1.5 Storm Front: Are You Really Gonna Drink That?

McAnally’s Pubcast – A Dresden Files Podcast

Episode 5: Are You Really Gonna Drink That?

We are discussing Chapter 8 in which we meet Mister and Bob

Storm Front Chapter 8 Summary

Harry heads home from his lakeside adventure and decides to get his geek on. He’s basically a wizard nerd, lacking any other particular skills or interests, so he decides to whip up some potions to help settle his nerves and, y’know, maybe come up with something useful to have in the field. Much to our delight we discover that Harry has a sassy little lab assistant in the form of a talking skull, whom Harry has dubbed ‘Bob’. Like Harry, Bob uses sarcasm liberally, loves to crack wise, and bust Harry’s chops every chance he gets. He also doesn’t forget anything. Ever. This comes in handy for our tech-challenged hero, who can’t just hop onto the web and visit demonsdemonsdemons.com (source: Angel S1E16). Dresden would like to do up a simple escape draught, but, since “there’s always room to make two, if you’re making one” Bob berates Harry into agreeing to make a love potion as well. Once done with those, Harry is mentally and physically drained enough to hit the sack and pass out for a few hours of much-needed rest.

4 Replies to “1.5 Storm Front: Are You Really Gonna Drink That?”

  1. You were wondering why Harry doesn’t short out his neighbors’ lights, computers, etc. I think it’s Harry’s wards. They keep malevolent magic out, but they also contain Harry’s magic so any accidents won’t affect the surrounding house and neighborhood.

    As for the potions, my headcanon is that the physical components don’t remain when the potion is done brewing, the potion is a homogenous liquid/sludge/whatever whose original components can’t be distinguished. Otherwise it would be too easy to reverse engineer them.

    1. That’s a pretty good answer for the wards! Keeps it neat and tidy and within the rules.

      As for potions- that’s also a good point. Probably wouldn’t be too much potion-brewing if it always tasted like mortar oil and bleach. Since every potion is unique to the wizard, it WOULD be insightful to know how they made their potion, at least for someone like Bob or Lash and preventing reversed engineering would be very helpful. As for the sludge, I imagine that could be part of the imagination/mind/soul components… “seeing” (tasting) is believing.

      Thanks so much for the insight! Feel free to keep commenting your thoughts here, or on our discord! https://discord.gg/zvXEAt6qRW

  2. Jim Butcher wrote Storm Front as his project for a creative writing class. When discussing the chapter that introduced Bob, they agreed he needed someone to be his source of information on magic, and the teacher warned him not to make them a “talking head”, a writing term for a character who pops up, spouts off information, and disappears again with no character development. His reply was to create Bob, a literal talking head.

    Look up Jim taking about the class, it’s a hoot! The teacher kept telling the class to use charts and forms and plan things out, and Jim wanted to just write, thinking all that preplanning would stifle creativity. So Jim decided, okay, *fine*, I am going to use every one of your techniques, every stupid form, every trick and strategy, and you’ll see what *crap* results. And what resulted was Storm Front and the Dresden Files.

    1. I knew about the challenge to the teacher but never knew about the Bob thing. SUCH a JB thing to do. JB has a tweet filled with “spoilers” for future books… Even though it was meant to be a joke, I feel like it was a red herring and it’s all slowly coming true:
      The tweet, in reply to a fan asking for spoilers:

      @firelightjen Okay. Dresden gets married. Mister talks. The Merlin apologizes. Murphy turns homemaker. Marcone hosts a game show.

      Anyways, other than that last one, I can kinda see it all coming together… cant trust that Butcher guy, he’ll take any chance he can. 😉 I imagine his teacher wants to send out I TOLD YOU SO letters every time he publishes another book though lmao

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