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Urban Shift

September 8, 2008

Societies have been experiencing it for decades. People moving from the country to the city, where life is better.

Fantasy is going through its own urban shift. Increasingly, the fantasy worth reading is being set in the clustered innards of cities instead of the wide open spaces of the countryside. This all hit me today, reading The Lies of Locke Lamora (more on that when I finish it).

I find it difficult to internally classify Steampunk books like Perdido Street Station or Veniss Underground as fantasy, that’s my issue. Steampunk is fantasy that grew up and got a job.

It was inevitable, with the benefit of hindsight that this shift would happen, and it’s has opened up great creative vistas for writers to explore, much to the relief of readers like me who were getting heartily sick of reading yet another attempt at writing Lord of the Rings. One aspect of urban societies is a romanticisation of country life but hey, Romance novels are over in another section. Urban fantasy is where it’s happening.

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