The Sunday Salon: Urban Fantasy


My deep love for fantasy stems from playing too much The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time during my formative years. Ah, good times. I find high fantasy–swords, sorcery, and a doomed princess on top if I’m lucky–exhilarating. It’s complete escapism with high stakes. There is, more often than not, a sense of nobility about the whole affair, which, to the best of my knowledge, comes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s massive influence on fantasy with the publication of The Lord of the Rings.

That sense of nobility, or lack thereof, is exactly why I’m not too fond of urban fantasy, where fantastical elements are mixed with the normal, contemporary world we live in.

That nobility isn’t completely absent in urban fantasy, or, as it’s sometimes known, contemporary fantasy. I am a fan of Neil Gaiman, and American Gods is a sweeping epic I reread every so often. But despite my love for Neil Gaiman, I will admit that I reread Wicked more often than I reread American Gods.

Part of my lack of interest in urban fantasy is due to my love of a good plot and distaste for procedural drama. I’m much more likely to pick up a book advertising killer unicorns than vampires in New York. As far as I can tell, there’s a sizable portion of magical procedurals in urban fantasy–Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, Laurell K. Hamilton Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, and Charlaine Harris’ The Southern Vampire Mysteries. While I’m interested in reading Dead Until Dark, I’m not sure if I’ll stick it out to the end. I prefer my serial reading to be a story told over several books, not stories simply written in the same universe.

In other news, I finally finished We Were the Mulvaneys, and have started on Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty. My week has been fairly hectic–I’ve been performing in a production of Galileo, working on my NaNo, and catching up on schoolwork.

What genres are you guys just not into?

2 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Urban Fantasy

  1. I am not into erotic romance, the historical and regency romance is as romantic as I get.
    Paranormal and fantasy I don’t typically read, but if it is something “fantasy” as in Fairy-tale or medieval or Arthurian related I would be interested in. Your description of swords and princesses as fantasy is something I would enjoy, (I think)..

    • I like historical romance- it’s a bit juicier when there’s conventions and social mores that love must fight against unlike contemporary romances.

      I love high fantasy out of whole cloth, but I also enjoy retelling of myths and fairy tales, even in non-fantasy historical context. My favorite Arthurian book is The Sword at Sunset.

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