Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Struggle of Urban Fantasy

Urban Fantasy is not a hot genre right now. It's a mixmash of contradictory issues - it's both flooding the market but there is also a distinct lack within the market at the same time.

Over the past year, I came to the realization that, as much as I love the genre, I don't read much of it anymore. I've gone from devouring every new UF book that hit the shelves to sticking with the same handful of authors and their respective series.

And it finally occurred to me why that is. Urban Fantasy has hit a plateau. Too many of the same stories hit the shelves at the same time, and we keep churning out the same thing thinking it'll be fine.

It's the same trope every time -- the Strong Female Heroine, her Strong Alpha Male (perhaps with secondary Sensitive Gentle Male), and fighting the Big Bad for the Fate of the World.

And while that formula isn't, in and of itself, a bad thing -- it gets boring really quick.

Urban Fantasy has grown stagnant, and it's time that we start trying to bring new aspects in. The genre is entirely too US-centric, for one. The definition of Strong Female Heroine needs to change and be more inclusive of different kinds of strength. We need diversity in our characters, their relationships, worldviews, etc.

If you walked into the Urban Fantasy section of your local library or bookstore, I promise you that the majority of those books are going to feature of Strong White or Vaguely Native Looking Cis Female and include some form of romance with a Strong Cis Male character (love triangle is optional, but more often than not authors opt in for it) and the MC is usually snarky and badass with few faults.

Let's change this shit up, guys.

If you have opinions about this, please post them in the comments section!

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