Jim Butcher (born October 26, 1971) is a fantasy author, best known for writing The Dresden Files and Codex Alera. His books are notable for their high levels of genre savviness, Crazy Awesomeness, and shout outs. He attended a writing course taught by Deborah Chester, and, in the attempt to prove her wrong, followed her instructions to the letter, which resulted in The Dresden Files.
He is now a big enough name that recommendations from him show up on the covers of other writers' novels, and other writers do Shout Outs to him.
You should read his stuff. Yes, that means you.
- Action Girl: Extremely prevalent throughout his work, it'd probably be easier to list the non-action girls. And several of them should be classified with a "not yet" note as they are still adolescent children. Fine examples include:
- Karin Murphy from The Dresden Files, an otherwise normal human woman that's helped take on vampires, werewolves and fairy queens.
- Kitai from Codex Alera. Daugter of a "barbarian" chief, she is is a dangerous fighter. She once bit a man's nose off because that was all she could reach when he was detaining her. She joins the hero Tavi in battle many times in the series.
- The Cinder Spires gives us Gwendolyn Lancaster and Bridget Tagwynn, both sixteen year-old maidens.
- Gwen shows a fortitude and calm during a bad situation by calmly and intentionally blowing off the head of the enemy's leader.
- Bridget worked for most of her life moving heavy slabs of meat in her family's vattery. She is probably north of six feet tall and can move those slabs with ease now. She's adept at close combat.
- Author Appeal:
- The name "Margaret". The Dresden Files has three Margarets, The Cinder Spires has one (Gwen's second name is Margaret).
- Similarly, Gwendolyn. (Gwen Lancaster in The Cinder Spires, Margaret Gwendolyn LeFay in The Dresden Files).
- Action Girls, in particular those who are either very petite or amazonian. Try finding a woman between five and six feet in height anywhere in a Jim Butcher novel. Go ahead. We'll wait.
- Awesome, Dear Boy: He admits that he took a sizable pay cut to write Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours for Marvel just because he really wanted to write Spider-Man.
- Catchphrase: In a slightly nasally tone "I'm not gonna tell you." His answer to questions he doesn't want to answer. It has started getting applause at his Q&A Sessions.
- Dark Action Girl: He's had plenty of these show up. Lara Raith of the White Court vampires is probably the best example.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- The defining trademark that each of his main characters posses.
- The man himself is no slouch either.
- Exact Words: When he was in his early 20s in his writing class where he developed the basic idea of The Dresden Files he presented his first two chapters to his professor. She gave it praise and asked for how the rest of the story goes. She meant just this first book. Jim came back excitedly the next week with outlines for a twenty book series capped off by a big apocalyptic trio to present to her.
- Line to God: He has a LiveJournal.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Quite fond of these. Consider that his two main book series are about, respectively, a vampire-hunting wizard Film Noir Occult Detective and prehistoric monster-riding Roman Legionaries who can control more elemental forms of Pokémon.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The "loser" in such a confrontation in the late 90s. When on a chat room, he took a challenge that one could take two "bad" ideas and make them into a compelling story. The challenger gave him Pokémon and Lost Roman Legion. After some research and playing with the concepts, he had a good basis for a story and was unsure how posting the idea to the internet in those days would affect his publishing rights and ownership of the idea. So, he explained this to the other guy, who believed he was right because Jim had nothing. Jim decided to let the matter drop. That man won the argument and Jim got a six-book deal out of it.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: All three of his series so far have included people of royal standing (or near enough to it) willing to get their hands dirty.
- In Codex Alera being an almighty badass is pretty much a job requirement for any High Lord or Lady.
- The Dresden Files
- Has the fairy Queens, one of whom saved Harry's life.
- It also gives us a meta-example with the Knights of the Cross, wielders of divinely powered swords who are apparently always descended from royalty.
- During the Vampire War, the Red King is frequently on the front line or close to it.
- Spirearch Addison Albion of The Cinder Spires puts on a front of absent-mindedness, but the events of the first novel make it clear he still has a lot of influence.
- Rule of Cool: Runs heavily on this.
- Word of God: He pops into fan forums (including on this very site) every once in a while to confirm or joss plot points.