Urban Fantasy and Why It's Awesome

I was driving home from work today, stuck in horrible amounts of traffic (I'm blaming the fog) and I started thinking about what to post tonight. And then I remembered "Oh yeah, I joined the urban fantasy group because my speculative YA book definitely falls into UF too!"

...Then I got home and fell into my post-work slump. 


So, urban fantasy! I love it. The blend of fantasy elements with modern day society works more for me than high fantasy. The stories I like reflect on real life through extreme and (let's be honest) impossible situations. Urban fantasy appeals to me because I can see another world around the one I live in.  I love alternate history stories, and stories involving magic in every day life.

Where do I get my inspiration from? For those of you new to these parts, I should probably tell you I love steam-trains and transport posters from the 1920s and 1930s. All that history, and that old world is, in some ways, lost forever. That's what I love. I can see it, but I can't go there, and that means my imagination can run free and make alternate histories and add in a dash of the supernatural! I find the posters and the machines so inspiring, and bubbling away at the back of my mind is something epic. I know it's there, and the world is slowly coming together.


So yes, urban fantasy is brilliant because it takes mundane reality and makes it AWESOME AND SHINY!

What are your thoughts?

(Also, thank you to Francesca Zappia and Prerna Pickett for the awards! I shall post them and get all caught up with blogging at the weekend ^_^)


  1. I love urban fantasy because of the way it can elevate setting to the status of character. It's possible to do this with other genres, and I've seen urban fantasy that missed out on using this, but the best examples of this for me are in urban fantasy.

    It's also hugely fun for me to take something ancient (a creature or figure from myth and legend) and figure out how it would have changed over centuries and what about the modern world would or wouldn't suit such a creature or character.

    Which also works the other way around. What values and insights and ways of thinking would such a character bring with him as the ancient and the supernatural meld with the modern and the technological?

  2. I share both your love of museums and your love of urban fantasy, so I can totally relate to this post.

    Is there a market in the British Isles for urban fantasy though? Or do you think we have to look to the US? Something I'm pondering at the moment.

  3. I love UF for exactly the reason you stated -- it makes it possible for anything to exist right in our very own world. And that's so cool :)

  4. I've never read much Urban Fantasy. As a rule, I prefer the things of long ago to the modern. But there are a couple series I've found fascinating. The Dresden Files and a series proposing that Prospero from The Tempest did not actually get rid of his magic books, but in fact spawned a rather large family that are immortal and have been engaged in controlling the supernatural world for the past 500 years in order to make room for human progress. Concepts like that I find well worth investigating, despite my dislike of the modern world.

  5. hmmm i think urban fantasy is very usefull for us

  6. Yes! I love urban fantasy so much. I think part of it is because I've always wished magic really existed. That, and I can't make up names worth crap. :)
    Happy weekend! Get some rest--you deserve it!

  7. Just stopping in from the campaign UF circle to say hi. I love trains too.

    Jana Denardo

  8. I quite like urban fantasy, but I think it's difficult to do well. I like your attitude to it :D

  9. I agree! Urban fantasy DOES make mundane reality awesome and shiny. It's so close to reality yet not quite there... It makes impossible things seem almost possible.

  10. Urban fantasy is most definitely an amazing genre to read and to write. Like you said, it's creating/seeing another world around the one we live in every day. I've always loved writing fantasy (both high and urban) because it's just so much fun creating that "other" world and the rules of the magic and all of that. Truly, truly an enjoyable exercise for my imagination.

  11. That's the great thing with urban fantasy, anything can spark your imagination!!

  12. Margo: You've explained it *so* well. That's exactly what's amazing about UF!

    Christine Murray: To be honest, I don't know. Everything seems to be supernatural romance, but I hope there's a market for something else.

    Steph: It's great, isn't it? I love to make up worlds around the real one.

    Sarah: That Prospero series sounds really interesting. I just love to reimagine the modern world ^_^

    Mbah Dukun Bagong: Very true!

    Kris: UF suits all my commuting daydreaming ;)

    Claire: It certainly is!

    Jane: Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by.

    A.J Mullarky: Oh yes, it can be done badly very, very easily. I hope I'm doing a good job!

    F.E Sewell: Exactly! I like things just that little bit different.

    Crystal: It's a great way to really stretch my imagination and dig deep to create really new and different things.

    Amanda: So true!!!

  13. Well put... I love urban fantasy for the same reason - being able to take something from today's world and completely twist it around, blended it with so many elements... Nice...

  14. TF Walsh: Exactly! I want to read about the modern world, but I like it to have a fantastic twist.

  15. Ooh, urban fantasy! Ooh, steampunk! Hope your little idea spirals out onto the page so we can read it!


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