Just wanted to drop a line and let you know I’m still alive. I know today is the first post since the middle of June. But things have made it impossible to keep up with my secondary and thirdary(it’s not a word sorry) books. I’ve been reading the entire Witcher series and then writing a very long piece on it. Look for that later this month. Sorry but there are five books, not my fault. In the meantime. I wanted to pose a question to you folks….
What if Harry Dresden was a woman?
Now I know what your thinking… Well if he was a woman things in the story would be REALLY different. But, stop and consider if you will that, that was the only thing that we changed. No other characters genders or move things around in other ways. Just enough that it would make sense in the end.
I’m not that far a long in the series. I just finished Summer Knight. It was extremely good as all of them have been so far. But as I was nearing the end and especially upon starting the next book Death Masks. I couldn’t help but wonder what would it be like if Harry was a woman?
For instance, she would be in love Susan; that doesn’t seem that strange. But what about Michael? Would his wife be mad that he was out all night fighting evil things or would she be more concerned that he was spending all night with a hot wizard? Would his relationship with Billy the werewolf seem weird? Would the White Council treat him differently?
I’m sure there are lots of things about the novels that would fundamentally change. But would the popularity of the series be effected? Would it even have reached 15 books with a female protagonist? I would like to think so, but the Dresden books, I’ve noticed… Are incredibly popular. There are plenty of popular urban fantasy novels out there with female protagonists, in fact it’s quite popular to do that. But none of those series have reached the heights that the Dresden Files have. It’s more than just take detective story and add magic. But considering the amount of similar works out there. It’s hard to believe that a story of the same ilk, even a very good one. Could have not only survived this long but flourished. Because the kind of noire trope of the detective who has to solve his way out of crimes and mayhem with magic added. Is such a well worn road. I mean, there are fast food restaurants on the road and there’s even a movie theater it gets so much traffic. What about the Dresden Files has managed to keep it going? What makes it so uniquely popular?
I’m not really sure, the writing is very good. But not in a “oh shit this guy can write.” Kind of way, more like it rarely gets in your way kind of good writing. I can often read, and usually do read the Dresden books a little faster than a normal book. Mostly, because so much of the world is familiar to me. I love the humor in the book and I often just wonder how Harry is going to get out of this or that impossible situation.
The one thing that I think is rather strange about the Dresden Files is how obsessed Harry is with describing women. In a given story I can get three or four descriptions of what Murphy is wearing and I might not even find out what Michael is wearing at all. Being a guy, it doesn’t bother me from a sexist point of view. More that it kind of interferes with the flow of the story. It is so different from everything else around it that it naturally calls attention to itself. It takes you out of the story… Which is odd, considering how good Jim Butcher is at drawing a VERY believable world, with dragons, ogres, wizards, and the rest. I was certainly able to deal with this in the first couple of books. But I’m on book 5 and he’s still doing it. I’m just confused that no editor or agent didn’t mention this to Jim Butcher and say,
“Dude, I know this guys likes girls. But we don’t need the play by play with every woman he meets.”
But that is neither here nor there. If Jim Butcher wants to write Harry Dresden this way; well he’s on book 15 and it’s worked so far. So good for him. I just wonder how people would respond to a woman acting that way or more accurately thinking that way. Feel free to hit me up on twitter and let me know what you think about all this.