Emma Bull

Emma Bull

Emma Bull — Author. Emma is an Early Urban Fantasy—part of the first wave of contemporary urban fantasy. 

Website Edit

Emma Bull


Urban Fantasy (Pioneer) / Fantasy

About the AuthorEdit

Emma Bull

Two of Emma’s favorite childhood memories are of typing out nonsense words on her parents’ black Royal manual typewriter, and watching the neighbor mow the lawn. She went to Beloit College, where she majored in English, then moved to Minneapolis, where there are two seasons: Snow removal and road repair. (Or, as it sometimes seems, snow repair and road removal.)

After that, she moved back to her native southern California, where she would’ve driven with the top down if she’d had a convertible. She was a resident of the Republic of Bisbee (AZ) and loved it (except on the few days of the year when there was snow). And now she’s living in Tucson, Arizona, where she would ride the range if she had a pony. But she does have a great cowboy hat.

She’s written novels, screenplays, a children’s book, and short stories. She and her husband, Will Shetterly, are members of the Interstate Writers’ Workshop, aka The Scribblies. Emma and Will conduct writing workshops now and then; they’ve taught in Los Angeles, at Clarion West, the Pima Writers Workshop, and elsewhere.

Emma played guitar and sang in the Flash Girls, a goth-folk duo. She was a member of Cats Laughing, a psychedelic improv folk-jazz band that included Steven Brust, Adam Stemple, Lojo Russo, and Bill Colsher.

She is the producer for Shadow Unit, a webfiction project she shares with Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, Will Shetterly, and Amanda Downum. It combines novella-length episodes of a series story with hypertext “DVD extras” and character on-line journals. Contributing writers in its eight-episode second “season” include Holly Black and Leah Bobet. ~ Emma Bull

Credited For Edit

Emma Bull is widely credited as having invented a genre. If you like urban fantasy, urban paranormal romance, and pretty much anything else that involves supernatural creatures in a city, you owe a big thank you to Emma Bull. ~ War for the Oaks by Emma Bull: A Guest Review

Trademark StyleEdit

Books & Series Edit

Series Title Genre Supernatural Elements
War for the Oaks (1987) Early UF faeries
Borderland series Early UF anthology series
Shadow Unit series UF? action-adventure police procedural with fantasy elements (with Elizabeth Bear and others)

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

Other WritingsEdit


many, many more...


  • Falcon (1985)
  • War for the Oaks (1987)
  • Bone Dance (1991)
  • Finder: A Novel of the Borderlands (1994)
  • The Princess and the Lord of Night (1994)
  • Freedom and Necessity (1997) (with Steven Brust)
  • Territory (2007)


About the Author Edit

Emma Bull 

Bio: Emma Bull is a science fiction and fantasy author whose best-known novel is War for the Oaks, one of the pioneering works of urban fantasy. She has participated in Terri Windling's Borderland shared universe, which is the setting of her 1994 novel Finder. She sang in the rock-funk band Cats Laughing, and both sang and played guitar in the folk duo The Flash Girls while living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Her 1991 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel Bone Dance was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. Bull wrote a screenplay for War for the Oaks, which was made into an 11-minute mini-film designed to look like a film trailer. She made a cameo appearance as the Queen of the Seelie Court, and her husband, Will Shetterly, directed. Bull and Shetterly created the shared universe of Liavek, for which they have both written stories. There are five Liavek collections extant.

She was a member of the writing group The Scribblies, which included Will Shetterly as well as Pamela Dean, Kara Dalkey, Nate Bucklin, Patricia Wrede and Steven Brust. With Steven Brust, Bull wrote Freedom and Necessity (1997), an epistolary novel with subtle fantasy elements set during the 19th century United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Chartist movement.

Bull graduated from Beloit College in 1976. Bull and Shetterly live in Arizona. ~ Goodreads | Emma Bull

Cover Artists Edit

  • Artist: Shelley Eshkar
  • Artist: Pamela Patrick (1987, 1996 editions)

Publishing InformationEdit

Publishers: Tor Teen, 

  • Author Page:

Awards Edit

  • Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature nominee (1988) : War for the Oaks
  • Philip K Dick Award nominee (1991) : Bone Dance
  • Hugo Best Novel nominee (1992) : Bone Dance
  • Nebula Best Novel nominee (1992) : Bone Dance
  • World Fantasy Best Novel nominee (1992) : Bone Dance
  • Nebula nominee (1993) : Silver or Gold
  • Locus Award (1988: Best First Novel)
  • Geffen Award (Finalist, 2006: Best Translated Fantasy Book)

Quotes Edit

Goodreads | Emma Bull Quotes (Author of War for the Oaks)

Read Alikes Edit

Mystical hidden worlds (i.e. Faerie) within contemporary society:

~ Author Read-alikes | concretefantasy

Trivia Edit

See Also Edit

External References Edit



Free eBooks

Summaries, Reviews:


The World, Characters, etc:


Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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