Tag: urban fantasy

Master Urban Fantasy List


So, one of the things I’m doing at the moment is trying to read books with a similar vibe to the Jade in Chains project–which can be a bit tricky when you don’t know what said vibe is. However, a number of things I already know about it are: it’ll be set in a modern-day, real-world city (Paris), will feature magic and magicians, and few magical creatures living among humans (especially, no vampires, no Fae, and no werewolves). It’s… well, difficult: most UF books I’d read failed the “few magical creatures” test, and so I turned to my twitter followers to get suggestions of books (I specifically added that ghosts and gods were acceptable, and left it a bit vague on the other kinds of magical creatures).

Here’s what they came up with: I filtered the books that were obvious mismatches, but I didn’t check everything (it’s a long list, and some of those books sound like they have more than a few “non-standard” magical creatures around). I also left some books in there that didn’t fit the criteria (like The Night Circus) because something in the description appealed to me.

Without further ado, and in case anyone else is looking for that kind of UF:

-Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London, Moon Over Soho (the story has vampires, but vampires aren’t central to the plot)
-Peter S. Beagle, Sleight of Hand (note: short stories)
-A. A. Bell, Diamond Eyes
-Holly Black, the Curse Workers series
-Leah Bobet, Above
-Maurice Broaddus, the Breton Court trilogy
-Orson Scott Card, Enchantment
-Carolyn Crane, the Disillusionist trilogy
-A Dellamonica, Indigo Springs
-Cory Doctorow, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
-Rosemary Edghill, Speak Daggers to her
-Greg van Eekout, The Norse Code
-Neil Gaiman, American Gods, Neverwhere
-Alan Garner
-Laura Anne Gilman, Cosa Nostradamus series (note: plenty of supernatural creatures, but no fae/werewolves/vampires)
-Kate Griffin, the Midnight Mayor series
-Karen Healey, Guardien of the Dead, The Shattering
-M John Harrison, Things that Never Happen (note: short stories)
-Trent Jamieson, the Death Works series
-Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star
-Caitlin R Kiernan, The Red Tree, The Drowning Girl
-Ellen Kushner, Holly Black (ed.), Welcome to Bordertown
-Megan Lindholm, Wizard of the Pigeons
-Charles de Lint
-Haruki Murakami, Wild Sheep Chase (note: more fantastical lit than fantasy)
-Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus (note, not modern-day, but it has magicians)
-China Mieville, Kraken, The City & The City, King Rat
-Jeff Noon
-Diana Peterfrund, the Killer Unicorn series
-Tim Powers, Last Call, Expiration Date, Earthquake Weather, Declare
-Tim Pratt, the Marla Manson series
-Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Shadow of the Wind
-Cat Valente, Palimpsest
-Liz Williams, Snake Agent series (the Asian/Chinese worldbuilding is way off though)
-Stephen Woodworth, Through Violet Eyes

Many many thanks to everyone for the suggestions! And any other recs in the same vein are very much welcome (especially more non-US and non-UK works). Also, if you’re one of the people who gave me recommendations: I was at work or sleeping for a significant portion of the discussion, and twitter sucks at threading discussions over several hours, so it’s entirely possible that I didn’t manage to write your recs down. Feel free to ping me again if you think I’ve passed you over.

Daniel Abraham on Urban fantasy


Saw this interesting article this morning by the very smart Daniel Abraham on his urban fantasy books (written as MLN Hanover):

I think — as I’ve said elsewhere — that urban fantasy is a genre sitting on top of a great big huge cultural discomfort about women and power. The typical UF heroine (as I’ve come to understand her) is a kick-ass woman with a variety of possible lovers. (…) She’s been forced into power — either through accident of birth or by being transformed without her permission — and is therefore innocent of one of the central feminine cultural sins: ambition.

OK, that last sentence? Scares the heck out of me. Because, when I think about it, it applies to so many women characters (and not all in UF). And it’s wrong. Women should have the right to be ambitious and stand up for themselves and not have stuff forced upon them.