What is Urban Fantasy?

When talking about fantasy novels, what does the term “urban fantasy” refer to? I haven’t read many urban fantasy novels myself, but according to wikipedia, urban fantasy is:

A subset of contemporary fantasy, consisting of magical novels and stories set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings–as opposed to ‘traditional’ fantasy set in wholly imaginary landscapes, even ones containing imaginary cities, or having most of their action take place in them. Urban fantasy may also refer to more modern versions of ‘traditional’ fantasy worlds. The modern urban fantasy protagonist faces extraordinary circumstances as plots unfold in either open (where magic or paranormal events are commonly accepted to exist) or closed (where magical powers or creatures are concealed) worlds.

Contemporary authors of urban fantasy novels might include:

  • Neil Gaiman
  • Robin Hobb (aka Megan Lindholm)
  • Laurell K. Hamilton 
  • Mark Helprin

Any serious fans of urban fantasy? Who are your favorite authors? Novels?

Published by

Steven

My life has been pretty simple. I grew up in Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor's in Advertising. I have spent about the last ten years in web development. In 1998, a friend of mine and I started a web design company we ran for three or four years before deciding to close it due to the demands of school. Since then, I stayed in the web working with various companies in Alabama. I worked for a brief period with Southern Progress, namely with Southern Living magazine and Health magazine, in their web departments. While there, I also wrote for Southern Living magazine, Health.com., and the company's internal newsletter. I write as much as I can. For the last five years, I have been working on my first novel. I am on the third revision now and hope to be finished with this draft by the end of the year. I also write short fiction, though not as frequently as I used to due to the time I spend on the novel. My goal is to have my novel published in the next three years. Other interests include: History (particularly medieval and ancient civlizations), Reading, Foreign Language (I currently speak Spanish but plan to learn as many as I can), Landscape Photography, the outdoors, sports (especially college football), and Travel.

2 thoughts on “What is Urban Fantasy?”

  1. I love Urban Fantasy. You want some favorite authors of mine…..you shouldn’t have asked. 🙂

    Vampires & Werewolves:
    * Anita Blake by Laurell K Hamilton – Guilty Pleasures (16+)
    * Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward – Dark Lover (6+)
    * Cassandra Palmer by Karen Chance – Touch the Dark (3+)
    * Dark-Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Fantasy Lover (11+)
    * Kitty Norville by Carrie Vaughn – Kitty and the Midnight Hour (4+)
    * Mercedes Thompson by Patricia Briggs – Moon Called (4+)
    * Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost – Halfway to the Grave (2+)
    * Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong – Bitten (8+)
    * Psy-Changeling by Nalini Singh – Slave to Sensation (4+)
    * Riley Jensen by Keri Arthur – Full Moon Rising (6+)
    * Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris – Dead Until Dark (8+)
    * Werecat by Rachel Vincent – Stray (2+)

    Demons, Fae, & Magic
    * Aisling Grey by Katie MacAlister – You Slay Me (4)
    * Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews – Magic Bites (2+)
    * Meredith Gentry by LK Hamilton – A Kiss of Shadows (6+)
    * Morgan Kingsey by Jenna Black – The Devil Inside (1+)
    * Nightwalkers by Jacquelyn Frank- Jacob (4+)
    * Rachel Morgan by Kim Harrison – Dead Witch Walking (6+)
    * Silver Dragons by Katie MacAlister – Playing with Fire (1+)

  2. Thanks, Jackie, for the reading suggestions. The only author I’m really familiar with on the list is LK Hamilton. I’ll have to check out the other ones. Would you consider Ann Rice’s vampire novels as Urban Fantasy?

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