Trends in Science Fiction

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I’m getting ready to write one of my columns. I have a list of things I want to discuss, but I started wondering: What do other people consider to be the hottest topics in science fiction right now?

I’ve opened this little post to comments, so if you have any ideas, please post them.

5 thoughts on “Trends in Science Fiction

  1. If my television viewing is saying something, take-offs from “The Medium,” have done pretty well. Even “Psyche” is a spoof on the whole thought of mind-reading. But a serious novel that uses mind-reading in a setting that draws together your mystery themes along with your Retrieval series, (which you have done) but either go serious with the Medium thing or do a spoof. The Heroes thing, I think, is already getting tiresome. A rejuvenation of that may work, particularly if there were some graphics included. Graphics are working real well, as you and Dean know. That’s what I’m picking up these days. Galatica is on its way off the air and Star Trek, as a tv series, died. But a movie is on the way. I still think that Species (whatever, can never remember) and the Breem teaming together to knock off the Alpha and Beta universes that would include Q coming to save the day…too much? Okay. But, we must remember, DS9 has yet to bring back Cisco, put Warf into a different mode, reenergize TNG and Voyager, all exist during the same time period. They have villains yet to conquer and remember, Janeway made headway with the Borg but they’re still there, too. A mighty war of the universes would be powerful. Do a series like Fey. Okay, enough

  2. I think sf did itself no favors when it started “building” on itself, saying you couldn’t publish something because it had been done before, and destroying the sense of wonder. We’ve moved out of that era now more or less, but we’ve driven a lot of readers away. As for general audiences not understanding time travel…um, doesn’t your agent know about Lost?

  3. Kris, it’s interesting that readers say they are scared of s/f when they watch it in movies all the time. And yet, when I suggested adding an “alternate dimension” to the sequel to my time travel novel (which had already sold fairly well), my agent told me NO WAY–“it’s too much sci/fi for a general audience to understand.” I don’t agree. I could be wrong, but I’m hoping that writers will be able to translate sci/fi elements to general audiences in the same way that it’s been done in movies and TV. Perhaps the trick to it is doing it well enough to get the gen/aud to go along. If movies and TV are any model, story and character should come first, and the sci/fi needs to be simple enough for the broad consumers’ palate. (Oddly enough, like JD Robb!)

    This isn’t to say that hard-core sci/fi isn’t done well, but that perhaps a general audience just needs it done differently. They don’t live for clank or quarks; they live for the excitement and fun a writer can generate, and I’m not sure they care how it’s done or what elements are included, as long as it’s done well.

  4. Actually, Crystal, it helps a lot. Especially the scared of sf stuff. That’s my sense too, and it’s nice to see it confirmed. Well, not nice, since that’s something we have to change as sf writers/readers. But good to know.

    I do appreciate your comments on the Recommended Reading list too. I’m just finishing up March’s now, so it’s nice to know that the list is being read–and is useful!

  5. It’s hard to say. I read things as I come across them, it’s not always the latest stuff. Often my choice is based on recommendations from friends. I’ve found your recommendations quite good.

    I work in a public library in Melbourne, Australia. The most popular book at the moment is Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Currently 139 people have a reservation on it. So I guess vampires are hot.

    Fantasy appears to be more popular than what I would call ‘straight’ SF. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings may have had something to do with that.

    I do get the impression that a lot of the ‘general public’ are scared of science fiction. I’m not sure why. They either think they’re not smart enough or they won’t relate to the content. I had one lady tell me she couldn’t possibly read SF, then went on to tell me how much she loves J.D. Robb, who’s stories are set in the future. (!?!)

    Sorry, that probably doesn’t help a lot.

    Just before I hit the submit button, just like to say that I love your blog it’s been a great reference source and has often given me some great titles that I order for the library.

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