If you’ve been at all concerned with the state of fantasy in the past few years, you’ve probably noticed a drastic shift in genres. The market has split wildly into many segments, including that bastion of pseudo-gothica and girls with tight pants, urban fantasy.
Personally, I’m not the most intense fan of urban fantasy, having once experienced a turbulent relationship with a young lady who tried to stake me in the throes of passion (pro tip: it’s not as hot as it sounds). That experience has, however, rendered me as much an expert in that genre as I am in others, such as grizzly bear fiction and the erotic biography.
It has long been my opinion (and thus, fact) that urban fantasy follows a set pattern: a supernatural creature is generally the topic of most books for a year or so before becoming too popular, at which point it tends to be cannibalized by the next big thing. We’ve seen vampires devour werewolves (carnally, in some cases) and zombies devour vampires.
Clearly, the way to become the next big thing in urban fantasy is to predict what supernatural monstrosity will be big next.
Going against the wishes of my publishers and decent society alike, I have decided to give you, the reader, keen insight into what the next five years of urban fantasy will be.
2011 will be the year of Sexy Mummies: perfectly-preserved bondage fanatics with a distinct pharaonic flair that certain tight-pantsed heroines will find strangely attractive. The pioneering series, Embalming Fluid and Tonic, will follow the exploits of one Miranda Funt and her lover as they try to solve murder mysteries and find his heart…or at least which jar it was put in.
Shortly thereafter, Sexy Mummies will be passed over in favor of Sexy Ghouls. Cannibalism and necrophilia will become more hip to the edgier crowds of 2012, disillusioned after the world did not come to as magnificent an end as the internet forums promised. Raoul the Ghoul, a noted detective and pornographic star, will be the center of this new revolution as he flits about with a forbidden lover who must constantly coat herself in sour apple spray to keep him from eating her alive.
With the supernatural well running dry in 2013, urban fantasists will begin to return to their roots, digging out dusty copies of The Monstrous Manual in an attempt to find something new and exciting. A vaguely erotic and deeply confusing era will follow in which we begin to see Sexy Wereboars, Sexy Harpies, Sexy Cockatrices and Sexy Illithids (and that is going to be hot.)
Ultimately, Sexy Golems will win out in 2014 with the groundbreaking series Josie and Decapitatus the Annihilator, a lighthearted comical mismatch of a working-class middle-aged female attorney trying to make it in a man’s world while also keeping a crimson-eyed machine powered by the blood of the innocent from her boss, the attractive and brooding David McIlhenny.
Finally, urban fantasy will break new ground in 2015 by taking the next step in the evolution of a genre and split itself off again, with true urban fantasists chiding the new upstart genre of suburban fantasy. Stories about housewives sitting around and making light conversations with the spirits of the violently murdered will thrive, ultimately resulting in several sitcom-like series involving single fathers trying to raise a family of flesh-eating banshees while also holding down a job.
It lasts for six seasons.
Bob Saget plays the father.
And it is going to kick ass.
Sam Sykes is the author of the acclaimed Tome of the Undergates, a vast and sprawling story of adventure, demons, madness and carnage. He lives with two hounds in a small, drab apartment and has eaten at least one of every animal on earth.