I was talking today with some of my friends about fantasy, mostly urban fantasy, and one of my friends mentioned "dark urban fantasy." He said it was the darker stuff that dealt with more of the violence of fantasy. I thought about all the books we've read, and, for the most part, I wouldn't say they were gentle. In fact, a lot of them were rather violent and dark. However, I thought this to just be the norm of urban fantasy, and kind of fantasies today in general. So what exactly separates "dark urban fantasy" from 'regular' urban fantasy? Is there really a difference between the two or is it just the same name for the same thing?
The more I think about it, the more I think I understand what is meant by "dark urban fantasy." There could easily be an urban fantasy book where all the creatures are kind, happy fairies and only one evil guy that needs to be defeated. Though there is a dark element involved with the evil guy, I wouldn't exactly call such a story a "dark urban fantasy." However, a story like Already Dead and perhaps even Street Magic, though a bit iffy on that one, I could see as being "dark urban fantasy" simply due to the darker nature of the humor and the sense of anger and violence throughout the story. Still, I feel like such elements are just becoming common of urban fantasy today, so it is almost unnecessary to have "dark urban fantasy" and "urban fantasy." I guess it is like a concentration of a major--usually unnecessary but done just to make it different.