Monday, July 30, 2012

Contemporary or Urban Fantasy?

What is the difference between contemporary and urban fantasy?

Just two different terms for stories with magical or supernatural elements set in the real world.
Do you agree? Subgenres are a topic of debate.

But "contemporary" and "urban" as terms are fairly synonymous.

Now as far as setting is concerned, contemporary or urban fantasy sticks to the present day. I was just reading through E.M. Forster's classic, Aspects of the Novel. He offers an explanation of fantasy that is as good as any for its simplicity: "It implies the supernatural."

In another section, Forster compares nonfantasy works to fantasy, saying that the writer of nonfantasy says, "Here is something that might occur in your lives." Forster then points out that the "fantasist" says, "Here's something that could not occur."

Combining what could occur with what couldn't in your life is the realm of contemporary or urban fantasy. It is what excites me about the subgenre. That is why my Mall Demons series is set in a modern-day mall.

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