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Literature / Side Jobs

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A collection of short fiction in the Dresden Files universe. It includes 11 stories:

  1. "A Restoration of Faith" (The first Dresden Files story ever written, it was initially rejected for publication.)
    • Dresden tries to protect a runaway little girl, Faith Astor, from various dangers while escorting her to safety. Takes place before Storm Front.
  2. "Publicity and Advertising" (listed as "Vignette" in Side Jobs and the website. Originally written as a rather self-referential ad for the series, to be distributed at conventions.)
    • Dresden and Bob talk about possible strategies for advertising Dresden's work. Takes place between Death Masks and Blood Rites.
  3. "Something Borrowed" (originally published in My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding)
    • When Jenny Greenteeth abducts Georgia and plots to kill Billy, Dresden and Murphy must hurry to save the day. Takes place between Dead Beat and Proven Guilty.
  4. "It's My Birthday, Too" (originally published in Many Bloody Returns)
    • Dresden, Thomas, and Molly must protect a group of LARPers from a powerful Black Court vampire and her coterie. Takes place between White Night and Small Favor.
  5. "Heorot" (originally published in My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon)
    • Dresden and Sigrun Gard struggle to save an innocent woman from the monstrous Grendelkin that has abducted her. Takes place between White Night and Small Favor.
  6. "Day Off" (originally published in Blood Lite)
    • Dresden plans to spend a day off with his girlfriend Luccio, but when Molly, Andi, and Kirby invite themselves over, his day quickly becomes a lot more complicated. Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat.
  7. "Backup" (originally published by itself)
    • Thomas works to stop the evil followers of a dark, forgotten god before they can trick Dresden into spreading the god's influence throughout the whole world. Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat.
  8. "The Warrior" (originally published in Mean Streets)
    • A rogue priest takes extreme measures in order to recover Dresden's Swords of the Cross, forcing Dresden and Michael to stop him before he kills somebody. Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat, and before "Last Call".
  9. "Last Call" (originally published in Strange Brew)
    • Dresden and Murphy investigate a bar fight at Mac's and uncover a dark plan involving tainted beer and a semi-divine handmaiden of the deity Dionysius. Takes place between Small Favor and Turn Coat.
  10. "Love Hurts" (originally published in Songs of Love and Death)
    • A Red Court attempt to synthesize artificial love draws the attention of Dresden and Murphy when several of the Court's test subjects commit suicide. Takes place between Turn Coat and Changes.
  11. "Aftermath" (originally published in Side Jobs)
    • Still reeling in the wake of Dresden's apparent death, Murphy must rush back into action to stop a monstrous plot by the Fomor. Takes place immediately after Changes.

This collection features the first stories in which characters besides Dresden act as the narrator; Harry's half-brother Thomas narrates "Backup", and his close friend Murphy narrates "Aftermath".

The stories in Side Jobs contain examples of the following tropes:

  • Badass Normal: Murphy proves herself to be this in "Aftermath" when she slaughters the team of Fomor servitors.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: In "Love Hurts", siblings Greg and Cindy Bardalacki fall victim to the Red Court's love spell, and eventually commit suicide together because they subconsciously know their romance is wrong. This is when Murphy, and then Harry, get called in.
  • Church Militant: Michael and Harry have to deal with one of these in "The Warrior". For that matter, Michael himself can also be considered to be one of these.
  • Dead Man's Switch: Father Douglas uses one of these to hold Michael's daughter Alicia hostage. If Harry uses magic too close to the device, or Douglas releases the switch, it will set off explosives wrapped around her.
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  • Driven to Suicide: In "Love Hurts", the victims of the Red Court's love spell doing this is what causes SI to be assigned to the case of the mysterious string of couple suicides.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Butcher freely admits that "A Restoration of Faith" is early, rough work. Among the differences between it and the series proper is that Dresden uses a ring for magic light instead of his pentacle amulet, and then gives it to Faith — it doesn't seem to be an important heirloom. A troll has never again been defeated by cutting it open and allowing thousands of tiny trolls to spill out of its empty skin, either.
  • House Fey: Cobbs (the elves from the tale "The Elves and the Cobbler") appear in "It's My Birthday, Too". They're a variety of the Little Folk that are ten inches tall, speak with German accents, and wear lederhosen. Having fallen on hard times with the decline of cobbling as a profession, a family of cobbs took up residence in a mall shoe store; in one of his early cases, Harry reconciled them with the store's owners and got them work, with payment taken from the nearby vending machine. True to the tale, the next time Harry encounters the store it has grown much larger and more prosperous, and the family of cobbs has also grown and is getting crowded. The cobbs act as scouts for Harry and fetch him some weapons to use aganst the Black Court vampires beseiging the mall, and he repays them by setting up another gig with the Carpenters. Seven active children equals a lot of shoe repair.
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  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "The Warrior," both Harry and Father Forthill are rocked back on their heels when Michael, who usually objects to even minor swears, refers to the bad guy as a son of a bitch.
  • Out with a Bang: How Thomas kills the villain in "Backup". Being a White Court vampire can be useful that way.
  • Post Modern Magick: Garlic proves to be just as effective against Black Court vampires when it's been dried and ground into powder as the fresh cloves are. It's more easily weaponized, too. In "It's My Birthday Too", Harry has the cobbs fetch him some garlic powder from the mall's pizza joint, and at a critical moment, mouths some of it and spits it in a vampire's face, which immediately bursts into flame.
  • Tracking Spell:
    • Thomas knows a basic utilitarian one, and in "Backup" Bob teaches him a better one, that can get through interference.
    • Several used, some successful, some not, in "The Warrior."
  • Troll Bridge: Trolls still haunt bridges, even in large cities. Gogoth the troll lurks under a bridge over the Chicago River in "A Restoration of Faith", waiting for "naughty children" to catch and eat. (The Unseelie Accords apparently bar him from preying on other mortals.)
  • Tunnel of Love: In "Love Hurts", one of these rides is the mechanism through which the Red Court's fall-in-love spell works, acting on anyone who rides through it.


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