What’s in a name…er, label?

This discussion had me thinking…what would my story actually be labeled as? I swear I’ve read so many definitions of what makes a novel “urban fantasy,” but then there’s also “historical fantasy” and then “alternate history.” I feel like The Tower’s Alchemist can fit into more than one of these.

For some, just having the magical and fantastical in the confines of a city qualifies a story as an urban fantasy book, but then some add the stipulation that the setting also be “modern or futuristic.” Ok, what’s modern to you? My story’s set in WWII Europe, and my main character goes from London to Paris, and then Madrid and back to London–and you certainly get the sense of being in “a city.”  However, would one consider the 1940s “modern” enough, or historical/alternate history?

I’ve just simply described it as urban fantasy, and sometimes even as an “urban fantasy story set in an alternate WWII era.”

In the end, perhaps it’s not such a big deal I should agonize over. A good story is a good story, regardless of how it’s categorized. But it doesn’t stop me from wondering!

Share your thoughts!