The Dresden Files: Sword-and-Sorcery?

I had intended to write another post on anthologies. However, I was about three and a half stories through a collection when Peace Talks arrived. So much for that plan. I’m about halfway through the latest of Harry Dresden’s series of unfortunate events. Once I’m done, I’ll get back to revisiting Fafhrd and Gray Mouser’s shenanigans.

Reading Peace Talks, however, raised in my mind the question of whether or not the Dresden Files are sword-and-sorcery. Superficially, why not? The main character is a wizard. One of his buddies is a sort of holy warrior, often armored up and swinging a sword. So we’ve got both swords and sorcery right there. I recently wrote a post in which I enumerated what I thought were the essential components of sword-and-sorcery fiction. Why not run through those with an eye to Jim Butcher’s tales of Harry Dresden and a Chicago infested with the supernatural.

The Family Road Trip

Last Monday, I packed up MBW and the HA for a road trip. I pointed the vehicle east and we headed for Yellowstone. We decided to take the journey in two stages. I’ve done eighteen and twenty hour stretches, and we could have made the trip in, perhaps, fourteen hours. But I doubted the HA would tolerate it well. So we stopped Monday night at a hotel on the Oregon/Idaho border. The HA played in the pool. Next day, bright and early, we trekked on, reaching West Yellowstone in the afternoon.

Flashing Swords #3. Pack Your Bags.

I have a number of well-worn anthologies on my shelves. It has been said that shorter fiction is the proper length for Swords-and-Sorcery. Maybe so. At least in an anthology the reader has access to multiple imagined worlds in a single volume instead of the single world of a novel. I thought I’d investigate this somewhat, revisiting these collections. And what better volume to start with than Flashing Swords #3?

The Quintessence of S&S

If I were to distill the elements of Swords-and-Sorcery to their essence, what story would I find pooled at the bottom of the alembic?

To answer such a question, I’d first have to gather the elements. It requires a confident man or an arrogant fool to think he knows what those elements are. Let’s take a collective leap and pretend I’m not a fool. Moving forward, let’s see if we can glean the fundamental components of S&S.

A Trip to The Dalles

Only a fence and the Columbia River separate me from the State of Washington

I took MBW and the HA for an excursion yesterday. We needed to shake the rust off and see new horizons. So, skirting south of Mt. Hood, then along its eastern flanks for a while, until we cut due east through a national forest, winding along a narrow road, then north to the Columbia River at The Dalles.

Father’s Day

It is Father’s Day. I’m busy enjoying it, so this will be short. Let me just say that I can think of worse ways to burn a couple of hours than heading to woods with a minor arsenal and a hundred bucks or so worth of ammunition.

I hope your day is equally on target.

And now, time to start cleaning.