PNR vs. UF

Now here's a battle I didn't even know existed, never mind the fact that it appears to have been raging for some time. The question at hand: PNR (ParaNormal Romance) vs. UF (Urban Fantasy).

From Paranormal Romance Writers website which tracks new books in PNR.

My reading has always been quite mixed and I've never paid too much attention to where the material comes from (if you're familiar with any of my reading choices you'll note an disproportionately high amount of teen fiction in the mix) though I've always leaned towards fantasy. UF and PNR have been around for some time but I only came across the distinctions a few months ago when someone else was discussing Stephenie Meyer's series and though I didn't pay too much attention, I did start looking for websites that cover these two genres specifically, in hopes of uncovering another great series.

While browsing through discussions on Good Reads yesterday I came across "Popular PR You Hate," a discussion that quickly broke down into the difference between PNR and UF and though it eventually recuperated, this digression caught my attention. Frankly, I don't really see what the need for a distinction is but it obviously matters to someone. Does it?

Here's the difference between the two, just so we're clear on what we're dealing with here:
According to the Romance Writers of America, the main plot of a romance novel must revolve around the two people as they develop romantic love for each other and work to build a relationship together. Both the conflict and the climax of the novel should be directly related to that core theme of developing a romantic relationship, although the novel can also contain subplots that do not specifically relate to the main characters' romantic love. Furthermore, a romance novel must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."
As opposed to:
Urban fantasy is a subset of contemporary fantasy, consisting of magical novels and stories set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings--as opposed to 'traditional' fantasy set in wholly imaginary landscapes. The urban fantasy protagonist faces extraordinary circumstances as plots unfold in either open (where magic or paranormal events are commonly accepted to exist) or closed (where magical powers or creatures are concealed) worlds. A romantic subplot may or may not exist within the context of the story.
Reading those two, I can't help but think that the difference is not apples to oranges but more like Fuji apples to Golden Delicious. Seriously.

From All Things Urban Fantasy website which reviews may
of the new books in UF. I love this site.

And then I followed through and found a great post at Dirty Sexy Books which outlines books that blur the lines between the two. It's highly entertaining reading which elaborates on the distinction but I'm still not sure it really matters either way. This brings me to my final, still unanswered question: does it really matter? Are readers that choosy that they'll only read material from one given classification? I don't doubt that there are some people out int he world that are that choosy but when you walk into a bookstore, it's not as though they have these sub categories and you're usually relegated to the Fantasy section. It seems to me this is a bit of a mute issue but I'm curious if anyone else out there vehemantly disagrees?


Post a Comment 0 comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails