Title: Urban fantasy



Speculative Fiction

Location: Charles De Lint Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere Kara Dalkey, Steel Rose Bordertown Series

Pagination: 0

Illustrations: - gritty urban setting - ambguous morality - interaction of magic and technology

Document Type: Graffiti


Urban fantasy is synonymous with 'contemporary fantasy.' Both focus on the existence of magic in the modern world, and address contemporary political and social issues such as drugs, gangs, and racism. Urban fanstasy is set in a contemporary (usually Western) city, and is built around the discovery of a hidden, magical aspect to the city born of the rift between our world and that of Faerie. It is usually grittier, and darker than traditional fantasy; magic does not provide an easy solution in this world. Urban fantasy is analogous to the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. It is something of a hybrid, in which both magic and technology operate. This subgenre can also encompass the literary style of magical realism, in which ordinary events and descriptions are interwoven with fantastic and dreamlike elements. In this vein, contemporary fantasy strives to present reality in a new way.