11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy (Paperback)
Paper Cities is an eclectic collection of fantastic stories that are about, obviously enough, cities. While that makes them urban fantasy, these stories don't fall within that part of the genre most recently popularized by writers like Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison or Kelley Armstrong. Instead, they use a broader definition of the term that results in some wildly different settings and a variety of writing styles.
There are outstanding stories from some of my favorite writers, such as Jay Lake's "Promises: A Tale of the City Imperishable" (a story set in the City Imperishable from his novel Trial of Flowers) and Hal Duncan's "The Tower of Morning's Bones" (a story using the mythology of Vellum: The Book of All HoursVellum and Ink), excellent work from notables like Ben Peek ("The Funeral, Ruined") and Forrest Aguirre ("Andretto Walks the King's Way"), and great efforts from authors I'd never read before, including "Sammarynda Deep" by Cat Sparks and "They Would Only Be Roads" by Darin C. Bradley.
Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy is sure to find it's way onto plenty of "Best of" lists for 2008, and I highly recommend it.
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Initial post: Feb 1, 2010 9:23:44 PM PST
I know the distinction was meant to inform, and that is good, but the term "Urban Fantasy" has been around for a good 20+ years now and is a long established (and oft-overused) definition for the works of authors like Charles De Lint, Terri Windling, Ellen Datlow, Emma Bull, and many others who have matched fantasy to urban or contemporary settings. Of course, Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Laurell Hamilton et al also fall into this category by default, as does most modern day horror, but these authors seem to have mistakenly absconded with the the term for their somewhat narrow genre of lusty, busty babes who do battle with vampires/zombies/dark fae, etc. This is like using the term fantasy fiction to describe only pornography or rock and roll only heavy metal. While they certainly are a small part of it, they are not the entireity, and the book industry needs to stop acting like they are it exclusively. Good review, Michael. ;)
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