The Holy Trinity of Urban Fantasy (warning: opinions)


Ok. I have done some thinking about this whole urban fantasy genre. It’s pretty damn big and a lot of people make their living off of it. Ok, maybe not a living, but a lot of people are getting to write books in this genre. If they are not making a living, they are still being paid to write. Which is cool.

Anyways.

The point (and by the point, I am in no way promising to not ramble. This blog is in fact the very illustration of a ramble. Not a rant, there is no frustration or anger, so a ramble – a jumble of words and thoughts that meander in a general direction to a semi-relevant location. (see what I mean about ramble? Multiple sentence asides and two, count ’em two, sets of parentheses.)) is that in my opinion there are three major things that have converged in influence to create this urban fantasy genre.

The Holy Trinity of Urban Fantasy (dunn-dunn-dahhh!)

1) The movie Blade.
The movie Blade is the totality of urban fantasy distilled to it’s base components. It had edge, violence, supernatural elements, new takes on old tropes, and a simple, larger than life hero.
The movie was just plain cool. It took vampires and turned them on their head. It pushed the same old thing in a whole new direction and it kicked it’s ass the entire way.

2) Buffy The Vampire Slayer (TV show)
OMG every writer who is published in this genre since 1998 needs to send Joss Whedon a bouquet of roses. If Blade is the distillation of the genre, then Buffy was the exploration of the genre. Joss also made the genre better because by God, if you have an idea, he probably got there first and you have to bust your ass to be new, fresh, and exciting after the Joss came along.
Joss also showed the entertainment industry that this genre can make money and thus that they should look at your writing to see if they can turn a profit. This means you get to write books for more than just yourself.

3) Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books.
If I hear one more complaint about Laurell or Anita I may actually take a gun and begin blasting. Yes, her last book had a wobble or two, but I reread it and it wasn’t bad. It was better than other books I have read in the genre and the last 3rd of the book was brilliant. Her salvation of the Richard character was inspired. Anyways. There is a lot of derision and dissing of her work lately.
I’ll go on record and say that her books are by far the best in the genre. There is a reason she is so popular, time and again. The lady writes a compelling book and has since 1993. Her continued sucess has also made an umbrella that many other writers can take shelter under.

Yes, take away any of these and there would still be a genre called Urban Fantasy, but it would be less. These three things are in my opinion, directly responsible for the genre.

They are definitely my biggest influences.

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40 Comments

  1. i’ll give you the first two… but sadly for me, LKH stopped being a bible at the OButterfly. and i really loved the first installments of Merry Gentry…
    but urban fantasy is definitely a love.

  2. i’ll give you the first two… but sadly for me, LKH stopped being a bible at the OButterfly. and i really loved the first installments of Merry Gentry…

    but urban fantasy is definitely a love.

  3. i’ll give you the first two… but sadly for me, LKH stopped being a bible at the OButterfly. and i really loved the first installments of Merry Gentry…

    but urban fantasy is definitely a love.

  4. i’ll give you the first two… but sadly for me, LKH stopped being a bible at the OButterfly. and i really loved the first installments of Merry Gentry…

    but urban fantasy is definitely a love.

  5. i’ll give you the first two… but sadly for me, LKH stopped being a bible at the OButterfly. and i really loved the first installments of Merry Gentry…

    but urban fantasy is definitely a love.

  6. i’ll give you the first two… but sadly for me, LKH stopped being a bible at the OButterfly. and i really loved the first installments of Merry Gentry…

    but urban fantasy is definitely a love.

  7. I might have to rewatch Blade. I saw it back before I knew urban fantasy existed, and all I remember about it is that it was gory. Is this the movie that opens up with a blood shower in a club or something???
    I blame my love of UF on Joss all the way. I read the first LKH book, tried to read the second, but just couldn’t get into it. It’s been a while, though, so I might give her another try.

  8. I might have to rewatch Blade. I saw it back before I knew urban fantasy existed, and all I remember about it is that it was gory. Is this the movie that opens up with a blood shower in a club or something???

    I blame my love of UF on Joss all the way. I read the first LKH book, tried to read the second, but just couldn’t get into it. It’s been a while, though, so I might give her another try.

  9. I might have to rewatch Blade. I saw it back before I knew urban fantasy existed, and all I remember about it is that it was gory. Is this the movie that opens up with a blood shower in a club or something???

    I blame my love of UF on Joss all the way. I read the first LKH book, tried to read the second, but just couldn’t get into it. It’s been a while, though, so I might give her another try.

  10. I might have to rewatch Blade. I saw it back before I knew urban fantasy existed, and all I remember about it is that it was gory. Is this the movie that opens up with a blood shower in a club or something???

    I blame my love of UF on Joss all the way. I read the first LKH book, tried to read the second, but just couldn’t get into it. It’s been a while, though, so I might give her another try.

  11. I might have to rewatch Blade. I saw it back before I knew urban fantasy existed, and all I remember about it is that it was gory. Is this the movie that opens up with a blood shower in a club or something???

    I blame my love of UF on Joss all the way. I read the first LKH book, tried to read the second, but just couldn’t get into it. It’s been a while, though, so I might give her another try.

  12. I might have to rewatch Blade. I saw it back before I knew urban fantasy existed, and all I remember about it is that it was gory. Is this the movie that opens up with a blood shower in a club or something???

    I blame my love of UF on Joss all the way. I read the first LKH book, tried to read the second, but just couldn’t get into it. It’s been a while, though, so I might give her another try.

  13. I might have to rewatch Blade. I saw it back before I knew urban fantasy existed, and all I remember about it is that it was gory. Is this the movie that opens up with a blood shower in a club or something???

    I blame my love of UF on Joss all the way. I read the first LKH book, tried to read the second, but just couldn’t get into it. It’s been a while, though, so I might give her another try.

  14. That’s cool. This ramble isn’t even trying to convince folks of the greatness of Laurell. It’s more that her writing helped create the genre we all enjoy writing and her continued success means other authors can find homes for their books.

  15. That’s cool. This ramble isn’t even trying to convince folks of the greatness of Laurell. It’s more that her writing helped create the genre we all enjoy writing and her continued success means other authors can find homes for their books.

  16. That’s cool. This ramble isn’t even trying to convince folks of the greatness of Laurell. It’s more that her writing helped create the genre we all enjoy writing and her continued success means other authors can find homes for their books.

  17. That’s cool. This ramble isn’t even trying to convince folks of the greatness of Laurell. It’s more that her writing helped create the genre we all enjoy writing and her continued success means other authors can find homes for their books.

  18. That’s cool. This ramble isn’t even trying to convince folks of the greatness of Laurell. It’s more that her writing helped create the genre we all enjoy writing and her continued success means other authors can find homes for their books.

  19. That’s cool. This ramble isn’t even trying to convince folks of the greatness of Laurell. It’s more that her writing helped create the genre we all enjoy writing and her continued success means other authors can find homes for their books.

  20. That’s cool. This ramble isn’t even trying to convince folks of the greatness of Laurell. It’s more that her writing helped create the genre we all enjoy writing and her continued success means other authors can find homes for their books.

  21. That’s cool. This ramble isn’t even trying to convince folks of the greatness of Laurell. It’s more that her writing helped create the genre we all enjoy writing and her continued success means other authors can find homes for their books.

  22. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  23. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  24. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  25. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  26. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  27. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  28. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  29. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  30. I think that “Underworld” has probably had more of an overall effect on the genre than “Blade” has. And don’t forget the early ’90’s forerunners, like Tanya Huff’s “Blood” books, P.N. Elrod’s “Vampire Files,” and the like.

  31. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.
    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.
    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.
    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.
    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  32. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.

    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.

    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.

    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.

    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  33. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.

    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.

    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.

    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.

    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  34. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.

    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.

    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.

    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.

    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  35. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.

    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.

    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.

    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.

    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  36. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.

    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.

    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.

    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.

    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  37. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.

    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.

    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.

    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.

    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  38. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.
    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.
    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.
    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.
    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  39. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.

    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.

    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.

    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.

    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

  40. Nahhhh. Not in the point of my blog.

    Yes, Underworld helped, but Blade was the first movie that was urban fantasy and showed that it could be profitable. As a matter of a fact, in my opinion, Blade was a pioneer and a lot of my generations first exposure to the genre, whereas Underworld is a product of the genre.

    We all went to see Underworld because we had seen Blade.

    The blog is all about the opinion (mine) that the three things I listed were the major reasons urban fantasy (and all it’s offshoots) is so large.

    And I am not knocking Huff or Elrod’s contribution, but Hamilton was the runaway success that showed this genre would make publishers money.

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