Recommended Reading List from Hypatia’s Hoard Local Color: Cities as Characters

Presented at Archon 2002

by Elizabeth Barrette

  • Blood Price by Tanya Huff. DAW, 1991. Somewhere between horror and mystery, this one pairs a vampire with an ex-cop in Toronto, Canada.
  • Bobby’s Girl by J. D. Austin. Ace, 2001. A hilarious science fiction comedy-drama set primarily in Los Angeles, California. Ket Mhulhar, disguising herself in human form as Kathy Miller, winds up working as a script girl – and loving it.
  • Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton. Ace, 1993. Set in St. Louis, this is the first of the famous “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” series.
  • Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling. Roc, 1998. This book wouldn’t work at all if it weren’t for the island of Nantucket, off the coast of New England. The author also does a splendid job of rendering assorted historic cultures after the plot flings island and inhabitants about 3,000 years into the past.
  • Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon. Baen, 1990. This one gets extra credit for portraying both Los Angeles, California in general and the particular culture of Renaissance Faires. Locales don’t get much more colorful than this, especially when you add the elves.
  • Harm None by M. R. Sellars. Willow Tree Press, 2000. Set in St. Louis, this novel features Wiccan main characters and contains much discussion of their ethics, in the context of a very gripping mystery.
  • Moonheart by Charles de Lint. Ace, 1981. Centers around a book and antique store in Ottawa, Canada. The author has a profound knack for urban fantasy with a distinct local flavor.
  • The Rising of the Moon by Flynn Connolly. Del Rey, 1993. Features a future Ireland in even worse shape than our current one – yes, really – over several cities. The extrapolations of local color are disturbingly plausible.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.