Jumping Off Point

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Jumping Off Point

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1jayble
Jan 11, 2007, 9:32pm

What series or book got you interested in Urban Fantasy? I think for a lot of people, myself included, Laurell K. Hamilton is where my interest in the genre first sparked. I have to say that while I am not as big of a fan of hers as I once was, I am really grateful to her for opening the door to so many other great series and talented writers.

While Laurell K. Hamilton opened the door to urband fantasy for me, Kelley Armstrong and her novel Bitten made me seek out books of this particular genre. I just love the idea of our world, but with more going on than we know about.

What was the jumping off point for you? What book or series made you think "Yes! This is what I want to be reading!"?

2Morphidae
Jan 11, 2007, 10:01pm

The Eric Banyon series by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill starting with Beyond World's End. There are two others that come before - Knight of Ghosts and Shadows and Summoned to Tourney by Lackey and Ellen Guon but they aren't as good.

3lucien
Jan 12, 2007, 12:47am

The starting point for me would have to have been elements from Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Although there was plenty of 'out-there' fantasy in the series, some of my favorite moments involed the interaction of the supernatural and the modern world. After that I sought out more of the same author's work, like Neverwhere which got me into more 'pure' urban fantasy.

Once I was started, a friend got me hooked on Jim Butcher's Dresden Files which is what really led me to reading a wider variety of authors in the genre.

4SimonW11
Jan 12, 2007, 3:40am

I have always read urban fantasy this mixing of the mundane and the fantastical is part of the bedrock of childrens fiction.

Simon

5reading_fox
Jan 12, 2007, 4:55am

Probably Susan Cooper's classic dark is rising series. Its written for YA and hence nowhere near as dark as some of the other titles above but still very very good, even if its becoming a little dated. Which must be an issue for all urban fantasy? They are written around/on/in the "real" world. 10yrs on they are going to be old.

I've just finished Bitten, not as good as the Dresden files, but I might go on to read the others if I can find them 3for2 or otherwise reduced.

6SimonW11
Jan 12, 2007, 11:50am

I think its perfectly possible to have historical urban fantasy, It does not have to be contemporary, how contemporary is contemporary anyway. Where do you draw think of Tim Powers which of his are urban fantasy?

7ryvre
Jan 12, 2007, 12:33pm

I've been a Vampire: the Masquerade player for years, so I was destined to read urban fantasy.

I think the first urban fantasy books I read were by Neil Gaiman, but the Dresden Files led me to actively seek out more books in the genre.

8Jenson_AKA_DL
Jan 12, 2007, 3:56pm

I guess I've read more urban fantasy than I thought. If The Dark is Rising is urban fantasy then I started back in elementary school.

I generally love fantasy but never really thought about the difference between fantasy set in other worlds and fantasy set in this world...until now :-)

9goth_huntress
Jan 14, 2007, 1:58am

I'm a Vampire: the Masquerade player too. I was raised on Dark Shadows, so have always loved urban fantasy.

I'm really not sure which books I started with. Mercedes Lackey Children of the Night was probably as close as I can guess to the first.

10nramos First Message
Jan 14, 2007, 1:20pm

Is it odd that I can't remember a jumping-off point? I do recall reading Mercedes Lackey fantasy in 5th grade. It was just a natural progression that I'd read everything she had ever written at that point, from Arrows of the Queen to her contemporary fantasy, like Children of the Night and Wheels of fire. From then on, it was just part of what I read.

11tyger_raven First Message
Jan 16, 2007, 8:41pm

I too owe my introduction to Urban Fantasy to LKH, but well, I begrudginly admit that these days. :-P While I found the first four Anita Blake books fascinating, it wasn't until I read Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong that I got hooked into the genre. From there, I discovered Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine and Jim Butcher. They have become my Urban Fantasy pantheon and the people I look up to as I create my own Urban Fantasy writings.

12scriveling
Jan 16, 2007, 9:07pm

Probably some book by Mercedes Lackey, though I don't remember a specific title as the first. I also read a lot of Charles de Lint and the entire Bordertown series edited by Terri Windling when I first discovered the genre.

13amberwitch
Edited: Feb 18, 2007, 10:33am

Discounting all children or YA books I read while growing up, the first urban fantasy I read was Moonheart and Greenmantle by Charles de Lint, and I still reread them regularly.
To get more in the same vein I joined a mailing list to dedicated to deLints work Tamson House, and thats where I discovered the genre urban fantasy.

14kcasada
Feb 23, 2007, 2:02pm

Just another plug for The Dark is Rising . . .

15Enraptured
Apr 5, 2007, 9:14am

I read The Dark is Rising when I was a kid too (as well as the other books in the series), and loved it, but it didn't occur to me that there was a whole genre of books like that out there. The first book that opened me up to the genre was probably Bedlam's Bard by Mercedes Lackey, which I found because somebody at a used bookstore recommended Magic's Pawn to me and after I finished it I started working my way through all of Mercedes Lackey's books.

I was actually writing urban fantasy before I was reading it; I was thrilled to discover that there was a whole genre out there that matched what I liked to write.

16KevinJoseph
Apr 5, 2007, 9:34am

Not sure if it fits squarely within the urban fantasy genre, but I enjoyed The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks, the first installment of a trilogy-in-progress. The second is due out this summer.

17bluetyson
Apr 5, 2007, 11:44am

Yeah, I read the Dark Is Rising but I'd call that modern rural holiday fantasy I guess. :)

Kids are not your standard urban fantasy fare. Although there is An Older Kind of Magic etc.

I'd say War For the Oaks for me.

18booklover79
Apr 13, 2007, 5:23pm

Laurell K. Hamilton also introduced me to the genre. I don't read her Anita Blake series anymore, but I'm hooked on her Merry Gentry series! I also like Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse books.

19ph8
Jul 13, 2007, 5:19am

I'm fairly new to urban fantasy, I was one of those 'traditional fantasy snobs' that figured if it wasn't 900 pages long and epic then it wasn't worth reading. Yeah, I regret wasting all that time now :D

For me, it was Tinker by Wen Spencer. Since then I've moved on to Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn and Kim Harrison but I still have LOADS of catching up to do! A TBR pile a mile long and heaps and heaps of authors listed that I'm still to try. Good times ahead :)

20CBrachyrhynchos
Aug 16, 2007, 9:37pm

I think that prior to the "Sandman Revolution" a lot of what we now call urban fantasy ended up classified as horror fiction. So Stephen King and Peter Straub's The Talisman was an early read for me along with It. In comics, Hellblazer created by Alan Moore and developed by Jamie Delano was a rich character study that really primed me for The Sandman and Black Orchid.

21Jenson_AKA_DL
Aug 26, 2007, 3:20pm

>19 ph8: I loved Tinker and Wolf Who Rules by Wen Spencer! I have another book by her to read, A Brothers Price which is in my TBR pile.

22ph8
Sep 6, 2007, 1:09am

>21 Jenson_AKA_DL: - it was A Brother's Price that led me to buy Tinker :)

I loved ABP (read it in one sitting) and immediately ran out and buy more Wen. Tinker was the only other Wen Spencer that the bookshop had in stock - a happy accident of fate!

Hope you enjoy ABP as much as I did...

23Whispering
Edited: Oct 22, 2007, 8:09am

Hard to say but the earliest urban fantasy that I can remember reading was Dreams underfoot : the Newford collection by Charles de Lint. It's all about the Crow Girls.

24Cerulean07
Apr 30, 2008, 12:13pm

I'd read all the fantasy and urban fantasy as a kid, but it wasn't until LKH that I found it as a genre as an adult. I can't remember what I started reading next because I just devoured everything out there, but it might've been Charlaine Harris and Kelley Armstrong and Wen Spencer. It actually took me a while to get into The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher because I didn't care for the fourth book. I got past that and am now a proud addict. :)

25VictoriaPL
Apr 30, 2008, 4:12pm

It was Waking the Moon for me. I'm not sure why Elizabeth's Hand's touchstone won't work....

26karenmarie
Apr 30, 2008, 4:44pm

I have to blame my husband for my interest in what, after reading this thread, I see is Urban Fantasy. He showed me a Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novel - her 4th I think - and I was hooked. Went to LKH (got bored after Obsidian Butterfly but still read them but HATE HATE HATE the Merry Gentry series). Love Harris' new series with Harper Connelly.

Wow! Looks like all my Kim Harrison and Lilith Saintcrow books fit here too! Cool. I'll join the group as soon as I finish this post.

27Joles
May 23, 2008, 12:38pm

My Urband Fantasy reading was reintroduced by Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. Then I quickly found Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.

I'm currently working on the Morganville Vampires books by Rachel Caine. I tore through Glass Houses and Dead Girls' Dance and have Midnight Alley on order from Amazon.

I'm not loving Rachel Caine's writing in these books, but I am greatly enjoying the story line. (I tend to like funky writing styles... similar to Frank McCourt in Angela's Ashes or Lisa Ann Sandell in Song of the Sparrow.)

The first think to kick off my Urban Fantasy reading was in late elementary school/early middle school... L.J. Smith and both the Secret Circle Series and the Vampire Diaries Series.

28viciouslittlething
Aug 18, 2008, 4:07pm

For me it was my love of buffy that got me buying the books from amazon. Then I got into LJ Smith Nightworld series. From there a recomendation by Amazon to get into Laurell K. Hamilton I think up to Bloody Bones was published at the time. Then into Bitten by Kelley Armstrong then onto Storm Front by Jim Butcher and slowly started taking over my shelves that way.

29Helcura
Edited: Aug 19, 2008, 12:07pm

Charles de Lint got me started. One book of his and I fell in love!

30Ricechex
Aug 24, 2008, 6:38pm

I had heard of the Anita Blake series in High School, but I kept brushing them off for another day. I actually read a book by Christopher Pike, The Last Vampire - it was really my first introduction to reading Urban Fantasy. I never even finished it (it was senior year -2000-, a friend had loaned it to me; and I'd like to get a copy one day and actually finish the story).

From there it was a long while before I picked up another UF book. I was halfway across the country visiting my (then) boyfriend and we happened to go to Barnes & Noble. I found Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton, and bought it along with The Laughing Corpse.

I had GP halfway finished on the plane rides home, and from there my obsession... I mean, my enjoyment of UF has only increased - exponentially, in fact.

And as a side note - reading UF is what got me into watching Buffy, viciouslittlething! I'm more of a book person, but that show (as well as Angel, and Charmed, and Moonlight, and now soon True Blood) are some that I will actually put on when I'm doing something else (or sometimes when I'm READING! Crazy!).

Cheers!

31leahsimone
Edited: Aug 25, 2008, 1:46am

The first urban fantasy novel I read was A Kiss of Shadows by LKH. I picked it up in an airport in desperation. (Not only do I hate to fly but this was the first plane ride I had taken since 9/11). I had read everything else of interest in the newsstand store. I was very surprised that I actually enjoyed this genre. I eventually read all the books in both of her series and subsequently branched out to Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris etc.

I feel compelled to say that in regards to LKH, I only really liked the first Merry Gentry book and the first 5 or so Anita Blake novels though in those first few I found the writing a bit rough. She has never impressed me with her writing but her imagination was certainly fun.

32mitchsz
Sep 13, 2008, 12:16pm

It seems that I am following the trend as I too started with LKH Bloody Bones, I have always been a longtime fan of Buffy, Moonlight etc so it was a natural change of genre for me from crime/fantasy - I did find reading kay hooper's books bridged the gap between pure crime and the paranormal, then it was a natural leap to go to urban fantasy.

Now I love reading Hamilton, Keri Arthur, Armintrout, saintcrow etc. and can't get enough!