Posts Tagged: Urban Fantasy

Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole“Urban Fantasy” is a hot term these days. You hear it used to describe everything from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. It encompasses the work of authors from Patricia Briggs to Kim Harrison, from Ilona Andrews to Kevin Hearne. With such a diverse range of talent, the definition quickly loses meaning. There isn’t a whole lot that’s urban about the sleepy, small town of Bon Temps.

But that’s okay. Because urban fantasy has never been about urban settings. It’s about *contemporary* settings. It does a very simple thing: it takes the modern world, the one we live in every day, and ask the question, “What would this be like if magic were real?”

If the genre’s popularity is any indicator, that question has traction. Fantasy has, for much of its lifespan, been dominated by ancient and medieval settings. Many of the most enduring works in the genre, from Tolkien to Brooks to Feist, are set in pre-gunpowder, pre-industrial revolution worlds. But readers don’t ride to work on horses, hunt deer for dinner, or carry a sword to fend off the occasional Orc raid. Contemporary fantasy’s popularity suggests that many readers like to dream about the impossible right in their own backyard.

And here’s where you can run into trouble writing contemporary stories. The same thing that makes a contemporary setting resonate so strongly with the reader may also piss them off: Ownership. Read More »

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

So, uh, this is happening:

Of course, a pilot is just a pilot, and doesn’t necessarily mean that the HBO adaptation of American Gods is any closer to being greenlit than it was last week, or last month, but it’s encouraging to know that Gaiman is so heavily involved. I guess this answers early questions about Gaiman’s involvement in the series.

Little by little, one travels far.

This is not Graeme, but it was the most amusing photo I found when I Googled his name.

Like many bloggers, I first entered the blogosphere by reading other bloggers and discovering the wonderful community of Fantasy and Science Fiction fans that I was always unable to discover in ‘real life.’ Among those early discovered blogs was Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review, a sharp blog edited by a lovely English bloke named, well… Graeme. It wasn’t a very long before I began A Dribble of Ink, inspired by bloggers like Graeme. He is prolific, and has a range of interests that would make any blogger jealous. Today, he announced in his final blog post that Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review will be closing its doors.

To quote:

It’s been a little while coming but it’s time to bring this blog to a close. Obviously there are a whole load of reasons (none of them particularly interesting to you guys) but the bottom line is that I’m not really enjoying it anymore and that means that it’s time to stop. That’s not to say that I won’t come back, in the future, and start something up again; just not here. I’ve got some ideas but I just want to stop and chill out for a while.


I think that’s about it. It’s been a amazing experience but you have to know when it’s time to stop. It’s time to stop :o)

The online SFF community is a vibrant and tight group of fans, and though Graeme’s blog is ceasing publication, I hope that the curator continues to be a part of the community. As a blogger who has been at it for several years myself, I can understand Graeme’s reservations and applaud his decision to decide that he’s just not having fun anymore. It can’t have been an easy decision to make. Best of luck to Graeme in his future endeavours, and congratulations on over six years of terrific service to the SFF blogging community.

Three Parts Dead by Max GladstoneA few weeks ago, when I asked Justin Landon for a review to run on A Dribble of Ink, he offered me two. The first, which I ran, was for The City’s Son by Tom Pollock. It had great cover art, sounded intriguing and didn’t look like just another gritty Urban Fantasy novel. The other was Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone, which I’d never heard of.

Justin Landon, Staffer’s Book Review:

Gladstone’s uses dynamic prose and a unique voice to communicate that intent. It’s poetic at times, and laconic at others, switching between the two, and in between, depending on the point of view from whence the story is told.


For fans of the legal thriller, and they are legion in the fiction marketplace, Three Parts Dead is an intriguing starting position for a fantasy enfilade. Elements of mystery, verbal fencing, and suspenseful confrontations stand tall throughout, set neatly into a fantasy world. I have concerns that traditional fans of fantasy may feel some frustration about the lack of development in Gladstone’s setting, but his excellent characters and interesting plot carry the day, making it a novel I can easily recommend.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of my most anticipated novels coming in 2013, and I expect I’m not the only one who feels this way. I love the cover. Whimsical, and evocative, it says just enough about what I might expect to find between the pages. Good stuff. I posted a synopsis for the book a few weeks ago, if you’re curious.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is scheduled for release on June 18th 2013.