I’ve gotten back in to podcasts, especially on my quiet 10 hour Sunday shift. This week I was listening to old episodes of Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan. In one of the episodes they mention liking shows set in closed communities with a focus on conflicts, relationships and rules created by a result of the characters being stuck with one another. Examples of TV shows include Battlestar Galactica (few humans left, stuck in space together, old society destroyed), Sons of Anarchy (motorcycle club in a small town), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (only a few people know about the supernatural side of Sunnydale). Somehow I hadn’t identified this specifically as one of the forms I LOVE.

On a personal level, this theme resonates with me. For most of my life I lived in very closed communities, the first was a small town over two hours from a traffic light, the second was a community centered on the religious schools where I studied and later taught. The internet changed my life as the online communities I joined were larger than the ones where I lived. My most important discovery was learning that if I didn’t get along with someone, I didn’t have to find some way to maintain a forced friendship.

When thinking about the Urban Fantasy I enjoy reading, there are certainly similar closed worlds, but I can’t think of many with an ensemble cast along the lines of the shows I mentioned above. I would imagine it is difficult to keep a novel focused if there are as many character arcs to wrangle as a multi-season television show manages. This may also be a result of the types of UF I tend to pick up-the ones with a chick sporting tattoos or a weapon on the cover. Does anyone have recommendations for closed community UF with an ensemble cast? Most of the series I can think of either have one lead character and a supporting cast, or focus on a different character each novel, though protagonists from the past may show up again, they often haven’t grown or changed much from the last book.

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