For my own needs I write fantasy. But at this time I am not sure what genre it is.

Base of that world is probably classic fantasy, because there are:

  • unicorns
  • dragons
  • gods
  • magic
  • lycanthrops
  • other extremely powerful beings

But I also placed there some very modern things like (and some more I still did not used)

  • fluorescent tubes
  • nuclear reactors
  • nuclear bombs

but they are very improved to be magic (not in definition Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic1). For example local version of fluorescent tubes are emiting cold light, they have similar shape - but their construction is simplified (to use magic as source of energy).

1 - only one using of this A.C.Clarke's law is cybernetic visitor from else world; there Icefingers (healer, scientist and former soldier) will use variation of this law to explain being of that visitor.

  • 6
    Genre is a publisher's gimmick, don't even think about it, you may be hindering yourself by self-imposed rules and spliting hair. May 30, 2016 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


If you are using actual fluorescent lights and nuclear energy and so forth, or fluorescent lights which have been slightly improved or altered by magic but are essentially the same technology, this is generally called urban fantasy. While "urban" means "city," in this context it means fantasy or magical elements in modern society. The setting can be a city, town, or country.

If you are using fairy dust inside a long tube for a light bulb, such that it is entirely magical, that's just fantasy in a contemporary setting.

  • Agreed. As @Reed says genre is a publishing gimmick, but given what OP says the story would either be classified as urban fantasy or possibly magic realism. The difference would be dependent on whether the story is set on Earth or another world. Jan 7, 2021 at 0:31

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