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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. Other than the Jim Butcher books are there any successful urban fantasy series with a male protagonist? I am about to start working on one that is sorta-kinda super heroish, but the urban fantasy and comic book heroes seem to have a lot of the same trappings.
 

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Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles are New York Times bestsellers.  Ditto with Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim books.  Going down the list from there, it just depends on your definition of successful, but while male urban fantasy protags might not be AS plentiful as female led stories, they're still out there in spades and always have been.  Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus novels, Stephen Blackmoore has a couple different series, Justin Guistainis has the Quincy Morris series, Simon Green has a couple different series with male leads, Mark Teppo has the Codex of Souls, Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift series, Jim C. Hines' Libriomancer series, Mark del Franco has a couple different ones, Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces books, John Levitts' Dog Days.

And since you mentioned it, many of those books have very clear superhero inspirations as well, so the crossover appeal is there. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gah! I've heard of Kevin Hearne but he completely slipped my mind when posting this thread.

Thanks, Kalen!
 

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Kalen's list is fab, but you'll also be happy to know that male-oriented UF is also taking off on the indie sphere. Off the top of my head, I'd tell you to look at MR Merrick and...ooh, who wrote Born of Hatred? I can't remember now, and I'm on my phone. Anyway! It's doing well. Good time to get into that style of UF. :)
 

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I liked Harry Connolly's series a great deal, but I heard his publisher dropped him.

How about our own B. Justin Shier? :)

There are certainly others. Too lazy to go through my Kindle. ::)
 

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smreine said:
Kalen's list is fab, but you'll also be happy to know that male-oriented UF is also taking off on the indie sphere. Off the top of my head, I'd tell you to look at MR Merrick and...ooh, who wrote Born of Hatred? I can't remember now, and I'm on my phone. Anyway! It's doing well. Good time to get into that style of UF. :)
I've noticed Born of Hatred popping up a lot in my also-boughts when browsing lately, but I hadn't gotten around to checking it out yet. Didn't know it was an indie author, good to know!
 

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I think there's that assumption in part because it depends on where you draw the line between urban fantasy and paranormal fantasy, and that line has shifted a lot over the past decade....even within individual series.  For instance, it used to be you'd say Laurell K. Hamilton even before Jim Butcher when talking about urban fantasy authors, but I honestly don't think most people consider her later stuff UF anymore.  Then you have someone like Kelley Armstrong, whose earlier books were pretty firmly labeled urban fantasy....and even though her content hasn't changed nearly as radically as LKH's, she's more widely regarded as a paranormal romance author now.

So a lot of the big name female led series have fluctuated over the years in terms of how they're viewed and where they're shelved, with the big difference being the same isn't true of the bigger name male led series.  I mean, I'm honestly not even sure.  Is Patricia Briggs considered more UF or PNR?  How about Charlaine Harris or Kim Harrison?

All that said, I'd actually say the number top sellers are fairly 50/50 in terms of male heroes vs female heroes (Though of course Jim Butcher easily outsells the second, third and fourth top sellers combined, etc).  Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Richard Kadrey and Simon Green are the male-hero top sellers, at least in terms of consistency.  And I'd throw the Cal Leandros books by Rob Thurman in there too (male hero, female author).  Female-hero top sellers include Seanan McGuire's October Daye series and her new Incryptid books, Kat Richardson's Greywalker novels, Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville books, and various things by Ilona Andrews, Rachel Caine, etc.

And again, that's if you don't count Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Harrison, Armstrong, etc as urban fantasy.  Personally, I'd say the Sookie Stackhouse novels are UF, though I'd label Armstrong and Harrison as PNR.  Honestly not sure about the rest.

(Also, I'm only talking about traditionally published books at the moment, as pretty much all the names I talked about have hit the NYT list, and that's the easiest barometer for 'success' in discussions like this.  Myself, I'd rather take the money over the bragging rights any day, and in terms of overall sales and income, our very own SMReine and a few others write female-led UF that probably does better overall than at least a few of the names I mentioned above.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I hope you are very successful so I can put "From the author that posts at the same board as Bestselling Author Mathew Reuther" on my book covers.  ;D
 

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Kim Harrison's work is definitely not PNR. Urban Fantasy all the way. I've only read one book by Armstrong and if I recall correctly it was closer to PNR. Charlaine Harris's books are UF and Patricia Briggs writes both UF and PNR.
 

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Yeah, Rachel Morgan is UF. The characters occasionally hook up and break up, but so does Dresden, and nobody is accusing him of being romance. Sookie and Mercy Thompson are also UF.

PNR can be somewhat different from the traditional romance structure, but it still needs to be primarily about the relationship.
 

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Mathew Reuther said:
I sincerely hope UF with a male lead sells.

Or I'm in for a rough year. ;)
Hahaha. It does. You're safe.

I can't tell you how many smart, avid readers I meet who love UF but won't touch, say, Seanan McGuire because "female protagonists suck." And some of these people are woman. ::) I don't think anyone has to worry about male protagonists not doing well. /end rant
 

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RoseInTheTardis said:
Hahaha. It does. You're safe.

I can't tell you how many smart, avid readers I meet who love UF but won't touch, say, Seanan McGuire because "female protagonists suck." And some of these people are woman. ::) I don't think anyone has to worry about male protagonists not doing well. /end rant
It reminds me of how much hate there is, in many music circles, for rock bands fronted by women.
 

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smreine said:
It reminds me of how much hate there is, in many music circles, for rock bands fronted by women.
In Seattle during the rise of Grunge there were some absolutely awesome female bands, but they never made it like the boys did. Such a crying shame.

The gender of the protagonist(s) of a series should be irrelevant, really. I read David Weber's Honor Harrington Sci-fi novels not because he chose to make his MC female, but because I enjoy the universe he's crafted. Would be nice if more people looked past the gender of the MC in every genre and simply read books to see if they enjoyed them.

Personally I think there's a market for a little bit of everything, but the reality is that a lot of people won;t let themselves get into a novel (without a sterling recommendation from a friend at least) if the MC doesn't fit what they think of as ideal . . . and gender DOES play into that. :/
 
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