And I'm working on the page proofs for Whiskey & Water, which is an urban fantasy dealing with, among other things, othering, marginalization, liminal spaces, and...
...but that would be telling.
Holly's point, linked above, that the liminal spaces are where the magic lies is very well made. And specifically, interestingly, fantasy has often been about transformation, and about journeys outside the mundane. Personally, I'm not fond of the romanticization of anything--the romanticization of "normalcy" inevitably leads either to hypocrisy or exclusion/oppression. Because normalcy isn't, of course. And the romanticization of trauma leads to...
We all know that guy.
Exhausting, isn't he?
But the thing is, by tradition, magic is the liminal. It is the numinous, the transcendent. It is the thing that is not a part of our everyday existence. if it was, we wouldn't call it magic. And urban fantasy is often the narrative of the disconnect, the intrusion of the numinous or liminal into everyday existence.
It's comforting, of course, to imagine that this transformative experience will be positive. Traditionally, this has not always been so. These days, we've transferred that original narrative, the one in which the intrusion is a negatively transformative experience, to the horror genre. The monster comes upon us, and so we are destroyed.
But the other experience, the exalting one--frequently, in our modern narratives, that falls upon someone marginalized.
I think is some ways this is a reaction to societal disempowering of such persons--art is about inversion, after all. The mighty brought low, the humble raised high. And in some ways because it's easy to plot an upward arc for somebody who starts in the gutter.
And to be frank, there is a romance there. Freedom from responsibility. I mean god, this get up go to work pay the bills thing is a grind. And of course it's nice to subvert the dominant paradigm. The valium fifties is still out there. Lurking. And the counterculture is a necessary thing.
But, on the other hand... the counterculture, for all its romance, is not the whole world either.
On the other kind, there's a homely kind of magic, too. The magic of stew pots and heart fires. I think the best street-people magic book I have ever read is Megan Lindholm's Wizard of the Pigeons, which is more subtle and honest than most... and is aware of this distinction, and inclusive of it.
And of course, no one book can do all things.
Just some thinking.