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Old 09-07-2008, 11:48 PM
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Default Define urban fantasy for me

I'm not sure if I have read a work of urban fantasy or not. How do you define the genre?

Most of the reviews I read seem to indicate that it's a genre involving today or the near future, with witches/werewolves/vampires/something added in. Occasionally with lots of dirty sex.

I'm curious if China Mieville's PERDIDO STREET STATION is disqualified, since it is in a fully-fictional world. Ditto for other such works.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Starhawk
Most of the reviews I read seem to indicate that it's a genre involving today or the near future, with witches/werewolves/vampires/something added in.
Pretty much. Urban fantasy gets applied to anything and everything that happens in a modern or pseudo-modern world but that also involves at least some elements of traditional fantasy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a good example. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files for books. Night Watch and its sequels. Generally, it has a lighter tone than horror, and is intended much as a traditional fantasy story with the various tropes and archetypes, just set in the modern world.

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I'm curious if China Mieville's PERDIDO STREET STATION is disqualified, since it is in a fully-fictional world. Ditto for other such works.
Mieville is often lumped in with urban fantasy, but I think that's just because no one knows where the heck to put him. I personally would NOT consider Perdido Street Station as urban fantasy, but I know some people do.

Last edited by Archaelos; 09-08-2008 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:28 AM
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My definition - 'This world, or something so close to this world as to need very minimal explanation, plus misc critters/magic'

Pretty much the most Urban Fantasy of Urban Fantasy thing I can think of is Buffy (though granted, not a book)
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:24 AM
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my main problem is figuring out where the hell the book shops put it, we have two branches of the same chain in my town and they have the same author in fantasy in one and horror in the other or fantasy in one and romance in the other.
But basically I agree with the others on definition modern, recognisable tho not necc this world with trad fantasy supernatural elements.
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:55 PM
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The line between urban fantasy and horror seems to mostly be the role of the bad guy.

B:TVS, as origionally envisioned was classic survival horror. The movie was sooooo bad that I was scared and wasn't sure I'd survive watching anyway.

Add Angel, make the "Monsters" more three dimensional, and suddenly it's urban fantasy.

As a general guide, if you think White Wolf would make a game about it, it's fairly safe to consider it urban fantasy.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:33 PM
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As a general guide, if you think White Wolf would make a game about it, it's fairly safe to consider it urban fantasy.
So ... Exalted = Urban Fantasy?
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