What Geeks Me Out | A Guest Post from Dennis W. Green

Posted on November 2, 2015 «
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I discovered the Harry Dresden books in about 2004. I was wandering the stacks of my local public library, feeling a little disaffected. A lifelong sci-fi and fantasy fan, over the previous decade I had largely fled the genre, diving into mysteries, police procedurals, and action thrillers.

You might say I traded Harlan Ellison for Harlan Coben.

But I still checked out the Sci-Fi section, in the hopes that something new and interesting might strike my fancy. On this particular day, I noticed four books in what was obviously a series, called the Dresden Files. Always a sucker for anything I could enjoy longer than the week it takes to finish most single novels, I read the back cover.

Hmm, I remember thinking, The only wizard listed in the Chicago phone book… Promising.

Laurel K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison had come up during my self-imposed exile from Fantasy, so this was my first exposure to what I would later learn was called Urban Fantasy. Grafting the supernatural world onto the private eye motif sounded like fun, so I grabbed all four books and was off to the races.

I still go back and re-read the series from the start every few years. I enjoy the stories, the narrative style, and even the fact that Jim Butcher is a way better writer today than he was when he started. While Traveler is not in any way an urban fantasy, more than one reviewer has commented that the narrative style reminds them of the Dresden books. I proudly wear all my influences on my sleeve. If Trav Becker sounds a little like Harry in your head, I am flattered.

In 2005, The Sci-Fi channel produced a Dresden Files TV series, and with the same kind of questionable parental judgment that led me to tell a ten-year-old, home sick from school, that we were going to watch my favorite Christmas movie to watch together (Die Hard), I encouraged him to check it out.

He took right to it, and when the series ended, marched over to my bookshelf and soon was burning his way through the books. But as time went on, and new books in the series came out, this presented some logistical problems. Early on, sharing the new Dresden was easy. Alex would read until his bedtime, then hand the tome off to me. But as he got older, he stayed up later, and I wasn’t going to give the book to him when it was MY bedtime. I may be old, but I do have some pride. So, to this day, The Dresden Files and Harry Potter are the two series I had to buy double copies of whenever a new came out.

dennis w green geek guest post

Alex is in his twenties now, and living in Chicago. This past summer, I went to visit him, after he had moved to a new neighborhood. Normally, this would be a family outing, but his mom was traveling for work, and I had a free weekend.

“What do you want to do?” I asked him upon my arrival.

“Well,” he said thoughtfully, “Graceland Cemetery is only about a half mile away.”

For Dresden neophytes, The Graceland Cemetery in Lincoln Park, just a few blocks north of Wrigley Field, is an important setting in the Dresden-verse. It contains Harry’s empty grave, placed there by an enemy as a warning. Sometimes Harry goes there to think. And when he does, he is occasionally visited by the ghost of Inez, the spirit attached to the monument of a young girl who died in the 1800s. People bring small stuffed animals and toys to leave at her statue to this day.

dennis w green geek guest post

The eerie statue called “Eternal Silence” is animated by another supernatural being for a conversation with the wizard detective.

So, Alex and I spent part of an afternoon searching the cemetery for these monuments. We found both, although if there is also an open grave with a headstone that reads Here Lies Harry Dresden – He Died Doing The Right Thing, we missed it.

Something else we discovered during our walk around Graceland cemetery, are that there are dozens, if not hundreds of gravestones that are the exact same design as the Washington Monument. It has something to do with Freemasonry (Insert your own Masonic Conspiracy Theory here).

dennis w green geek guest post

Alex hit the Field Museum on his own a couple weeks later, and took a picture of Sue, the tyrannosaurus Harry animates in one of the all-time greatest battle scenes in all of literature.

We didn’t get to some of the other Chicago sites mentioned in the books that day. After all, you can go to The Shedd Aquarium anytime, but you have to be really devoted to search out St. Mary of The Angels church, home of Harry’s friend and confessor Father Forthill. I’m pretty sure the door in bottom right corner of the picture is the one Harry sneaks in after hours.

“I wonder what other dads and their sons do in their free time,” Alex mused as walked past the umpteenth Graceland obelisk memorializing a long-dead Freemason.

I thought of all the families wasting their time just a few thousand yards away at a Cubs game.

“Can’t imagine,” I replied.

dennis w green geek guest post


About the Book

What Geeks Me Out | A Guest Post from Dennis W. Green


Author: Dennis W. Green
Published on: August 1, 2015
Pages: 286
Series: The Traveler Chronicles #2
Genres: adult, science fiction, thrillers, time travel
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up
Also in this series: Traveler


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Synopsis: Trav Becker is a police detective with multiple lives. Or to be more accurate, he’s a police detective who knows that multiple versions of himself live in countless different streams of existence.

When another Trav Becker appears bleeding and dying at his front door, Trav quickly realizes that something is dreadfully wrong in the multiverse.

Pursued by an FBI profiler who believes (with some justification) that Trav is hiding something, the detective races to save two kidnapped girls while also trying to sort out why he keeps turning up dead.

Desperate to preserve his home timeline, Trav is thrust into a hidden war that threatens to destroy the very fabric of reality itself.

Dennis Green returns to the universe he created in “Traveler” for another mind-bending thriller.

From My Review: For those of you who have read Traveler, you are in for another wild ride when you pick up Prisoner. Trav Becker and all his doubles are back at it shifting through parallel realities and trying to save the universe. Read more.

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About Dennis W. Green

dennis w green headshot

Dennis Green is a writer, DJ, actor, sports announcer, web site editor, Masters swimmer, tech geek, husband, and dad, living and working in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His first book, "Traveler" is out from Mbedzi Publishing.

Dennis likes to say he lives life by these words from the great Robert Heinlein: "Specialization is for insects."

A master of many trades, as a DJ, his adventures were covered by newspapers from Anchorage to Los Angeles. As a writer, his work has been published in the small press, broadcast trade publications and the web site www.heartofamericatri.com. By day, he is the general manager of Iowa’s only jazz radio station, KCCK-FM. And if it’s 5:30 am, you can probably find him in the pool, working out with the Milky Way Masters swim club.


dennis w green geek guest post


dennis w green geek guest post



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13 responses to “What Geeks Me Out | A Guest Post from Dennis W. Green

  1. It was fun, Laura. Now I’m thinking I need to do the Spenser tour of Boston…. Thanks for checking out the post, and for visiting Terri’s blog.

  2. Aw, I love this post! I would do the same if I went to Chicago. I’m like that when I go to Seattle (which I do a few times a year). I tend to have a particular book in mind and want to go visit the places in the book. I like reading books that take place in Portland (where I live) because I can have an outing and go to those places. It’s cool that others do that too!

    I’ve read the first Dresden book years ago and Harry’s voice is in my head but I don’t really remember the book real well. Mainly it’s the voice and tone that stuck with me. And when I started these books it was Harry I first thought of. That was before I even knew others made that comparison as well.

    Thanks for hosting a tour stop Terri! Sorry I’m a day late, I was out all day yesterday.

  3. I’m going to share this with the Boyfriend, who introduced me to the Dresden Files. Perhaps, now that we’ve been to New Orleans (the setting of much of my favorite series), our next trip will be to Chicago. I’m also going to start reading the next Dresden book that I’ve been meaning to read for months now 🙂

    • I saw posts about New Orleans and was fascinated by your trip. While I haven’t done anything book-related, I have visited sites seen in movies on a couple of trips. Still have yet to get to the Art Museum in Philly (Rocky) and I go there every year on a business trip.