Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Useful Apps for an Urban Fantasy Heroine

Urban Fantasy heroines (and heroes) have the distinct privilege of using modern technology along with various magical advantages as part of their butt-kicking arsenals. The blending of these two things in unique and fun ways is one of the coolest aspects of the genre, at least for me. Witches are skrying via the internet, wizards use drumsticks as wands, and of course, everyone loves a cutting-edge firearm with specialty supernatural ammo.

It’s also true that magic and technology are often viewed as opposing forces, and many UF characters tend to shy away from embracing the techy stuff. Aside from occasionally tapping the internet for research, you don’t see many heroines embracing neoteric advances to their fullest potential. Most only use their cell phone to (gasp!) make phone calls. Granted, it’s hard to find time for social networking when you’ve got vamps and demons knocking down your door, but there are plenty of ways that new gadgets could be a big help for a heroine on the go.

Especially when it comes to fictional worlds where the supernatural is known to the public and monsters are an everyday occurrence. I got to thinking about what types of websites, message boards and other commonly used conveniences a UF heroine could utilize. In particular, I considered all the phone apps that serve me well every day, and how cool it would be for a busy heroine to have a few on hand for when she forgets a key ingredient in her potion, or needs pronunciation guides to perform spells in ancient languages, or to look up if that particular demon has four claws or five.

Imagine my glee when I discovered that some of these apps already exist, and can be found in your app store. Check ‘em out:

Pagan Deities by Lazy Yards, and Pagan Gods by AppCore - Easy access to your favorite ancient gods

The Encyclopedia of Demons by UAKA - You never know when you might need to identify one of these pesky mooks

Jewish Magic by Qbiki Networks - For the active Kabbalist

Stones in Magic by Lazy Yards - Covers gemstones, crystals, etc. and their various magical uses and properties

Ghost Radar Classic by Spud Pickles, and Ghost Detector Pro by Purple, Inc. - Both apps are free, so I guess you just have to test each one and see which works better, LOL

Mythical Creatures by William Habdas - When you find out that they’re real, you’ll need to get the skinny on what you’re dealing with

Vampires Myths by Lan Man - If you’re new to the world of bloodsuckers and need a brief primer

Werewolf Locator by Sebastien Mougey - Don’t let that hairy beast sneak up on you, be prepared

WitchCraft Handbook, Wicca Spells, and Spell book Pro all by AppCore; plus Spells and Witchcraft Handbook by Lazy Yards - Forget that bulky handwritten Book of Shadows

There’s also a slew of Tarot, astrology, runes, and other divinatory apps to choose from, and probably a bunch more I didn‘t get to. I gotta say, even though most of these are strictly for entertainment purposes (heh), I’m still amazed that there are so many out there. Buffy would be proud.

If any of you have tried some of these, I’d love to know what you think. What kind of app would your fantasy characters like to use?



Marsha A. Moore said...

Very cool info! Like you, I had imagined these sorts of apps for my characters, but didn't know they really existed. Will check some out. Thanks!

Ella Gray said...

Glad you like them, Marsha. Enjoy!

Shelley Munro said...

I'd never considered this sort of app before. What a great idea. Off to check them out.

Ella Gray said...

Have fun with them, Shelley :-)

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