Urban fantasy(was Charles DeLint (OT))

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Fri Apr 6 07:52:42 EDT 2001

>>To me there must be some sort of gritty/grainy/dark and dusty city aspect,
>>as well as the fantasy side.
> This is, to the best of my knowledge, the "official" definition of "urban
> fantasy."  But I also can't remember where I learned that definition.  The

Ooh.  On this list.  And coming from Melissa, of all people!

Melissa, you are beginning to sound like my brother as a teenager.  He was
always looking for - and claiming to have found - things "official"...

As far as I am concerned, no-one has the authority to impose an "official"
definition of a term like "urban fantasy".  For example, a dictionary
definition, to be complete, should normally give all meanings in common use.

> people who are mainly writing urban fantasy according to this definition are
> all coming out of the same writing group, so maybe they're the ones who
> started it.

Exactly.  They are welcome to define the term in any way consistent with the
words "urban" and "fantasy" - or if they've enough clout as writers, in a way
not consistent with them (as Dickens and the phrase "mutual friend") - and use
it that way; and other people may or may not follow them.  But neither they nor
anyone else has the right to claim that their definition is "official"

> Much as I like the discussion of what each of us means by a particular term,
> I would give a lot for an official lexicon of fantasy literature terms.  It
> would make my life easier.  :)

:-)  Sorry.  You sound like the people (usually newly introduced to
Christianity) who want the Bible to contain specific instructions to them about
dealing with each and every aspect of their life.  What they get, of course, is
sacred texts, from which can be derived doctrines, and it is from the doctrines
that they must find their own solutions.  With a little help from their friends,
of course.

In the same way, you are never going to get an "official" lexicon of terms,
because no-one has the authority to declare it official.  What you get is
different peoples definitions for use in different contexts, and you have to
make your own decision as to which you will use and why.  And we on this list
will always be happy to help...


PS just to show I do agree with you sometimes, my knee-jerk reaction to your
"'babes' ... Gaaaak!" comment was "Hear, hear!".  Thinking about it merely
confirms my initial impression...

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