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Fantasy in a Modern Setting

Also known as Modern Fantasy or Contemporary Fantasy, this genre blends traditional fantasy elements (like the existence of magic and mythical creatures) with present day or near-future worlds, resulting in some of the great reads listed below. Some notable related subgenres are Urban Fantasy, Fantastic Noir, and Mundane Fantasy, and some Vampire Fantasy can also be considered Contemporary Fantasy.

    Storm Front

    The first book in a highly enjoyable series, Storm Front introduces us to Harry Dresden, Chicago's best (and only) Wizard/Private Investigator.

    Starman Jones

    Introducing two classic short novels by Robert A. Heinlein, science fiction's Grand Master: Magic, Inc. is set in a world where almost everything is done by magic spells, and in Waldo, one man is tasked with finding the mysterious reason why so many planes keep crashing.

    American Gods

    What would the world be like if all mythologies were based in fact and their respective gods were living among us? Would we even know? Cue Joan Osborne.

    That Hideous Strength

    The third novel in the science-fiction trilogy by C.S. Lewis. This final story is set on Earth, and tells of a terrifying conspiracy against humanity. The story surrounds Mark and Jane Studdock, a newly married couple. Mark is a Sociologist who is enticed to join an organisation called N.I.C.E. which aims to control all human life.

    King Rat

    King Rat blends eerie fairy tale and contemporary urban fantasy in China Mieville's fantastical debut. Something is stirring in London's dark, stamping out its territory in brickdust and blood. Something has murdered Saul's father, and left Saul to pay for the crime. But a shadow from the urban waste breaks into his prison cell and leads him to freedom. A shadow called King Rat. In the night-land behind London's facade, in sewers and slums and rotting dead spaces, Saul must learn his true nature. Grotesque murders rock the city like a curse. Mysterious forces prepare for a showdown. With Drum and Bass pounding the backstreets, Saul confronts his bizarre inheritance - in the badlands of South London, in the heart of darkness, at the gathering of the Junglist Massive. Like the DJ says: 'Time for the Badman.'

    Night Watch

    Set in Moscow, this story revolves around a confrontation between two opposing supernatural groups (known as "Others"): the Night Watch, an organization dedicated to policing the actions of the Dark Others—and the Day Watch, which polices the actions of the Light Others.