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What is Urban Fantasy?

Knight of the WordWe had a question the other day on the Facebook discussion group about urban fantasies, so I thought that would be a good topic for discussion by the whole group.

But what exactly is an urban fantasy? Does it have to include elves or dwarves? Does it need to have a magical element? Is magical realism the same thing as urban fantasy?

I’ve read a few of these, and the ones that immediately come to mind are Terry Brooks’ A Man of His Word series – in which demons haunt our present-day society. Now you might think this is paranormal, and it sort of is, but he eventually linked the series into his well-known Shannara series, setting it up as a precursor to creating his own fantasy world.

So what, exactly, does urban fantasy mean to you? Have you written it? As a reader, what books would you recommend? Especially in the LGBT realm?

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