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Like most successful urban fantasy authors, Jim Butcher has written a number of short stories and novellas over the years. And at long last, they're collected in "Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files" -- all the short stories and novellas that Butcher has penned about his wisecracking wizard, plus some new material.

The stories include "A Restoration of Faith," a prequel story in which Harry tries to rescue a little girl (named Faith -- get it?); "Vignette," which is basically a conversation between Harry and Bob the Skull; "Something Borrowed," in which Billy and Georgia's true-love wedding is turned upside-down by a malevolent fairy; and "It's My Birthday Too," in which Harry follows his brother Thomas to a rather unusual gathering, and immediately runs into vampiric trouble.

"Heorot": a young woman is abducted right before her honeymoon, and Harry has to join forces with Miss Gard to find her. "Day Off": Harry's attempts to relax are thwarted by Slytherin wannabes, supernatural fleas and other problems. "Last Call": Beer starts inexplicably causing riots, and Harry suspects a supernatural cause. "Love Hurts": people are dying after falling madly, passionately in love/lust. And "The Warrior," in which Harry confronts some of the religiously-based problems in his life -- including a certain archangel.

Additionally, there's Butcher's brilliant novella from Thomas Raith's point of view, "Backup," which was previously published by Subterranean Press. Basically Thomas is called on to do some heroic behind-the-scenes stuff against an old enemy, hopefully without his little brother knowing about it.

And then... there's the new, previously unpublished story. "Aftermath" is from Murphy's perspective just after the end of "Changes," as she grapples with the loss of Harry Dresden and the messy Chicago disasters left behind.

I've honestly been waiting years for Jim Butcher to put together a collection of his short stories, some of which were put straight on his website and never included in a book. These stories are like the icing on the cake -- if you've read and enjoyed Butcher's full-length novels, then these mini-adventures will really entertain you.

And most of them have the well-rounded Dresden formula: grotesque supernatural baddies, snappy writing ("The Dim Lord tried for his dramatic dialogue again"), slam-bang magic, and lots of fun genre-savvy jokes (Thomas has "some awfully nerdy hobbies"). But Butcher also inserts some darker stories into the mix -- "Aftermath" is bittersweet and a little painful, and "Backup" has some darker parts when Thomas wrestles with his inner demon.

Butcher also contributes a new foreword to each story, which explains a little about why he wrote it ("Vignette" was something he knocked out for promotion) and for what. F'rinstance, Charlaine Harris is so nice that "I can't even bring myself to be jealous. She's that nice."

Collecting all of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novellas and short stories (including those not formally published), "Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files" is a must-have for anyone who adores the Chicago wizard.
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on September 4, 2012
Side Jobs, was a nice change of pace. A collections of story compilations of various other stories slotted between the main Dresden File novels. It's nice to learn more about the characters that I already enjoy following so much.

It added some nice flavour and diversity to the series having input and themes that Mr. Butcher and other writers worked on together. I really enjoyed hearing some of the other tales that happened between the main Dresden File books I have previously read.

I would really encourage Mr. Butcher to take part in these projects more in the future as it's not very often that I have seen many authours work together on a series already in motion. The genres of Sci-Fi and Fantasy have so much to offer a reader given the write story lines and characters in a talented writer's hands.

I also found the introduction to each short story and novella by Mr. Butcher a really effective way to connect with the writer and gave it some insight into the writer's frame of mind and take on the story to you were about to read. It was a nice little something extra for the reader.

I give this book a 5/5 - I would have liked to see more stories fitted into this book, but it was very interesting and a different take on a novel.

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on April 15, 2010
Disclaimer: everything I'm typing here is from searches on the Internet. No guarantees that it is true, and it may change by the time the product is released. I'm adding it here because Amazon's page doesn't provide any details (as of mid-April 2010, anyway).

Side Jobs is an anthology. It will contain the following short stories:

Restoration of Faith (you can read it for free at [...])
Vignette (also available for free, same place)
Something Borrowed - originally published in My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
It's My Birthday Too - originally from Many Bloody Returns
Heorot - originally from My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon
Day Off - originally from Blood Lite
The Warrior - originally from Mean Streets
Last Call - originally from Strange Brew
Love Hurts - from the upcoming Songs of Love and Death: Tales of Star-Crossed Love
Aftermath - which takes place 45 minutes after Changes and is told from Karrin Murphy's point of view.

I've read the first 9 stories and loved them all. I'll buy this collection just for the 2 new stories, I guess.

Apparently Jim Butcher will publish two more stories in the spring of 2010 (Even Hand, Curses), and these will NOT be part of this anthology. TBD.
"Even Hand" will be part of an anthology called "Dark and Stormy Knights"

The audio book will be read by James Marsters, just like the other 11 audio books made so far. That's excellent news IMO, the guy is doing a fantastic job. Mind you, I'm a big fan of his from the Buffy and Angel TV shows.
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on December 7, 2010
The Dresden books are my favorites. I own them in paperback and audio and love them all. This one is no exception.

Speaking of which, if you want this book in audio format, you will notice that Amazon has dropped the ball here. I have no idea why they don't carry this one. They do carry tens of thousands of audio books that deserve it less, IMO. Anyway, I got mine from Recorded Books. Expensive, especially with shipping to Canada, but it's worth it.
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on December 28, 2013
side jobs covers a small group of stories set in the Dresden universe so to speak, covering a variety of subjects from dresdens beginnings to beer based kidnappings and some stories from others in his world including Thomas and Murphy, I was pretty satisfied with the length and variety of the stories and recommend it to others interested in the Dresden files verse.
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on January 18, 2012
Jim Butcher's Dresden world is a wonderful place to lose oneself in to get away from life for a little while.
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on December 4, 2014
Love Jim Butcher, love Dresden!!! Great job creating "Side Jobs", a collection of short stories that help you understand the main books. Can't get enough!
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on May 30, 2014
If you've read other books in the Dresden Files and liked them then you will like this one as well.
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on June 15, 2015
Always fun to read more of Harry's adventures. Well worth the read.
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on May 27, 2016
Amazing series with an incredible author
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