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View Full Version : Urban fantasy not primarily in a city vs. paranormal thriller?



afarnam
06-18-2014, 06:12 PM
I know genre questions can get annoying. I have been researching this to death. I care because I may well be indie e-publishing and I need to be good on search terms.

Main issue: I've read that many people think urban fantasy must be in a city. I would mainly call my completed/unpublished series "dark urban fantasy", except for a fact that much of it takes place in small towns and some in contemporary wilderness areas. Any advice on using or not using the "urban fantasy" term?

Here's what my series involves: solid contemporary setting, paranormal abilities, non-humans (not vampires), alternative reality/dystopian themes, gritty violence (not constant but enough), torture, light romance, international intrigue, some cyberpunk elements (small band battling multinational power structures, etc. but not too heavy on the high-tech aspects), suspense but not constant full-blown action.

Anyone want to vote "dark urban fantasy" or "paranormal thriller" or something else? Comments please!

Many thanks!

bearilou
06-18-2014, 06:40 PM
The poll question confused me until I read your OP.

Glad you asked it because I have a story that sort of fits what you're describing. I have no idea what genre to tuck it under.

I'm not stressing about it because it's not done but still, during the down times in writing it, I think about these things.

afarnam
06-18-2014, 06:58 PM
Thanks. :) Love the clay quote. That is exactly how I feel about the writing process. Most people look at me kind of funny when I say that writing is essentially mental sculpture.

PeteMC
06-18-2014, 10:55 PM
I'd stick it under "contemporary fantasy" and have done with it.

I think the term "Urban Fantasy" comes with some vaguely Chandleresque expectations of dark alleys and seedy nightclubs, whereas "paranormal thriller" kinda screamed "OMG VAMPIRES!!!11!!" at me. Just personal opinion, obviously.

Liosse de Velishaf
06-19-2014, 12:09 AM
I'd stick it under "contemporary fantasy" and have done with it.

I think the term "Urban Fantasy" comes with some vaguely Chandleresque expectations of dark alleys and seedy nightclubs, whereas "paranormal thriller" kinda screamed "OMG VAMPIRES!!!11!!" at me. Just personal opinion, obviously.


This. It's contemporary fantasy, unless it's solidly YA.

rwm4768
06-19-2014, 12:10 AM
I'd call it contemporary fantasy.

Latina Bunny
06-19-2014, 10:42 AM
My instincts say it sounds like Contemporary Fantasy.

Paranormal Thriller has a nice ring to it, but I have never heard of it before now. Sounds like another one of those strange sub-genre (like all of these numerous "punk punk" genre (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PunkPunk), like dieselpunk, elfpunk, etc). Will it stick, though? Do agents or publishers even acknowledge it as a genre?

Kweei
06-19-2014, 06:43 PM
I know genre questions can get annoying. I have been researching this to death. I care because I may well be indie e-publishing and I need to be good on search terms.

Main issue: I've read that many people think urban fantasy must be in a city. I would mainly call my completed/unpublished series "dark urban fantasy", except for a fact that much of it takes place in small towns and some in contemporary wilderness areas. Any advice on using or not using the "urban fantasy" term?

Here's what my series involves: solid contemporary setting, paranormal abilities, non-humans (not vampires), alternative reality/dystopian themes, gritty violence (not constant but enough), torture, light romance, international intrigue, some cyberpunk elements (small band battling multinational power structures, etc. but not too heavy on the high-tech aspects), suspense but not constant full-blown action.

Anyone want to vote "dark urban fantasy" or "paranormal thriller" or something else? Comments please!

Many thanks!

As someone who writes contemporary fantasy, I would say this is an example of one.

afarnam
06-20-2014, 08:33 PM
Many thanks all. Blush. :P

I think I have discovered that I wrote dystopia actually, not any of the above. This is mainly for reasons of atmosphere and style. There are bits that fit with urban/contemporary fantasy, bits that fit with thriller, bits that fit with paranormal, bits that fit with romance. But the atmosphere and style overall fits with dystopia (after I did a thorough comparison of recent books in all the genres) and that is what I think matters to readers. Thanks for helping me get my head on straight.