Huh. In reading Salman Rushdie’s introduction to Midnight’s Children, I came across this passage in which he describes his debt to Dickens:

Dickens for his great, rotting, Bombay-like city, and his ability to root his larger-than-life characters and surrealist imagery in a sharply observed, almost hyperrealistic background, out of which the comic and fantastic elements of his work seem to grow organically, becoming intensifications of, and not escapes from, the real world.

Doesn’t that sound like the sublime recipe for writing urban fantasy? Looks like I need to read me some more Dickens…