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June 22 2009

So many vampires, so little time. Salon's Laura Miller provides us with a guide to a literary genre in which Buffy's spirit lives on, with young heroines battling demons -- and adulthood.

Excellent article, almost everything I wanted to see mentioned made it on the list and was given fair due. The author quickly summed up the nuances and the poignancy of the works mentioned.
Fantastic article! Here here! Fantasy and subsequently, urban fantasy allows for woman to explore their identity in a more nuanced way. They can inhabit the typical male role of detective without having to reassert their womanness (at least most of the time). In urban fantasy it's understood that there are female witches, vampires, werewolves etc. Woman can search what it means to be themselves outside of gender roles. Love it!
Just skimmed to make sure there were no Twilight references, which would have upset me mightily. ;)
I have always thought that Buffy Summers and Sookie Stackhouse would really, really like each other. Once someone (Angel? Eric?) broke the ice.

@Shey: yeah, Twilight fits into the genre Miller is discussing...but I love how Miller segregates Bella and her "swooning" from all the power in the other fantasy heroines of the genre.

I doubt Buffy would be very fond of Bella. Though she would very likely appreciate the Cullens' attempts at "vegetarianism." ;-)
Buffy and Mercy (the Patricia Briggs books) would also get on famously.
To dissent;
I am, after several years, no longer amazed at how so many 'fans' of Buffy seize one facet of the show, declare it to be what Buffy is all about, and then compare it to something else that happens to share that one facet.
Buffy is, in part, a story of a teen girl dealing with growing up. And it is a lot more than that.
Respectfully, having tried to read some of these "urban myth" books, I disagree that the spirit of Buffy lies anywhere near them.
Like all genres, "urban myths" have good, bad and brilliant writers. Between them, the authors in this article cover all 3 categories.

There are stories about accepting oneself, learning (or not) from mistakes, the pressure to conform, fear of loss of identity, being friends with those who should be your enemy, the death of loved ones, guilt, running away from problems, trying to avoid responsibility, etc. Sound familiar?

In my opinion, the "spirit" does not originate in Buffy. She is just one example.
Just because 'fans' of Buffy also happen to be 'fans' of urban fantasy does not mean that they/we only like Buffy because of it's fantasy backdrop. Nor does it mean that similarities cannot be found in other works of the same genre. Like others have posted, at it's core Buffy is about being a teen, growing up, the big bads of life and how we relate to the world and those around us. This basic theme can be found in any genre, mystery, historical fiction, thriller, romance etc. What makes Buffy stand out is what the writers did with the stories. While there are way too many urban fantasy stories out there to list, good, intriguing and thought provoking series do exsist in this genre. I think saying Buffy does not have anything to relate to them spirit-wise is an uneducated judgement.
Buffy and Anita would NOT get along, however, I oddly see Buffy getting along with Jean-Claude, after teasing him about his frilly sleeves.

But, seriously, if anyone should read urban fantasy, read Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books. The spirit of Buffy lies heavily in there, and James Marsters does the audio books.

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