Thanks to Larry for pointing this out!
Since I brought you guys Lilith Saintcrow and Carrie Vaughn's takes on the urban fantasy subgenre, here are M. John Harrison's thoughts on the subject.
Taken from his blog:
Urban fantasy: the domestication of a few images & behavioural tics which were barely unacceptable in the first place. It was a frisson obtained not so much by glamourising or romanticising the disordered (though it did both) as by denying or correcting the trait paradigms of some common dysfunctional behaviours. It cleaned up what it claimed to be representing & always drew its conclusions from a safe space outside dysfunctionality. A normative manouevre, defining a “good” dysfunctionality (he’s an anorexic self-harming killer elf but he’s our anorexic self-harming killer elf), urban fantasy was often described as having an edge. As a result, by the late 80s, “edgy” had become the publishing synonym for “young adult”. Later, even in publishing, it came to have the same meaning as “bland”.
As was the case with Saintcrow's piece last December, I'm sure that not everyone will agree with Harrison. . .