A well-dressed man shows up in Harry Dresden's office, circumspectly asking for help with lifting the well-known Billy Goat Curse from the Chicago Cubs. After consulting with Bob and running some calculations, Harry comes to the conclusion that if the curse is real, someone local must be behind it. Otherwise, it couldn't have lasted so long. His investigation takes him into the world of the fae, but can he convince the King of the Tylwyth Teg to remove the spell, or are the Cubs destined to be cursed forever?
"Curses" is a short story that falls between Small Favor and Turn Coat in the Dresden Files series chronology. It centers around the Billy Goat Curse on the Chicago Cubs. A man who ambiguously represents the Cubs comes to Harry asking him to help break the curse. After a bit of investigating, Harry discovers who really placed the curse on the baseball team and sets to work, trying to get them to lift it. But the results end up being a bit unexpected.
When Jim Butcher mentioned the Billy Goat Curse in the introduction to the story, I thought perhaps the Billy Goats Gruff were going to appear, but sadly, they don't. Actually this curse is a real thing and it was attributed as the reason why the Cubs didn't win a World Series title between 1945 and 2016. Although I did know about the Cubs losing streak, not being much of a sports fan, I had no idea there was a supposed curse on them. Also perhaps because of my lack of interest in or knowledge of sports, this little story simply didn't capture my attention in the same way that Dresden stories usually do. There was an interesting new group of fairies introduced and a moral to the story, but overall, it just didn't have the pizazz that I've come to expect from this series. There are no big baddies, none of the usual supporting characters except Bob are present, and Harry doesn't even get to use his magic. Therefore, this was an OK read, but definitely not one that really excited me much. However, sports fans will probably feel differently. "Curses" was previously published in the anthologies, Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy and Magic City: Recent Spells, and was later reprinted in the single-author anthology, Brief Cases.
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