Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SF News: The Next Big Thing

For the past few years the bookshelves have been loaded with paranormal detective stories, which I like to refer to as Paranoir, but is the tide of literature changing again?  Sure, we all still love Sookie Stackhouse, Harry Dresden, John Taylor, and the rest of the supernatural PIs, but has their dominance finally reached the tipping point?  If it has, what would the next big thing be?

This was a question I posed recently to a few friends and we were not really sure.  Given the direction of the movies, obviously aliens are back in vogue (Avatar) as are robots (WALL-e) and spaceships (Star Trek), but does that mean a return to the classical direction of Science Fiction?  Will we start seeing more books with the classical tropes wending their way into the mix?  The answer, surprisingly, is yes!

Look at the shelves in your local friendly bookstore, and you will see more books in the Science Fiction section dealing with hard science fiction, and fewer with guys and gals in trench coats with magic wands and staves of power.  Oh, don't worry, this change is certainly not going to displace the current big kids in Paranoir overnight, and for all we know it might only be a transitory resurgence of hard SF, but who knows?  Maybe a new dawn for Space Opera is around the corner (assuming somebody starts burying Star Wars in the backyard).

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