Post by Lynn McGuire
"25 Best Urban Fantasy Books" by Dan Livingston
I have read 5 of the 25 books. I have also seen the chilling movie "Let
the Right One In" but not read the book.
I've done only a little better.
<War for the Oaks>, Emma Bull, 1987 - read
<Spider's Bite>, Jennifer Estep, 2010
<The Cruel Prince>, Holly Black, 2018
<Wicked Lovely>, Melissa Marr, 2007 - read
<Skinwalker>, Faith Hunter, 2009
<Half-Resurrection Blues>, Daniel José Older, 2015
<Magic Bites>, Ilona Andrews, 2007
<Hounded>, Kevin Hearne, 2011
<Libriomancer>, Jim Hines, 2012
<London Falling>, Paul Cornell, 2012
<Sandman Slim>, Richard Kadrey, 2009
<Midnight Riot>, Ben Aaronovitch, 2011
<Dead Until Dark>, Charlaine Harris, 2001
<Sanctum>, Sarah Fine, 2012
<Moonheart>, Charles de Lint, 1984 - read
<The Atrocity Archives>, Charles Stross, 2004 - read
<Lake Silence>, Anne Bishop, 2018
<Storm Front>, Jim Butcher, 2000 - read
<American Gods>, Neil Gaiman, 2001 - read
<Guilty Pleasures>, Laurell Hamilton, 1993
<The Magicians>, Lev Grossman, 2009 - read
<Moon Called>, Patricia Briggs, 2006
<The City & The City>, China Miéville, 2009
<City of Bones>, Cassandra Clare, 2007
<Let the Right One In>, John Ajvide Lindqvist, 2004 - lightly skimmed
So I've read about 7 1/2.
He's got Hamilton and Briggs in his list, so he isn't stinting on the
prominent women writers of the version of "urban fantasy" that always
features mystery and romance along with. Therefore the omission of
Armstrong isn't an accident. Similarly, Bull and de Lint show that
the omission of Crowley (and Helprin, and Lindholm, and Powers...)
isn't an accident. Either he hasn't read the relevant books, or he
doesn't think them as good as the ones he lists.
I'm befuddled by the idea that <Moonheart> begins a five-book series.
I thought <Greenmantle> a sequel, and maybe it is, but what would the
other three be?
A bare majority of the writers whose books he lists are men. Butcher
notwithstanding, the writing that's *called* urban fantasy these days
is written mostly by women. He reaches well beyond that microgenre -
none of the books by Stross, Gaiman, Grossman, Miéville or Lindqvist
can reasonably be said to have been published within it, to say
nothing of the 1980s and 1990s books - and that helps explain things
(without those five writers, the ratio would be about 3:2 women).
But as it is, this is a kind of flipside of the list by James Nicoll
that drew so much fire here some months back.
I'd thought <The City & The City> to be a secondary-world story.
Guess not. Are there any on this list? One could argue that those
can be "urban fantasy" too, but opening up to them adds a boatload of
other possible listees, so he's probably better off not going there.
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>