Urban fantasy(was Charles DeLint (OT))

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at Proffitt.com
Thu Apr 5 22:40:53 EDT 2001


On Thu, 5 Apr 2001 13:54:45 +0100, Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk wrote:

>Why do you take such a negative view of "urban"?  This has happened to me with
>some words in the past - a word has negative connotations for me; as I learn
>more about the context, I find less and less to be negative about, but instead
>of throwing off the negative connotations, the word takes for me a narrower and
>narrower definition...
>
>To answer your other question first, "how depend?  And what do I mean by
>Urban?", to me "Urban" means "in or of a city".  No more, no less.  I don't much
>like cities, but I don't attach "depressing faceless masses" or "dark and
>gloomy" connotations to them.
>
>To me, urban fantasy is fantasy that must be set in a city in order to work.  I
>can't define it more clearly than that, except by example:

Let me clarify.  The Urban in Urban Fantasy has dark, negative connotations.
Urban itself isn't necessarily bad, and I certainly enjoy large cities
enough that I don't hold that prejudice personally.  But when it comes to
what I consider Urban Fantasy, I think polarize both terms to get a
deliberate contrast set up by an Urban, gritty, faceless, negative setting
and the brighter, hopeful, colorful Fantasy.  Both the Urban and the Fantasy
are not your standard definitions when you combine them into Urban Fantasy.
They polarize to create the flower in the gutter image that I think lies at
their heart.

Under this definition, I think you're probably right that Archer's Goon is
the closest to this genre because of the dark overtones of the town and the
facelessness of the mundane minions vs. the fantastical family that lies
underneath with all their awful color.

Jacob Proffitt
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