Beagle does make a few statements about urban fantasy that are worth repeating. Here, he discusses the difference between traditional fantasy and urban fantasy: "I still think that urban fantasy's most important distinction is that it isn't The Lord of the Rings: that is, it doesn't happen in a comfortable rural, pre-industrial setting, where people still ride horses, swing swords, quaff ale in variously sinister pubs, and head off apocalypses and Armageddons that would make a Buffy episode look like a tussle in a schoolyard." (p. 9)
The book is divided into three sections, which Beagle believes are the "three distinct subgenres of urban fantasy." Each section begins with an essay defining that sub-genre:
Mythic Fiction (5 stories):
Paranormal Romance (8 stories):
Noir Fantasy (7 stories):
Joe R. Lansdale writes the introductory essay for this section, and he explores the connection between UF and horror: "The fiction has the stink of the urban about it...either because they take place in the city, or display the weaknesses of humanity in large numbers and close quarters. The terror is often due to the actions of people: pollution, street crime, over population, dehumanization, and so on. What supernatural elements there are, are dragged out of the haunted house and into the tract house and walk-up apartment, or they take place in the wasteland of some horrid aftermath brought on by the mistakes of civilization." (p. 276) The authors included in this section are Thomas M. Disch, Susan Palwick, Holly Black, Steven R. Boyett, Joe R. Lansdale, Tim Powers, and Al Sarrantonio.
Of all the definitions of "urban fantasy" that are included in the four essays, I believe that Guran is the most accurate. But why, then, is her section entitled "Paranormal Romance" when paranormal romance is NOT urban fantasy. Paranormal romance is a fiction in which the romantic relationship of the hero and the heroine is the center of the plot, and they ALWAYS have happy endings (aka HEAs). Only one of the stories in the "paranormal romance" section features a relationship with a happy ending (Patricia Briggs's "Seeing Eye"), and it is really more UF than romance.
Using Guran's excellent UF definition as a guide, you definitely won't find much UF in this book. As far as the "paranormal" aspect goes, there are some sidthe (fae), werewolves, zombies, elves, and ghosts, but only one story features vampires (although another does include imaginary vampires), and there are no demons or evil spirits anywhere. There is also a shortage of kick-ass UF heroines (or heroes)—a vital element in modern UF.
Here are the stories come closest to actually fitting Guran's description of urban fantasy:
Holly Black's "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" (recycled from The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire, 2009) (vampires in the city) This is the truest example of UF in the entire book, and one of the best stories.
Steven R. Boyett: "Talking Back to the Moon" (previously unpublished) (female protagonist, zombies, post-apocalyptic California) One of my favorite stories in this book. This would make a great UF series.
Carrie Vaughn: "Kitty's Zombie New Year" (an older KITTY NORVILLE story recycled from Weird Tales, 2007, and included in Kitty's Greatest Hits, 2011) Click HERE to read my review of the KITTY NORVILLE series. Click HERE to read my review of Kitty's Greatest Hits.
Patricia Briggs: "Seeing Eye" (recycled from Strange Brew, 2009) (female witch and male werewolf in Seattle's MERCY THOMPSON world) Click HERE to read my review of the MERCY THOMPSON series.
Norman Partridge: "She's My Witch" (an older story, recycled from 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, 1995) (male zombie and his mortal girlfriend)
Tim Powers: "The Bible Repairman" (recycled from The Bible Repairman and Other Stories) (male protagonist, voodoo-ish story concerning the restless spirits of the dead)
Joe R. Lansdale: "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks" (an old story, recycled from Book of the Dead, 1989) (male protagonist, post-apocalyptic, zombies in the Southwest)All in all, I can't recommend this anthology. You'd be better off reading the better UF stories listed above in their original anthologies, since almost all of them are recycled.