Show Me the (Urban Fantasy) Money

So. Jeff Vandermeer has called on me as ‘someone who comes from the old-school urban fantasy and an appreciation for it’ to ‘investigate and report back’ on the current state of the urban fantasy genre.

Now. Jeff knows of my abiding love for the urban fantasy genre, not just because I mentioned it in asking the question Who Reads Urban Fantasy? not so long ago on this blog, but because we’ve talked some about the genre. So I’m going to take on Jeff’s challenge. And I want your help to do it.

Let me be frank. There is a lot of urban fantasy being published. A LOT. Like any genre cresting the wave of popularity, much of it will, inevitably, be bad. If we are to believe Sturgeons Law that 90% of everything is crap, then when it comes to peak popularity genres, that can be raised to 95% or even 99%. As evidence for this I direct your attention to the Horror wave of the mid to late 80’s.

I do not have time to wade through this crap looking for the undoubted gems it contains. So, knowing that many of you will have already done that wading for me, I call on you now to show me the very best that urban fantasy and its numerous sub-genres have to offer.

A few criteria.

  • Interpret urban fantasy in the widest sense. If you think a book or author fit in the genre, tell me. I’ll make a judgement call about whether I agree once nominations are in.
  • I want books published recently. 5 years at the outer limit, 2 years is better, yet to be published better still.
  • What do I mean by ‘the very best’? I’m looking for the 1-5% of the urban fantasy genre that resist Sturgeons Law. Give me the big names by all means, but what I really want are the sparkly bits of genius that might be being lost in the torrent of urban fantasy currently hitting the shelves.

If I receive enough nominations of a high enough quality, I will review a selection of the best that urban fantasy has to offer, and try and give my answer to Jeff’s question ‘Urban Fantasy, From Whence Came You? And Where Are You Going with That Trope?!’ with particular focus on where it might be that the genre is going.

Make your nominations below, or to me on Twitter, Facebook or email.