Has all Urban Fantasy become the same?

Stacia Kane has written an excellent article on sameness in the UF genre on her blog.  Go forth and be schooled.

“So, lately I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and comments and discussions online relating to the idea that ALL urban fantasy has become samey and dull. That it’s all circling the were-vamp drain, full of designer labels, with the same worlds and characters and plot devices.”

[Hot Topic] Is J.D. Robb urban fantasy?

Recently, someone asked me if J.D. Robb’s In Death series is urban fantasy. I’ve included Ms Robb’s books here many times in links to reviews and the bestsellers lists, as you may have noticed, and that’s in part because I know UF readers also enjoy Robb’s books. It’s also in part because I consider Robb to be soft-UF. Here’s my thinking: the books were originally shelved in mystery/crime, because the stories always center around a crime, and then Robb was outted as Nora Roberts, and the shelving lines became muddied. Is Robb futuristic romance? Personally, I think not. The relationship between Eve and Roarke is a long-term one, not the usual boy-meets-girl variety of futuristic romance. But the books are set in the future. Is Robb science fiction then? Again, I don’t think so. Any SF fan will tell you that a food replicator, like the kind featured in Robb’s books, is more fantasy than science fiction. And other than this and the futuristic setting, there’s not much more that makes Robb’s books SF.

So where does that leave her? Well, why not urban fantasy? Her books have an urban setting, with a crime story, a touch of the fantastic, and a long-term relationship. Sounds like many urban fantasy books to me, including Kim Harrison. True, Robb’s books don’t feature fantastic creatures, like vamps and weres, but does that matter?

So, it comes down to this: a poll. Tell us what you think J.D. Robb’s In Death series is. You can use the poll, and/or explain your thinking in the comments. We look forward to hearing from you!

Is J.D. Robb’s In Death series urban fantasy?

1) Yes
2) No, it’s mystery/crime
3) No, it’s science fiction
4) No, it’s futuristic romance
5) No, it’s romance
6) No, it’s something completely different

View Results

Make your own poll

January’s Hot Topic – Harry Potter: UF yes or no?

Once a month watch for a hot topic of discussion in UF Land. Be sure to weigh in with your thoughts! This month: Are the Harry Potter books urban fantasy?


Urban fantasy is under discussion over at the Leaky Lounge forum, which caught my eye, as did this post over at The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler Gent., both of which got me wondering, could Harry Potter be UF?

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