Discussion:
Academic view of urban fantasy
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m***@sky.com
2020-05-18 18:48:49 UTC
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Article at https://theconversation.com/urban-fantasy-novels-why-they-matter-and-which-ones-to-read-first-137942 which somehow manages to not only miss out Astreiant, but also Ankh-Morpork (and apparently Steampunk is politically dodgy, because it "tends to take inspiration from the British Empire without any serious consideration of race").
Lynn McGuire
2020-05-18 19:26:48 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
Article at https://theconversation.com/urban-fantasy-novels-why-they-matter-and-which-ones-to-read-first-137942 which somehow manages to not only miss out Astreiant, but also Ankh-Morpork (and apparently Steampunk is politically dodgy, because it "tends to take inspiration from the British Empire without any serious consideration of race").
Race ? Really ? Since when is race important in any SF/F story ?

I have not read a single book mentioned in the poorly written article.
There are many urban fantasy books written in modern times that more
than adequately talk about city cultures without going to the baseball
bat approach. For instance, the Jane Yellowrock series delves deeply
into the New Orleans culture:
https://www.amazon.com/Skinwalker-Jane-Yellowrock-Book-1/dp/0451462807/

And the Alex Verus books are set in London with many journeys into the
various neighborhoods.
https://www.amazon.com/Fated-Verus-Novel-Benedict-Jacka/dp/1937007294/

And I do not like Steampunk because I find it uninteresting.

Lynn
David Johnston
2020-05-18 23:30:33 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
Article at
https://theconversation.com/urban-fantasy-novels-why-they-matter-and-which-ones-to-read-first-137942
which somehow manages to not only miss out Astreiant, but also
Ankh-Morpork (and apparently Steampunk is politically dodgy, because
it "tends to take inspiration from the British Empire without any
serious consideration of race").
Race ?  Really ?  Since when is race important in any SF/F story ?
SF/F stories in which race is important.

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
Farnham's Freehold by Robert Heinlein
Sixth Column by Robert Heinlein
Medusa's Coil by H.P Lovecraft
The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov
Sentry Peak by Harry Turtledove
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The Belgariad by David Eddings
Lucifer's Hammer by Niven and Pournelle

Of course "race" is important in different ways in this selection.
Moriarty
2020-05-19 00:56:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by m***@sky.com
Article at
https://theconversation.com/urban-fantasy-novels-why-they-matter-and-which-ones-to-read-first-137942
which somehow manages to not only miss out Astreiant, but also
Ankh-Morpork (and apparently Steampunk is politically dodgy, because
it "tends to take inspiration from the British Empire without any
serious consideration of race").
Race ?  Really ?  Since when is race important in any SF/F story ?
SF/F stories in which race is important.
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
Farnham's Freehold by Robert Heinlein
Sixth Column by Robert Heinlein
Medusa's Coil by H.P Lovecraft
The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov
Sentry Peak by Harry Turtledove
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The Belgariad by David Eddings
Lucifer's Hammer by Niven and Pournelle
Of course "race" is important in different ways in this selection.
Lord of the Rings
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
Malazan series by Steven Erikson
Vlad Taltos series by Steven Brust
Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
Deryni series by Katherine Kurtz
Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire

And that's without even trying.

-Moriarty
Thomas Koenig
2020-05-19 09:43:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Moriarty
Post by David Johnston
Of course "race" is important in different ways in this selection.
Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks
Race? No.

Species? A bit (Idirians vs. rest of the world).

But the main conflict is between people who think that machines
should have equal rights (the Culture) and people who think
they don't (Horza and the Idirians).

Incidentally, when Horza explains his motives to a drone, he is
then labelled a "specicist", which is not really true.
Moriarty
2020-05-19 21:38:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Moriarty
Post by David Johnston
Of course "race" is important in different ways in this selection.
Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks
Race? No.
Species? A bit (Idirians vs. rest of the world).
But the main conflict is between people who think that machines
should have equal rights (the Culture) and people who think
they don't (Horza and the Idirians).
Incidentally, when Horza explains his motives to a drone, he is
then labelled a "specicist", which is not really true.
I was actually thinking of Horza's race, the Changers, as distinct from other, similarly shaped races. Because of their nature, Changers were looked on with suspicion. It's not really analogous to our society in that there is actually a non-cosmetic difference between races, but it is there.

-Moriarty

m***@sky.com
2020-05-19 04:14:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by m***@sky.com
Article at https://theconversation.com/urban-fantasy-novels-why-they-matter-and-which-ones-to-read-first-137942 which somehow manages to not only miss out Astreiant, but also Ankh-Morpork (and apparently Steampunk is politically dodgy, because it "tends to take inspiration from the British Empire without any serious consideration of race").
Race ? Really ? Since when is race important in any SF/F story ?
I have not read a single book mentioned in the poorly written article.
There are many urban fantasy books written in modern times that more
than adequately talk about city cultures without going to the baseball
bat approach. For instance, the Jane Yellowrock series delves deeply
https://www.amazon.com/Skinwalker-Jane-Yellowrock-Book-1/dp/0451462807/
And the Alex Verus books are set in London with many journeys into the
various neighborhoods.
https://www.amazon.com/Fated-Verus-Novel-Benedict-Jacka/dp/1937007294/
And I do not like Steampunk because I find it uninteresting.
Lynn
I bought at least one - I think two - of the "Rivers of London" series mentioned in the articl after reading good reviews of it - I think here. I found it entirely readable, but not enthralling.
h***@gmail.com
2020-05-19 11:31:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by m***@sky.com
Article at https://theconversation.com/urban-fantasy-novels-why-they-matter-and-which-ones-to-read-first-137942 which somehow manages to not only miss out Astreiant, but also Ankh-Morpork (and apparently Steampunk is politically dodgy, because it "tends to take inspiration from the British Empire without any serious consideration of race").
Race ? Really ? Since when is race important in any SF/F story ?
Why is that question not surprising from Lynn?
Post by Lynn McGuire
I have not read a single book mentioned in the poorly written article.
There are many urban fantasy books written in modern times that more
than adequately talk about city cultures without going to the baseball
bat approach.
The "problematic" is mainly linked to the Steampunk, not urban fantasy as a whole.
When you set books in the 1800s in the real world it does open up the problems of a very racist, sexist and classist era, if you don't address that somehow you do have issues
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