Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Urban Fantasy

A while back we blogged F is for Fantasy. I think with the amazing explosion in popularity, Urban Fantasy (UF) deserves its own post, don't you? :) And we've got some popular UF authors to help us out.

Tempest's Legacy
Nicole Peeler, author of the Jane True series says, Urban Fantasy is fantasy set in "our" world. I put quotations around the "our," because they invoke some of the problems with the name. We don't all live in urban environments, for example, and some of our books are set in rural settings, or suburban settings.
She also says, UF is popular, because there's no one urban fantasy. Because it's a mesh of genres, different authors can emphasize different genres of their choice. So my books have a lot of romance and mystery, but others can be more traditionally fantasy, or be steampunk, or be very hard-boiled mystery with little romance, etc. There's tremendous choice within the genre, which means we bring in other readers than just traditional SF/F fans.

Jeanne Stein, author of the Anna Strong series says, Urban Fantasy is a tag assigned to a particular type of book mainly to distinguish it from paranormal romance. UF books are edgy, contemporary, set in an urban (or suburban or rural) setting generally written in the first person with a kick-ass heroine who does not depend on a male partner or lover for protection or to save her when the going gets tough. She may have a lover, may even find herself in a committed relationship, but in urban fantasy, that relationship will be constantly challenged and will not define who our heroine is or how she lives her life. The romance, if it’s there at all, will play a minor role in the story.

Chosen (Amazon)
Chosen (Barnes & Nobel)
Chosen (Mysterious Galaxy).

And she says, UF appeals to a wide audience. UF crosses genre boundaries by combining mystery, romance and fantasy in a unique way. It’s our world with a twist. Supernatural beings operating right here, walking among us, hiding in plain sight. I personally love the tag. If tells readers immediately that there is no happily ever after for our heroine. UF is not meant to replace paranormal romance, but to be enjoyed in addition to it.

Hexed (Amazon)
Hexed (Barnes & Noble)
Hexed (Mysterious Galaxy)

Werewolf Smackdown
Mario Acevedo, author of the Felix Gomez series says, UF is fantasy and fantasy creatures in a contemporary setting.
And he says, UF is so popular because it lets writers and readers play with myths and legends. And who wouldn't like sex with a hot vampire? I'm surprised by all the new and inventive twists in the genre. Meaning: sex with vampires, selkies, and demons (angels on Sunday and religious holidays).
Killing the Cobra: Chinatown Trollop

Thanks, guys! This has been fun.
Readers, be sure to check out their books. :)

1 comment:

  1. YES!!! HURRAY!!
    *calming, deep breaths*
    Until about a month ago, I defined 'urban fantasy' just as you do, in this world, at this time but with a fantasy twist.

    But another fantasy writer argued that 'urban' means only one thing, set in a city. I asked, Is there such a thing as 'rural fantasy' then?

    Contemporary Fantasy was the closest I could get to a definition.
    Thankx for another point of view.