Urban Friday Drabble competition

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Lu Whitley

“Watch out!”

Ella grabbed a handful of jute, took a deep breath, and stepped off the catwalk. Fire exploded through the rigging. Her compatriots screamed as they burned. With a pained grunt, her shoulder took the brunt of the force as she hit the end
of the rope and swung toward the cockpit. Toward Baron Wakefield. She landed with a clang, her boots skidding on the plated metal deck. “Face me, you bastard,” she yelled above the roaring flames.
Baron Wakefield turned slowly, a sneer curling his scarred upper lip. “Captain,” he chuckled humorlessy, “It’s time we finished this, don’t you think?”


Hilary Anderson


The city groaned under its own weight, people rushing here and there and everywhere. Skyscrapers towered to the skies and winds whipped through the manmade canyons. But here and there some people kept the faith. Small secret gardens bloomed: some humid and heady and others just a few wayside flowers. But those little green spaces and the guardians who tended them anchored the city to the earth and gave the city its soul.


Varsi Richardson Appel


The sun glinted off the shiny copper tubing that comprised the circulatory system of the old airship. Citrine squinted trying to see the docking station attached to the Tower of London. It had been 150 long years since she had set eyes on her beloved home base. She had heard in her absence the Sentinels were having trouble holding the city against the Robathions, robot warriors from the north intent on taking London by force.
Citrine heard a voice calling her name. Turning towards the sound she spotted her sister, Magenta, running towards her through the waiting crowd. She opened her arms just in time to catch Magenta as she leapt into her arms. She hugged her right and whispered, “I’m home. I’m finally home. “


Jenifer Boles


Steam bellowed into her face from the engine of her thirteenth attempt at an engine for his majesty’s latest contraption. How she was supposed to raise his small ship to the clouds was a feat which had kept her up at her tiny desk, pencil in hand, through the night. “Laurette?” Her brother called from the entrance of their workshop. “The king is almost here!” He was panicked and had every right to be. She shoved her plans at him as she dashed to her hiding place. “What progress have you made, Lord Bruntwood?” The king barked from the door.


Emily Stillings 

“Death by Snail” 

The town was abuzz at the arrival of Snailcraftsman, Shelley Joransbergen. Her giant snail slithered down the main drag. The shell of the snail was bronze, the light from inside shined through like stars, from the many windows, into the night. Atop stood Shelley, an accomplished tinker-woman. The snail came to a halt in front of all the townspeople, and Shelley descended to the dirt ground. They were waiting for her to speak. She swiveled her brass horn from behind her ear to her mouth. “Prepare to die!” she shouted. All the snail shell windows turned to canons, firing.


Virginia McKevitt Author


Ellie closed the hatch and wiped the sweat from her forehead.
“Grandpa would be proud of you, Ellie. You get your smarts from him.”
Ellie patted the boiler with her gloved hand and smiled. “Well, little brother, it looks like that crook, Marshall Cog
gins won’t be getting the Crescent Queen after all.” Ellie grinned. “Hear that, Billy? The paddles will be turning soon. Get Georgie to untie us from the dock.”
“Ellie!” Someone screamed from the open hatch above. “He’s coming, Ellie! What do we do?”
“Hold on tight, Billy. Looks like the dock is coming with us.”


Lesley Donaldson


Crunch-Grrr. I can picture it, the creature behind me. Its cloven feet, bifurcated tail and mangy coat are bearable next to the sound of its breathing. Part grunt, part whistle and all disgusting, I can’t stand to listen to the noise as it eats Dan’s bones and breathes through its mouth at the same time. If I lie still, maybe it won’t notice me. It can’t smell with that shoved-in nose, can it? Crunch-Grrr. Crunch-Grrr. Honey, why did you have to go camping in the Devil’s kitchen on a cryptid hunt for your 40th? Crunch-Grr. Crunch… It found me.



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Keynote Speaker Video | Steve DeWinter

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FantasyCon Mini-Interview with Nadja Losbohm

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Q – Are you a Reader, Author, Artist, or Blogger?

A – I’m an avid reader and author, who like to see herself as an artist.

Q – What is your favorite fantasy story or movie of all time, and why?

A – There are many great fantasy movies and stories, but my favorite one is “ A Neverending Story” by Michael Ende. I was a kid when I first saw the movie and still remember how fascinated I was. The idea of a reader becoming part of the story, becoming the savior of a fantastic world and recreating it by making wishes is so great. And I loved the characters and creatures like the Giant Turlte Morla or Falkor the Luckdragon.

Q – If you were trapped in a fantasy world and in danger with no way out, what creature would you want to have as your best buddy?

A – Maybe Falkor the Luckdragon would be a great buddy, I think. Or Aslan the great Lion from “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

Q – Have you written any stories? If so, please tell us about them.

A – Yes, I wrote a few stories and have published eight books for the young and young at heart so far. As I come from Germany, they are mostly written in German, but I also have one English book, called “The Huntress – The Beginnings”. It’s the first part of an Urban Fantasy Romance series of books of which I published five parts in German. “The Huntress” is about an average young woman, who finds out she’s the chosen one to protect people from the creatures of the night, monsters, demons and vampires. She has to give up her former life and starts her training with an enigmatic and unapproachable priest. “The Huntress” has got lots of different elements: action, suspense, romance, humor, mystery, drama, conflict. I would love to translate the following books as well. I also wrote some short stories in English, which you can find on Inkitt.

Follow Nadja Losbohm here:
Twitter: twitter.com/nadlo82

Urban Friday

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FantasyCon Mini-Interview with Wren Michaels, Author

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Q – Are you an Author, Artist, Blogger, or Reader?

A – I’m an author!

Q – If you could be the hero or heroine of any fantasy or sci-fi world. which would you choose and why?

A – I’d be Mac from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. Why?…two words…Jericho Barrons.

Q – What fantasy stories, books or movies, inspire you most?

A – I get lost pretty easily in a fantasy world, which is why I’m drawn to write them. I get serious book hangovers, which is why I got started writing in the first place because I don’t want the worlds to end. So I decided to start writing my own so I wouldn’t have to leave them. I’m a huge fan of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, Karen Marie Moning, Darynda Jones, Charlaine Harris just to name a few.

Q – Have you written any stories? If so, please share them with us.

A – Yes, I’ve written many many stories. But I have 4 of them published.

The first two are in a series called SnowRose which is the erotic fantasy retelling of the classic fairytale Snow White & Rose Red. UNBEARABLE is book one and is Rose Red’s tale. BAD APPLE is book two and it’s Snow’s story.

I have an urban fantasy I wrote called VEXED which centers around Vodou. Vodou stole her life. A gay ghost stole her boots. And the man who stole her heart also stole her memories. Kena plans to get it all back.

And my latest is called ELUDING ILLUSIONS and it’s a paranormal romance. Take a novelist, an online-romance, and cursed book characters hell-bent on killing their author and you get love, lies, and a little Gypsy magick.

You can stalk me in the following places:

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Guest Post: When fantasy invades your reality

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I have been set a task by with wizards of FantasyCon–a quest that appears impossible at the outset—to define “urban fantasy” and make it stand out as a genre. But as with the heroines of all good fantasy I must give it my best shot.

Unlike those genres that can trace their lineage to Beowolf, this is a new phenomenon, having taken root in the 1990s. Among the authors who have staked the territory most clearly are Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files), Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter), Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere), Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles) and J.K. Rowlings (Harry Potter). And that diversity alone ought to give you some idea of the long odds on my quest.

It is often said that urban fantasy is simply urban, that its entire claim to fame is in the fact that it is set in cities and towns. But many other fantasy stories are set in cities past and present, and that doesn’t make such stories “urban fantasy.” Most urban fantasy is based in an industrialized or post-industrial setting and as a natural consequence it is mostly urban (because so is most of the population in such societies). And yet sometimes the story is about the fact that characters are forced out of the urban world to hide in what is left of the wilderness.

So, I’ll take another tack here. Urban fantasy isn’t only about setting. It’s a contemporary and urban form of mundane fantasy. The excellent genre-definition site bestfantasybooks.com defines “mundane fantasy” by saying it will not satisfy readers who primarily want to escape from mundane reality. Instead, “if perhaps you want to find a bit of fantasy within the mundane, maybe this sub-genre will be for you.”

And that is where urban fantasy shines. Of all fantasy genres, urban fantasy is the most close to home. A good urban fantasy tale should send shivers down your spine and make you think reality might just change the next time you step outside your door. It should cause you to look at the impassive faces on the subway during your morning commute and think, “Yes, I can see where it comes from.” It should hint that something inexplicable could happen at any moment in a banal industrial cityscape. It should transform the alleyways of a small, ordinary town into a setting for the terrible and wondrous.

In short, if high fantasy let’s you escape from your life while you read, urban fantasy captures you and invades your thoughts even when you are not reading.

Most urban fantasy is set on earth in modern or nearly modern times. It often either begins with a character who believes they live in the mundane world or with a character who must hide magic from those who don’t know about it. Its setting is important because it should mirror something very real and familiar in order to draw the reader into a web of “what if” questions that render the fantasy eerily plausible.

While all children know that Harry Potter’s magic isn’t real, they love the idea that a magical world is hiding in the city streets all around them, that a secret world could be just between the railway platforms or out the back of a local bookshop. And urban fantasy isn’t just for children and young adults.

Another way that some have tried to pigeonhole urban fantasy has been to say that it is shallow and lacking in social substance. This comes from a few popular associations but often they are misleading and belong as much to other genres as they do to urban fantasy. And look again even at Harry Potter. It may be a children’s series but the social and moral commentary run deep beyond what is usually preached at children.

Urban fantasy may not be famous for attacking huge societal issues or epic struggles yet, but I believe this is only because the other side of urban fantasy, where it connects with sci-fi fantasy, social sci fi and dystopian genres has been insufficiently explored. The defining factor in urban fantasy is its ability to seep into the reader’s world rather than forcing the reader to suspend disbelief. It poses a danger to those who have difficulty separating fantasy and reality because it mixes the two so well. It is no surprise that many urban fantasy narratives include an urban bookstore as a crucial location, given that bookstores are one place we can guarantee readers frequent. It is therefore easy for the urban fantasy writer to grab the reader’s reality with such a setting and slurp them down the rabbit hole.

Urban fantasy has the potential to be a deep literary and social genre precisely because of how it intersects with reality. There’s a wealth of possibility to explore in this sub-genre. It is a new genre and as such its depths have yet to be explored. The bestfantasybooks.com definition reads, “Urban Fantasy doesn’t play by the rules.”

Author bio:

Arie Farnam is a former war correspondent and urban documentary filmmaker turned fantasy writer living in Prague. She is the author of The Kyrennei Series (Book One is The Soul and the Seed), which presents a frighteningly realistic–yet fantastical–alternative take on contemporary international affairs and social dynamics. Combine the forgotten existence of a magical nonhuman race and a clandestine telepathic power cult with the emotional impact of literary fiction and you get an electrifying tale. When not setting keyboards on fire with speed typing, Farnam practices urban homesteading, chases her two awesome children and concocts herbal medicines.

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