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Messages - beetnemesis

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DF Spoilers / Re: TT Harry in Proven Guilty
« on: March 05, 2018, 06:34:35 PM »
About the missing Fae book: Good catch, but it doesn't seem like a book is missing. From Small Favor, page 24 on Nook:

To me, the exchange indicates that Dresden knows there's an entry in one of the books, but not which one, so he's doing broad research with things that are available to him. The outlier is the Calvin and Hobbes book. Harry eventually finds the entry on the eighth one, so it doesn't look like anything is missing.

I had misspoke, before- what I actually meant to say is that a time-traveler took some OTHER book, not related to Gruffs. Maybe he needed a book, but didn't want a gap in the spines to show, and so used a different one? 

Not sure, to be honest. However, I do think that a time traveler is responsible for that book there. It's not like Harry is reading Calvin and Hobbes down in his lab, nor would he store the book there!

DF Spoilers / Re: TT Harry in Proven Guilty
« on: February 23, 2018, 01:24:01 PM »
A bit that's forgotten by everyone (EXCEPT ME, I WILL BE VINDICATED) is the Lost Book in Small Favor.

In SF, Harry goes looking for a book on the Fae in his office, looking for information on gruffs. But... it's not there. Instead, there's a book of Calvin and Hobbes comics.

This is insane. Harry A) is a book nerd B) Has a well-organized library C) Has Bob to remember where all his books are and D) Has such a small social circle that no one could have easily taken it.

Whoever the time traveler is, "borrowed" that book. Harry makes the most sense by far.


Also- I strongly, STRONGLY doubt that Mab fixed Little Chicago without any time travel schenanigans going on. Not only would that be an incredibly unsatisfying conclusion, it also makes no sense that it would have been a secret for so long.

Not to say that Mab doesn't keep secrets- just that this one would be pointless and boring.

I didn't go too much into the time travel thing because it could be done any number of ways. My thought is more along the lines of, "A villain gets a way to travel in time, he goes into the past to cause trouble. Harry has to follow him, drag him back to the present. Along the way, various things happen that cause little details we've noticed in previous books."

It's not lazy at all, done like that- it's just a time travel story. The inconsistencies aren't the POINT of the story, just a by-product of them.

Obviously it's not going to be "Harry gets supreme temporal power, he decides to go hang out in Proven Guilty."


Anyway, it doesn't matter. My main point was that the other theories for this thread would make for a terrible story. @namkcas, you said:
Things come back 10 years later in this series.

Which... kind of misses my point. References to old things aren't bad. But a reference, by itself, isn't interesting.

I guess I'm presupposing two things:

1. The inconsistencies in Proven Guilty are numerous, and blatant, enough to have been done as a setup.
2. A setup needs a PAYOFF. Jim wouldn't put that much effort into something if it wasn't going to be part of a good story.

Do you see? There is no (non-time travel) way to make "10 years ago, Ace hit Harry's car" an interesting payoff. It would cover ground we've already seen in Cold Days. We already know Ace was still around, we already know he's kind of ineffectual. He took his swing at Harry in CD, and missed.

Same holds true for the popular Mab theory. We already learned, from Skin Game, that the fae can enter a home if they mean no harm. That information is stagnant, unsurprising. So, if in a book or two, Mab says, "Oh btw, I fixed your model for you 10 years ago. Thought you could use the help, nbd" it would make SENSE, but it would be completely and utterly BORING. It wouldn't make for a good story.

The reason I mention time travel is because it is one of the few ways to make the mysteries of PG interesting, give them some immediacy. After all, there isn't much at stake otherwise, is there? Molly was rescued, the fetches defeated, everyone moved on with their lives.

It doesn't HAVE to be time travel, but it does have to be interesting.

DF Spoilers / Re: Best WAGs about the series so far?
« on: October 17, 2017, 07:13:57 PM »
Honestly, I don't like most of them.

It probably makes me a stick in the mud, but it's just so exhausting to read stuff like "What if Mab is really Murphy?"

The only near crazy theory I subscribe to is that we'll have a book where Harry time travels... and that's based off an (admittedly non-specific) statement from Butcher.  Would make a lot of sense, though- and could neatly wrap up the "minor-but-unresolved" issues in Proven Guilty.

As much as I like figuring stuff out from an in-universe perspective (Watsonian), I think you guys need to take a step back and think like a Doyalist (author/reader perspective).

A Doyalist would be asking, what would make for a better story?

And honestly, a lot of the theories in this thread... would not make a good story.

Some key facts to consider:

Proven Guilty came out ages ago. Think about what that means. We've all moved on, and meaningless details have mostly been forgotten. It would be incredibly boring to have something like, say, "Remember 10 years ago? That person who had the idea of tracking Molly through her mother's blood....wasn't Murphy at all!!!! (It was actually Mab).

Reader reaction would just be, "Oh. Huh."

Same thing with Ace. Ace is done. No one cares about Ace. Hell, people barely cared about Ace when he came back in Cold Days. I don't even remember if he's dead, that's how irrelevant Ace is.  Imagine if we discovered that, 10 years ago... Ace almost hurt Harry with his car!!! (He didn't, though).

The problem is all the little inconsistencies in PG aren't actually important right now. If they're not important, they're not satisfying to read about.

And there's no way to MAKE them important, in the here and now- those books are done with, enemies defeated, everyone's moved on.

Luckily... we have a wizard, and Jim is chatty. Consider the following:

- Proven Guilty has a good number of minor, deliberate, unsolved mysteries.
- Jim has stated that Harry will need to deal with every one of the Laws before the series is over.
- At the time of writing Proven Guilty, Jim was also working on the Dresden Files RPG
- The Dresden Files RPG has a lot of bonus material not in the books, including information on Baltimore, secret societies, and a primer on how time travel works (page 243). It even references PG specifically, proving if nothing else that Jim had these two books on his mind.

So with all that in mind, I think the simplest solution, as unintuitive as it may be, is: a Time Traveller (likely Harry), who is in a story akin to Prisoner of Azkaban: Harry goes back to a time we've read about before, and has his own plot, while guiding/avoiding/fixing the events of the previous timeline.

It would make a LOT of sense, and be a good story, because the events would be happening "now," so to speak. Instead of "Oh, so you're the one who fixed my model city 10 years ago? ...thanks, I guess?" it'd be "Crap, I need to fix this model city NOW so I can find the bad guy, and I need to do it and get out of here before Past Harry gets home!"


I think that's what it comes down to, for me. Immediacy. Any theory that's just an unimportant minor revelation is just going to be incredibly unsatisfying to read, and considering that it's pretty clear how deliberate this was from Jim, I don't think unsatisfying is in the cards.

Awesome writeup, and basically fits with what I've believed for a while.  A few points:
2)  Summon the Murk during the Phage attacks
A, the cold nature of the Murk wards in these attacks screams Winter
B, Harry does briefly sense something familiar about the magic involved when he reaches out towards it

I don't suppose you have a quote of that bit? I don't remember Harry finding the murk familiar. Also, I thought it was discussed that the murk was just something these phages can do?

Second: To go along with your Thomas thing, I seem to remember a post from a while ago that pointed out that Thomas was pretty spooked when Harry returned, that day. Like, "Point a shotgun at Harry for a second" spooked. It could just be fear of a Black Court attack, but it also could be that something weird happened that day.

Third: The Calvin and Hobbes book! Granted, this actually takes place in the third chapter of the following book, Small Favor, but seems like it should count. Harry has a bunch of books he uses as a reference. While he's not the neatest guy in the world, he isn't absent-minded; he doesn't just randomly lose books, especially with Bob acting as librarian. So, here's what happens:

I rubbed my hand against the back of my neck. It didn’t make it hurt any less, but it gave me something to do. “I’ve seen these goat guys, or read about them before,” I said. “Or at least something close to them. Where did I put those texts on the near reaches of the Nevernever?”

“North wall, green plastic box under the work bench,” Bob provided immediately.

“Thanks,” I said. I dragged out the heavy plastic storage box. It was filled with books, most of them leather-bound, hand-written treatises on various supernatural topics. Except for one book that was a compilation of Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. How had that gotten in there?

Bob knows EXACTLY where the books are. Even books like these, which it sounds like Harry hasn't read in a while (else he wouldn't have to ask Bob where they were).  And yet... Calvin and Hobbes? What?

What I think is likely is that TTH needed a reference of some kind, took a book, and the C&H book either got put in there by mistake (rushing to leave the basement for some reason) or on purpose (for some esoteric reason).

Like you said, DF books are pretty lean. The C&H book is random as hell, and has the feel of something that was deliberately placed.

DF Card Game / Re: Interview with Eric Vogel
« on: May 02, 2016, 07:09:36 PM »
Mmmm secret sauce

DF Reference Collection / Re: Harry Naming Things
« on: December 30, 2013, 09:35:49 PM »
Changes also had the Eebs, but I cannot recall offhand if that one was Harry's idea or Susans.  Which brings up the point that it might be worth also listing Names that he did not personally come up with but has since accepted/sponsored/validated.  The Za Lord is the best example of one of those.

I am pretty sure that Eebs was from Susan. The scene is something along the lines of Harry asking about Esteban and Esmerelda, and Susan just sort of cuts him off with "Eebs." Later, she does something similar to Martin.


b) Not be noticed/or mentioned later by Bob the Skull
-- also lampshaded in cold days. Mab always knew bob was there; Harry notes this in CD

Wait, I think I must have missed this.  Where does it say Mab always knew Bob was there?

Ms Duck, those are valid arguments... that don't really have a place in this thread. The reason is, ALL time travel plots tend to have those problems.

I feel like we're getting bogged down in trying to guess what the physics of time travel in the Dresdenverse is.  Here's what we know:

1- There will very likely be a book that, in some way, deals with time travel (I believe the WoJ says something like, "Well, it's a rule, so you know Dresden is going to HAVE to break it in some way, right ? *wink*")

2- There are a number of obstacles/inconsistencies to overcome in order to fix Little Chicago.  To wit:

a) Harry's threshold
b) Not be noticed/or mentioned later by Bob the Skull
c) Not be noticed/mentioned by Thomas
d) knowledge and ability to fix LC

Now, I think b) is actually the key to this. Why? Because Bob is loyal only to Harry. Bob will tell Harry anything EXCEPT if he can be convinced that that knowledge will definitely bring him harm to Harry (See Thomas's short story, "Backup," where Thomas tells Bob about the Oblivion War and swears him to secrecy).

Has it ever been confirmed that Bob can see through a veil? It seems like he would be able to- he can "see" magic.

My point is that, it would be extremely difficult and unlikely for a mortal wizard to fix Little Chicago without being noticed by Bob. One, because of the threshold- maintaining a veil while working on LC seems... foolhardy.  Two, because no one, including Mab, knows Harry owns Bob. If someone, somehow, snuck into Harry's basement, they would feel no need to veil themselves (and again, it seems likely Bob could pierce a veil in any case).

So. With all that said, Time-Traveling Harry seems to be the most likely candidate.  It's pointless to get bogged down in stuff like "Is Harry powerful or skilled enough to do that?" because it doesn't matter- there are any number of plot devices Butcher could trot out to lend aid to Harry in those departments.  Uriel, Mab, the Gatekeeper, Odin, and more.

However, there isn't much Butcher can do about the facts I listed above.  Any solution will have to have some explanation for them.

So, logically, that leaves a bunch of superpowers (Mab, Odin, Etc)... or a time-traveling Harry.  Of said superpowers, it'd pretty much only make sense for Mab at that point in the story.

So, as it always seems these days, we're left with Mab or Time-Travelling Harry. 

(I'm assuming here that if anyone other than TTH did it, it would NOT be through time-travelling. Mostly because that would be kind of needlessly convoluted.  Imagine reading the last book in the series, and suddenly Mab says, "OK, before we go fight Outsiders, I'm just going to go back in time without you and fix Little Chicago." Not gonna happen. If time-travelling to fix LC happens, Harry will be involved.)

When confronted with the choice between Mab or TTH, I side with TTH... mostly because it would make for a more interesting story.  Would it really be that interesting or shocking if, in a few books, Mab says "Fool wizard, of course it was I who repaired your focal device. I deemed it... neccessary."  No. We the readers would just go, "Oh, I can kinda see how that makes sense," and then we'd continue on with the book.

However, if Harry was on some kind of epic time-travelling quest that spiraled through his history, and he was in the PG-era and had to find someone RIGHT NOW... it would be much cooler if he opened his door, talked his way past Thomas, went downstairs, fooled Bob (or, more likely, talked to him and then swore him to silence), repaired LC (which he could do since he already knew what was wrong), used it, and oh, by the way, took one of his reference books and put an old "Calvin and Hobbes" anthology in the gap where it would not be discovered for another year!

tl;dr Only Mab or TTH could have done it, and TTH would make for a much cooler story.

DF Reference Collection / Re: Doylist analysis on LC fix timing
« on: April 03, 2012, 03:05:52 PM »
I love this (and TVTropes).  I love using the idea of "what was the author thinking" when trying to predict plot twists.

Another thing that I like reminding people is that it is in Proven Guilty where we first learn the basic theory of the rules of time travel.  Don't cause paradoxes, predictions have to be vague because otherwise they'll invalidate the prediction, etc.

But the thing is, the plot of Proven Guilty essentially has NOTHING to do with time travel.  The Gatekeeper didn't have to use oracular powers to warn Harry.   

There are two possible Doyalist (out of character) reasons time travel is brought up (and discussed for a few pages, even):

1. Jim was writing the Dresden Files RPG at the time, and had just formalized the rules himself, and wanted to show them off.

2. Jim was laying groundwork for the time travel book we KNOW is coming, and therefore had had to formalize the rules, at least for himself.

Hah, nice.  I especially liked the Molly ones.

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