Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    60

    Urban Fantasy like Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

    I searched the forums and although I've had this question before I just can't remember if I asked it before.

    Is there any urban/contemporary/modern/supernatural fantasy books/short stories that are like Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser?

    I've just started reading Lean Times in Lankhmar and I just enjoy the humor, the imagination, and world-wise tone combined with fun adventure. I also enjoy the buddy-story approach. It's generally in 3rd person omniscient which is cool but not mandatory and not in much favor these days. I just thought a UF version of these two would be great. Don't care about gender, race, ethnicity, or LGBT of main characters, mainly setting and tone. 2 women would be as fun as 2 men to me, etc.

    I'm not interested in steampunk or traditional fantasy cousins of F&GM - those are not hard to find. Modern day/near future setting is key.

    I've read decent things about the Cal Leandros books and appears the closest I've found based upon Amazon book descriptions. But it sounds more Supernatural TV-show angsty than F&GM.

    Any recommendations/thoughts?

    Thanks

    Nick.

  2. #2
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Near Cows in the Garden State
    Posts
    10,907
    Most folks (including the author) would consider Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories to be Sword & Sorcery. Urban Fantasy conjures up a different kettle of fish for most readers.

    So you are asking for something in more of a modern day setting (which most people associate with Urban Fantasy), but with stories similar in tone and scope to those Leiber told about these two fine characters?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by nposecznick View Post
    I searched the forums and although I've had this question before I just can't remember if I asked it before.

    Is there any urban/contemporary/modern/supernatural fantasy books/short stories that are like Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser?

    [...]
    Not quite the same, but in the vicinity, I'd say Ben Aaronovitch's Midnight Riot (U.K. title, Rivers of London, which is really more apt). It's the start of a series; I haven't read the later additions yet.


    Randy M.

  4. #4
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,331
    The Cal Leandros novels are definitely like Supernatural, and have humor like Supernatural, which isn't that far from F&GM, so you might like them despite the slight periods of angst.

    There are urban fantasies with teams and partners, but it's hard to have them first come to mind because most of the series take the detective road with the focus on one main character, even if that main character works with a team. The buddy ones are more popular in the graphic novels, though we'll probably be seeing more of them in contemporary fantasy in the next few years. Titles you can try are:

    Neil Gaiman, Anasai Boys and maybe his Neverwhere also
    Liz Williams' Inspector Chen novels (futuristic fantasy, lots of humor)
    Greg Van Dekhout, Norse Code (this is perhaps accidentally probably closest to F&GM)
    Laura Resnick, Esther Diamond novels (this one is totally farcical, she's teamed with a wizard, so maybe not F&GM enough)
    Stephen R. Boyett, Elegy Beach (this one is post-apocalypse fantasy, but still not epic and has F&GM elements and a mouthy unicorn)
    Tom Holt, J.W. Wells & Co. series
    Charles Stross, Laundry Files series
    Christopher Moore: A Dirty Job, Coyote Blue, Love Story series (vampires, not Twilighty,) Pine Cove series

    Also possible, though I'm not sure how much humor is in them:

    Caitlin Kittredge, Black London series
    Vicki Pettersson, Celestial Blues series
    Justin Gustainis, Occult Crimes Unit Investigation series
    Steven Bein, Fated Blades series
    Yasmine Galenorn, Otherworld series
    Kameron Hurley, Bel Dame Apocrypha trilogy (far future fantasy, not super funny but do have some dark humor, a team, and a F&GM feel a bit)


    I'm sure I'm completely forgetting some that would work. Ben Aaronovitch's series isn't a buddy one, exactly, but might work.

  5. #5
    If you like Fafhrd et al, the first books I would recommend to you are NOT UF. I'm also a huge fan of buddy adventures, and for me these are the closest comparisons:

    Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series -- and he's got a new one coming out next month! This series has a very UF flavor, even though it doesn't have the contemporary setting.

    Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Revelations series. Just about the epitome of the buddy genre.

    UF tends to be about lone heros who gather minions around them, while Fafhrd and other buddy tales are about at least somewhat-equal teams of two. So they are going to have a different flavor.

    As for the Cal Leandros series -- I love them to death. But you must be prepared for high angst levels. This series also has a new book. :-)

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    60
    Rob B – Yup, modern day or near future setting with heavy fantasy elements ranging from standard UF to Shadowrun-ish with two loveable rogues in the same vein as F&GM as the protags. Like I said though, I wouldn’t care if they were two women either. Or brother and sister.

    I know UF has tended heavily hardboiled w/supernatural elements but that is hardly mandatory. I’ve seen lots of UF-ish books well outside of that model. I also have no need for the mythology to remain standard Buffy/White Wolf RPG arrays. I enjoyed Perdido Street Station’s alternative steampunk, Dickens, D&Dishness, but not looking for that.

    Assorted recommendations: Too many to look at right now – fitting into lunch break. But it seems from the cursory discussion basically no, no one’s really created that yet.

    I hope someone steals that idea. They’re too morally ambiguous for me to enjoy writing it although I’d like reading it if written to my taste.

    A couple of buddies who steal from various criminals/mobs/cartels, rich people, lost treasures, work odd jobs, fall out, partner back up, fall in and out of love/lust, bicker and get drunk together. A Ningauble and a Sheelbha for each but in a modern setting. Lankhmar was based on NYC and so I’d set it in a supernatural NYC that they always come back to.

    What if the Bazaar of the Bizarre were in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Howling Tower deep into Montana or even Siberia? Just thinking.

    You could go typical UF and make Fafhrd a werewolf or perhaps a werebear and Mouser a vampire or half fae, but I’d lean weirder probably, more Mieville-ish if it were mine.

    I’ll check this thread again after I’ve been able to look at all the summaries of the recommendations.

    Thanks.

    Nick.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    60
    Although not very F&GM, Max Gladstone's "Three Parts Dead," "Two Serpents Rise," and "Full Fathom Five" look interesting to me.

  8. #8
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,331
    It may very well have been done; this forum is not a great resource for urban fantasy and there are thousands and thousands of titles put out. But there's definitely a lot of room in contemporary fantasy for channeling fairy tale and myth and for doing stuff with thieves.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    60
    Randy M.:

    Midnight Riot looks alright, but not F&GMish really.

    The prolific KatG section:

    “Cal Leandros” still looks like the closest to F&GM I can find.

    “Anansi Boys” sounds like it has some elements. Read “Neverwhere” already but don’t remember feeling an F&GM vibe. I like Gaiman generally though.

    I read the 1st Inspector Chen book and it was pretty good. It’s not F&GMish really and I found the Chinese Hell mythology different but not quite right for me. Can’t put my finger on why. BTW, I love Jon Foster’s art. If I ever wrote a book he’d be at the top of my list with Phil Hale, James Jean and a few others. Of course considering the market they’d just a stock model photo, cut and paste onto stock background, and throw a grainy or airbrushy, possibly tinted filter over it and call it a cover.

    Norse Code does seem to have potential in the F&GM zone. I’d put it near Cal Leandros.

    Esther Diamonds look pretty standard UF with a little more comedy perhaps. Not very F&GM. It reminds me of “The Doomsday Brunette” for some reason and that was a fun book.

    “Elegy Beach”, maybe. Hard to say.

    Tom Holt seems too deep into comedy.

    I’ve been tempted by The Laundry Files books and Chris Moore’s for awhile (amongst others) but not especially F&GM from what I can see. And perhaps too comedic.

    A lot of the rest look like standard UF. Some are basically cop books and F&GM are anything but cops. But not looking for Scarface level ethics either.

    Bel Dame series is intriguing. Potential. Covers are pretty good, but that’s just surface.

    Contrarius:

    F&GM have tons of heirs within the Sword & Sorcery genre, but this was specifically about applying it to a modern fantasy. If I ever get in the mood to read classic fantasy I’ll keep those in mind though.

    And Cal Leandros gets another vote. To quote Rorschach, "Hrrm."

    My digressions:

    I raised Max Gladstone’s books because they’ve intrigued me a lot (possibly a minor obsession as I read book reviews and interviews with him), but I don’t think they match my criteria for F&GM-ishness at all. So that’s pretty much me digressing on my own thread. Based upon basic description I lump Max Gladstone, Bas Lag series, and now Bel Dame series into a small box of similarity (as I expand the digression).

    Thanks for all your help. Don’t waste any more energy unless you’ve run across something EVEN MORE on target than Cal Leandros, Norse Code area.

    And don’t put yourself out looking, just incidental observations/thoughts, please.

    Thanks.

    Nick.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nposecznick View Post
    Randy M.:

    Contrarius:

    F&GM have tons of heirs within the Sword & Sorcery genre, but this was specifically about applying it to a modern fantasy. If I ever get in the mood to read classic fantasy I’ll keep those in mind though.
    Yeah, I know. But Vlad Taltos is worth taking a look at anyway, because it is very UF in tone.

    And Cal Leandros gets another vote. To quote Rorschach, "Hrrm."
    I do love this series. But the books are MUCH more angsty than the Lankhmar series. It's about the closest I know to a buddy-type UF, though.

    I raised Max Gladstone’s books because they’ve intrigued me a lot (possibly a minor obsession as I read book reviews and interviews with him), but I don’t think they match my criteria for F&GM-ishness at all.
    I keep wanting to try these too. I love the cover on the first one.

  11. #11
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,331
    Tom Holt seems too deep into comedy.
    You keep narrowing the parameters.

    Okay, here's one -- Tim Marquitz's Demon Squad series. It's not a two-fer team, there's a main protagonist, so it's not a F&GM, but the protagonist is a crown prince of Hell (Christianish,) there's a squad of characters working together, there's rogue's humor but not farcical, it's urban f. It's not adventure, but like Cal Leandros, it's in the neighborhood of what you want.

  12. #12
    Hey, Nick -- I just noticed you're in mid-TN. Me too! I'm waving at you from east of Lebanon! :-)

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    60
    Up in Sumner County, Hola!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •