A vampire, a demon slayer, and a witch walk into a bar… No, this isn’t a joke, it’s urban fantasy.
Urban fantasy is a relatively new genre of fiction that combines elements of horror, fantasy, and romance all of which are set against a modern-day backdrop. Ever hear of Twilight? That’s urban fantasy. True Blood or Sookie Stackhouse? Also urban fantasy. How about Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods? Yup, also urban fantasy.
Urban fantasy is a very malleable genre. It can include vampires, witches, demons, or fairies who live in Spokane, Baton Rouge, or (in the case of my own series) Detroit. There are books about demon hunters (such as M.L.N. Hanover’s Unclean Spirits); books about angels (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor); and books about Native American spirits (Charles Delint’s Trader.) No matter what your taste in fantasy, there’s bound to be something for you to enjoy.
Romance also plays a part in this genre. Star-crossed lovers and unrequited love are common themes. But unlike urban fantasy’s more mature relative, paranormal romance, the heat rating of urban fantasy stories are much milder. Generally, these books carry a PG or PG-13 rating. The important thing to remember, however, is that the plot will always trump the romance.
I wrote urban fantasy for several years before becoming aware that there was such a genre. But not knowing the name ‘urban fantasy’ didn’t keep me from loving it. My Lilith Straight series focuses on succubae and incubuses whereas my Bit Parts series involves vampires.
Personally, I’ll read anything from literary fiction to westerns, but I always come back to my favorite genre: urban fantasy.
About the author:
Michelle Scott received her MFA from Wayne State University. Her stories have appeared in such places as “Tales of the Unanticipated”, “All Possible Worlds” and “Realms”. Straight to Hell, the first book in her Lilith Straight urban fantasy series, is published by Carina UK, an imprint of Harlequin Romance. Michelle lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three children.