Laurell K. Hamilton. Jim Butcher. Karen Marie Moning. Richelle Mead. Patricia Briggs. Carrie Vaughn. Kelley Armstrong. Charlaine Harris. Kim Harrison. Kat Richardson. The list goes on and on. Fantastic tales set in our own world featuring demons, vampires, werewolves, and the like. I’d argue stories like this became bestselling when Anita Blake and Harry Dresden began fighting the forces of darkness, readers embracing both characters and wanting more of the same.
When that happened, publishers and editors began looking for compelling urban fantasy in a genre dominated for years by epic fantasies. An intriguing shift happened, with urban fantasy novels selling just as well as epic—leaving many epic fantasy writers wondering after this newly-popular sub-genre.
This year, we are seeing two New York Times bestselling epic fantasy authors tackle urban fantasy—and I’m super excited about it!
Both Jacqueline Carey and Tad Williams have large fan followings. Both authors are considered wordsmiths. Both are considered epic fantasy writers.
And both authors are publishing urban fantasy novels in the next few months.
Here is a bit more about Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey:
The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.
To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly. But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.
Cannot wait for Dark Currents. It publishes October 2, 2012!
Bobby Dollar is an angel—a real one. He knows a lot about sin, and not just in his professional capacity as an advocate for souls caught between Heaven and Hell. Bobby’s wrestling with a few deadly sins of his own—pride, anger, even lust.
But his problems aren’t all his fault. Bobby can’t entirely trust his heavenly superiors, and he’s not too sure about any of his fellow earthbound angels either, especially the new kid that Heaven has dropped into their midst, a trainee angel who asks too many questions. And he sure as hell doesn’t trust the achingly gorgeous Countess of Cold Hands, a mysterious she-demon who seems to be the only one willing to tell him the truth.
When the souls of the recently departed start disappearing, catching both Heaven and Hell by surprise, things get bad very quickly for Bobby D. End-of-the-world bad. Beast of Revelations bad. Caught between the angry forces of Hell, the dangerous strategies of his own side, and a monstrous undead avenger that wants to rip his head off and suck out his soul, Bobby’s going to need all the friends he can get—in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else he can find them.
You’ve never met an angel like Bobby Dollar. And you’ve never read anything like The Dirty Streets of Heaven.
Brace yourself—the afterlife is weirder than you ever believed.
The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams will publish September 4, 2012!
There you have it. Two very different takes on urban fantasy from masters of epic fantasy! From the fey to demons and angels, I am excited to read both. Both Jacqueline and Tad are fantastic writers and including them with those urban fantasy novelists above will only strengthen the book industry.