took down someone from the Winter Court of Faeries. Georgia is swapped with a faerie so Billy will marry the faerie and then Billy and Georgia will die. After Georgia is found in a spell, Harry discovers the spell can only be broken by a kiss.

With evil-stepmothers, true love and a sleeping beauty, this story carries all the fun and excitement of a Dresden Files novel but condensed down to one fun-filled short story.

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posted by Gil T. @ 1:56 AM Comments: 0

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Just After Sunset" By Stephen King

Just After Sunset
By Stephen King
Published 2008 by Scribner

Stephen King the master of horror delivers once again with his latest book, “Just After Sunset.” “…Sunset” is a collection of short stories that, as King states in the introduction to the book, allow him to exercise that little used short story muscle. Back in the day when he was writing, not to put food on the table, but to allow that extra check that turned out be nice to a then struggling family where his source of income was teaching high school English and summer jobs as a delivery driver or in a laundry. This book is basically his challenge to himself to see if he can still write the short story.

He Can!

“Just After Sunset” is a collection of 13 stories ranging from the romantic ghost story to the gross out kill-the-man-by-locking-him-in-a-port-a-potty-and-tip-it-over story. Each story is different but they all ring true of that Stephen King touch. He takes the what-if and makes it real, but usually in a scary or at least a haunting finish.

In the back of the book Mr. King provides a story by story explanation as to why and how the stories evolved.

Here’s a breakdown of the stories.

1. “Willa”
The story of some folks that have just experienced a train crash and have been waiting for hours at the nearest depot for a back-up train to take them home.

2. “The Gingerbread Girl”
read my review of the audio release of this story here:

3. “Harvey’s Dream”
A man who wakes up from a nightmare of his wife being killed, and wanting to tell the wife. She doesn’t want to hear the story but knows she has to.

4. “Rest Stop”
A writer his headed home on the interstate and stops in a rest stop to relieve himself. As he enters the building he hears an argument and a man beating a woman. This is a what-would-you-do story that brings out the hero in all of us.

5. “Stationary Bike”
A man buys a bike to become healthy and prolong his life but ends up crossing into another dimension.

6. “The Things They Left Behind”
This is Stephen King’s story to help understand the after effects of 9/11. This is a heartwarming story telling what happens to one man that survived the bringing down of the twin towers in New York. Told in a way that only Stephen King could.

7. “Graduation Afternoon”
Another Stephen King what-if. A girl celebrating her boyfriend’s graduation and contemplating her own future is witness to a sight that changes all future plans. When reading this story it may be helpful to play Pink Floyd’s “Two Suns in the Sunset” from the Final Cut album.

8. “N.”
A psychiatrist treats an OCD patient that developed his disorder after leaving a Stonehenge like structure.

9. “The Cat from Hell”
A great story about a hit man hired to kill a cat.

10. “The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates”
A cell phone is the last connection to a wife’s late husband.

11. “Mute”
An interesting guy-picks-up-hitchhiker-then-goes-to-confession story.

12. “Ayana”
“Pay it Forward” movie meets a psychic healer.

13. “A Very Tight Place”
This is the gross out story in the book, and my favorite. Two enemies from the rich part of society, one seeks revenge by locking the other in a port-a-potty and tilts it over and leaves him to die.

Fun stories to read and all have that Stephen King touch to keep any fan happy. If you are not a typical Stephen King reader you’ll enjoy this also, a story for everyone.

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posted by Gil T. @ 10:02 PM Comments: 0