I Vant To Bite Your Neck

I am on such a vampire kick at the moment. I’ve just finished reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (they started off brilliant but got a bit blah towards the end) and now I’m reading the Anita Blake books by Laurell K Hamilton. I also really love The Vampire Diaries and Twilight and things like that. Urban Fantasy is probably one of my favourite genres, I love the combination of the world as we know it but combined with all the paranormal elements like vampires and werewolves and magic and all.

Now, Jade Rachel, my step-mum, she says I read horror, not fantasy – because to her vampires and werewolves belong firmly in the horror category. I disagree with her. I think they’re fantasy creatures, but because the books aren’t fantasy, they’re in the ‘real’ world, that’s what makes them urban fantasy. 

To me, the difference between urban fantasy and horror is the intent. Horror is written to scare you. That’s the difference between, I don’t know ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Stephen King writes a story about vampires to be scary. Charlaine Harris writes a mystery book that just happens to feature vampires.

I’m not saying I don’t like horror. I don’t tend to read horror – maybe I should look into it more? Coming at it from a fantasy perspective, start with the vampire horror books and see where that takes me? But for now, I think I’ll stick to my urban fantasy worlds

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3 thoughts on “I Vant To Bite Your Neck

  1. My mom used to get me horror books for Christmas because she thought that’s what I read. She literally went into the bookstore, went to the horror section, and found a book that happened to have vampires in it. To me it seems like the distinction between horror and fantasy seems obvious – I’ve never really thought about it, I could just always tell. I think you hit it on the nose when you said it’s about intent.

    I’m only on Book 10 of Sookie Stackhouse (taking my sweet time to go through them while I read other stuff too). If you’ve never read Anita Blake before, I’m curious to see what you make of the “later” books (starting around, ironically, book 10). Personally, I think Obsidian Butterfly was the last really good one, though Laurell K. Hamilton had some near-gems later than that if you can get to them.

  2. I think you got it exactly right. Horror is meant to scare you and the human’s in those stories are usually victims. But in Urban Fantasy, you have characters who are love interests (like Vamp Diaries) or fighting against them with special abilities of their (like the Anita Black series).

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