May 28, 2017, 12:13:44 AM

Author Topic: What is Urban Fantasy to you?  (Read 10826 times)

Offline Jmack

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2015, 08:52:05 PM »
Art these days is a load of bullshit anyway.  :)
I don't want to derail this thread anymore, but don't say that, not everything (not sure if you were joking).
I understand it's very personal, and I prefer stuff from the 50/60s like Rothko and Vasarely, but this is just a couple of examples of current things I love:

Spoiler for Hiden:
1993, Bridget Riley


2009, James Hugonin


2012, Gerhard Richter
Origami paper!  ;D ;)
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline Raptori

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #46 on: April 26, 2015, 08:54:58 PM »
Art these days is a load of bullshit anyway.  :)
I don't want to derail this thread anymore, but don't say that, not everything (not sure if you were joking).
I understand it's very personal, and I prefer stuff from the 50/60s like Rothko and Vasarely, but this is just a couple of examples of current things I love:

Spoiler for Hiden:
1993, Bridget Riley


2009, James Hugonin


2012, Gerhard Richter
Yeah there's definitely stuff that looks nice (like the ones you've posted), but all the preening and post-rationalising behind it all is ludicrous. It's extremely grating when you have to study art history, the posturing and self-congratulations in the world of art are nauseating. Happy to carry on the discussion in a separate thread if you'd like though, and I wouldn't be surprised if @Saurus would have a thing or two to say about it too - she's studied art even more than I had to!  :P
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Yora

Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #47 on: April 26, 2015, 09:34:26 PM »
I think Urban Fantasy are stories that take place in a version of the real world in which magic and monsters exist.

And I believe most people who use the term narrow it down more so that the story takes place near the present day and takes place in inhabited areas. So Lovecraft and Indiana Jones are out, being set in different times and mostly away from civilized places.

When it comes to art and philosophy, Modern and Postmodern are terms completely independent of what time it is right now. The modernist named it "Modern" because it was contemporary at that time, and the postmodernists named their stuff "Postmodern" because they wanted to emphasize that it was an evolution of modernism.
Though I think when it comes to paintings, the different is meaningless. The difference between modernism and postmodernism really is the most important when it comes to narratives. Both narrative art and philosophy that deals with explaining history (or the writing down and interpretation of history, which is also done narratively).

And Brandon Sandersons definition of Urban Fantasy (among others): "Chicks in leather kill demons."
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 09:46:10 PM by Yora »
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Offline Lady_Ty

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2015, 01:58:56 PM »
Art these days is a load of bullshit anyway.  :)
I don't want to derail this thread anymore, but don't say that, not everything (not sure if you were joking).
I understand it's very personal, and I prefer stuff from the 50/60s like Rothko and Vasarely, but this is just a couple of examples of current things I love:

Spoiler for Hiden:
1993, Bridget Riley


2009, James Hugonin


2012, Gerhard Richter

@Scarlet Bea let's start a General  Discussion thread about Art,I like from Impressionists up to time Saatchi started up. We have Blue Poles and a couple of Rothkos here in our National Gallery.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 02:08:09 PM by Lady Ty »
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Time doesn't seem to ever be kind. - Nora - Time's Arrow 1750

Offline Lady_Ty

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #49 on: April 27, 2015, 02:54:21 PM »
To me urban fantasy is set in a modern city of this world, like those featuring Dresden Files, Peter Grant series, Iron Druid, Nightside etc In the last case it's a parallel London but for me that would count, because he does flit between.

I tend to think in terms of authors for fantasy, not sub genre, but used the titles here because some of their authors write SF as well. I don't include ones with romance except in small side doses,  Sookie Stackhouse for example wouldn't count.  Most other in cities, whether set back in history or created, are just fantasy to me. The only other division I would make is quest/epic of the old original kind. I find all the sub genres confusing.

I don't understand why there seems controversy about various sub genres, certainly not here, but I have  seen a petty argument elsewhere about whether or not Station 11 was SF and where it fitted, or whether something was historical or steampunk. If they are good books, why does it matter? Maybe this is all to do with marketing, but I would appreciate if someone could explain.
I imagine arguments being swallowed back, wine spit in glasses and gurgling up bottles. I imagine my ring sliding off my finger, Bobby's lips hot on mine for the first time again, and then unknown to me.
Time doesn't seem to ever be kind. - Nora - Time's Arrow 1750

Offline Jmack

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #50 on: April 27, 2015, 03:45:55 PM »
I don't understand why there seems controversy about various sub genres, certainly not here, but I have  seen a petty argument elsewhere about whether or not Station 11 was SF and where it fitted, or whether something was historical or steampunk. If they are good books, why does it matter? Maybe this is all to do with marketing, but I would appreciate if someone could explain.

I think something like this is a part of human thinking structures. I did a very, very quick Google and got:
Spoiler for Hiden:
Are Our Brains Wired for Categorization? (From Scientific American)
Our innate brain structure reflects how we classify the world around us
Jan 8, 2009 |By Nicole Branan
Picture a living thing—say, a dog. Now imagine a hammer. You just activated two different areas of your visual cortex, the brain region that processes eyesight. Thinking of a dog activates an area that deals with animate objects, whereas a hammer excites one that processes inanimate things. Now a new study shows something surprising: the same thing would have happened even if you had never seen a dog or a hammer before.

Psychologist Alfonso Caramazza of Harvard University and his team found that the visual cortex’s organization around these categories of knowledge is similar in sighted people and in individuals who were born blind. The finding challenges the long-held notion that the two separate processing areas exist solely as the result of learning to recognize the differences in the visual appearance between living and nonliving things, says cognitive neuroscientist Marius Peelen of Princeton University, who was not involved in the study.

Instead something else must be driving the visual cortex’s organization as well. That something could be connections to other brain areas, Caramazza suggests. From the visual cortex, information about living and nonliving objects is shuttled to different areas of the brain so as to trigger appropriate reactions. Animals, for example, could be dangerous, “but you don’t have to run away from a hammer,” he says. The new findings suggest that the wiring system that connects different areas of the visual cortex with appropriate regions in the rest of the brain is innate—it does not have to form gradually based on visual inputs. That means “the organization of the brain has to be understood in terms of our evolutionary history,” Caramazza notes. Our brain’s structure is such that we can distinguish prey and aggressors from other kinds of objects, and we have retained this structure even as we get “milk from bottles and meat from the butcher shop.”

Now a really interesting question is why we like Top 10 Lists so much?  ;) ;D
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Eclipse

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #51 on: April 27, 2015, 03:52:28 PM »
I really enjoy UF and it saddens me that some people are missing out on very good books because there think UF is PR with silly girls chasing werewolves for sexytimes
I'm Saloninus, by the way. And I tell lies, from time to time. Which goes to prove the old rule; never entirely trust a man who talks about himself in the third person.

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Offline Elfy

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2015, 12:28:45 AM »
I really enjoy UF and it saddens me that some people are missing out on very good books because there think UF is PR with silly girls chasing werewolves for sexytimes
It does suffer from that misconception. The two subgenres do have overlap, and there have been some very unfortunate covers for some books. Unfortunately book sellers often make the same mistake, shelving UF with PR, unless the UF happens to be by a male author in which case it winds up with the rest of the SFF, so isn't tainted by the association.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Lady_Ty

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2015, 02:34:56 AM »

I think something like this is a part of human thinking structures. I did a very, very quick Google and got:
Spoiler for Hiden:
Are Our Brains Wired for Categorization? (From Scientific American)
Our innate brain structure reflects how we classify the world around us
Jan 8, 2009 |By Nicole Branan
Picture a living thing—say, a dog. Now imagine a hammer. You just activated two different areas of your visual cortex, the brain region that processes eyesight. Thinking of a dog activates an area that deals with animate objects, whereas a hammer excites one that processes inanimate things. Now a new study shows something surprising: the same thing would have happened even if you had never seen a dog or a hammer before.

Psychologist Alfonso Caramazza of Harvard University and his team found that the visual cortex’s organization around these categories of knowledge is similar in sighted people and in individuals who were born blind. The finding challenges the long-held notion that the two separate processing areas exist solely as the result of learning to recognize the differences in the visual appearance between living and nonliving things, says cognitive neuroscientist Marius Peelen of Princeton University, who was not involved in the study.

Instead something else must be driving the visual cortex’s organization as well. That something could be connections to other brain areas, Caramazza suggests. From the visual cortex, information about living and nonliving objects is shuttled to different areas of the brain so as to trigger appropriate reactions. Animals, for example, could be dangerous, “but you don’t have to run away from a hammer,” he says. The new findings suggest that the wiring system that connects different areas of the visual cortex with appropriate regions in the rest of the brain is innate—it does not have to form gradually based on visual inputs. That means “the organization of the brain has to be understood in terms of our evolutionary history,” Caramazza notes. Our brain’s structure is such that we can distinguish prey and aggressors from other kinds of objects, and we have retained this structure even as we get “milk from bottles and meat from the butcher shop.”

Now a really interesting question is why we like Top 10 Lists so much?  ;) ;D

Very interesting article, I suppose we also compartmentalise sub-consciously as well just to keep track of all we know. But doesn't explain why I fail to run away from predatory patisseries.

Top Ten lists now -hours of fun.  Some people love to find they and their friends agree and others love to think of reasons why they are all wrong - then you get on-line discussions and we can enjoy the comments.   Restaurant/wine ones are great because get descriptions with  adjectives like '' ambrosial' applied to a bottle of plonk, or 'palate enriching' for a sauce.  And don't forget the 'ambience' ;D ;D
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:43:35 AM by Lady Ty »
I imagine arguments being swallowed back, wine spit in glasses and gurgling up bottles. I imagine my ring sliding off my finger, Bobby's lips hot on mine for the first time again, and then unknown to me.
Time doesn't seem to ever be kind. - Nora - Time's Arrow 1750

Offline Jmack

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2015, 02:50:45 AM »
But doesn't explain why I fail to run away from predatory patisseries.
Like this?
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline KazaktheAwesome

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Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #55 on: July 08, 2015, 07:50:39 PM »
I always stayed away from urban fantasy because I was blurring the lines between UF and PR (and science fiction- time travel always screws me up).

Reading through this thread and my own understanding has allowed me to form this opinion- urban fantasy is set in modern (or modern-ish times) where elements of fantasy are introduced. I have to keep it vague for myself because I'm noticing more and more that genre is becoming less and less important as books are borrowing elements of other genres. Genre mixing has always occurred, of course, but the more modern stuff I read, the more I notice that it's happening in a much bigger way, likely to read wider audiences. Which is pretty smart thinking.

But painful for people who especially hate romance (the easiest to bleed into unrelated stories).

Offline RLBeers

Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #56 on: August 21, 2015, 10:41:45 PM »
I write both fantasy and urban fantasy. I've just sent my fifth UF to he publisher and am working on the sixth fantasy. To keep the genres straight in my head I consider the primary setting to be the difference. An urban fantasy tale can be in a world without trains and automobiles as long as it is centered around a city. Glen Cook's Garret Files are a good example. Also, a tale set in the 21st century that takes place in a forest setting miles away from the nearest town could not be considered urban at all.

Decent urban fantasy does not have to be horrific, grim or gory. Anyone wishing to argue the point needs only to read a copy of Nightwatch by Terry Pratchett.

Offline MJ Kobernus

Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #57 on: February 02, 2016, 12:34:14 PM »
I agree with RL Beers.

Urban Fantasy demands society. In may case, I write in the modern world and introduce 'realistic' paranormal elements. By realistic, I mean things that many people believe in as fact (regardless whether you or I would agree with them.)

My novels are not gory, though there are some moments not for the squeamish. However, I take care not to over indulge in gratuitous blood and gore (in spite of the titles of my books.)

Where I diverge from many in the UF and in particular PR camps, is that I do not include mythical elements. No werewolves, mummies, zombies, vampires, etc.

But I would consider as fair game, djinn, angels, succubi, etc, since there is a long tradition of them in our collective cultural mythos.

Offline Kitvaria Sarene

Re: What is Urban Fantasy to you?
« Reply #58 on: May 30, 2016, 12:53:07 AM »
For me urban fantasy is easy to categorize.
If it takes place in my world, and my time, but it has magic, dragons or whatever in it - it is urban fantasy to me.

Paranormal romance is a subgenre of UF for me - same general points, but also with a big dash of romance, not only a one night stand in book 4 or so, but as a focus of the story. (I personally hate romance in my fantasy, buy that does not make it any less fantasy than any other book.)

It's only starting to get hard with some dystopias that take place not to long after now, or even start of in the normal world, but end up like Hunger Games, though with 99% of those it's still easy to fit them in dystopia. Just were to fit in dystopia in the bigger picture? For me it borders been SciFi and fantasy...

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