Damo’s SF prophecies for 2011

It’s a snowin’ in the British Isles, and it’s put me in mind of the coming end of year. So. I have decided to start a new tradition around these parts, and make my predictions for the key trends in SF in the year to come! And now with no further ado we present…

Damo’s SF prophecies for 2011

1. A New Hope – a full on speculative fiction book will be shortlisted for the Booker prize. It’s most likely to be an SF book dealing with actual science because…

2. Science Fiction Strikes Back! – …Science Fiction returns to publishers lists and readers imaginations. The success of The Quantum and The Wind-Up Girl are indicative of things to come. Science Fiction is back in fashion.

3. Return of the Epic Fantasy – assuming George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire makes it to the screen in its new HBO serial format, Epic Fantasy will sweep away all opposition as the sub-genre of choice for commercial publishers out to make a buck.

4. The Phantom Markets – despite ongoing rumours to the contrary, short fiction will not die. A few markets will close, a few will open. Writers of short fiction will continue not making a living.

5. Attack of the Lycanthrope – werewolves will have a brief outing as fandom fad of the month. Paul Jessup’s Werewolves will be seen as the origin point by those in the know.

6. Revenge of the Pop Hits – a solid mid-list SF writer will have a break-out pop hit with a song and video based on their writing. They will appear naked in the video. (So its unlikely I admit, all the more reason to MAKE IT HAPPEN.)

Check back next year to see how I do. If I get less than 3 of 6 I will perform a forfit of some kind. Make your nominations and your own SF prophecies below.

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10 thoughts on “Damo’s SF prophecies for 2011”

  1. Iain M Banks — I should be so lucky (Kylie Minogue Cover) 5/4 favourite
    Charles Stross — Big Red GTO (Sinitta cover) 2/1
    Vernor Vinge — Rebel Rebel (David Bowie) 4/1
    Alistair Reynolds — I fell in love with a starship trooper (Sarah Brightman) 5/1
    Neil Gaiman — Da doo ron ron 11/1
    Kim Stanley Robinson — Maid of Orleans (Orchestral Manouvers in the Dark) 25/1
    Robert Silverberg and Isaac Asimov — My Little Red Book (Burt Bacharach) 100/1 outsider

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  2. Loving the optimism, Damien. And my money’s on a Tori Amos cover of Stardust with Gaiman prancing around in the background a la Kate Bush circa Wuthering Heights.

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  3. I predict someone will take ‘I am Legend’ and filter Jane Austen characters into it.

    BTW, on io9 there are HD shots from Ice and Fire. Looks good.

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  4. Hey Damien,

    That was an entertaining post.

    Looking at your list:

    1. A New Hope – a full on speculative fiction book will be shortlisted for the Booker prize. It’s most likely to be an SF book dealing with actual science because…

    I still think this is unlikely because there remains an astonishing amount of snobbery out there. However, of the books marketed as SF, I think How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe is probably a good shout. It has the experimental style to be popular with Booker Judges.

    Though I don’t think that SF actually needs exposure in the mainstream through this award.

    On a song of ice and fire.

    One of my friends has worked on this show (steady – he’s a stuntman with one line of dialogue!). He tells me that if this show isn’t a hit he’ll stop being a stuntman and go back to working for Scotrail.

    On this point

    2. Science Fiction Strikes Back! – …Science Fiction returns to publishers lists and readers imaginations. The success of The Quantum and The Wind-Up Girl are indicative of things to come. Science Fiction is back in fashion.

    I’d be careful with your predication there! I think, and have written elsewhere, that SF is still in danger of reaching the saturation point Horror did in the 90s. I am regularly disappointed by some of the SF novels I’ve been reading and the shelves are becoming stuffed with Disneyfied Victoriana and romance novels in a different wrapper. Beware! I hope my prediction is completely wrong. If we follow horror’s example then remember that there’s precious little movement in the horror genre (even now)…

    To floppybootstomp:

    I salute your song choices. Please put me down for a pony on Alistair Reynolds. He’s got good form when the going’s good to soft and he likes to be given the bit.

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  5. Regarding your point 5, werewolf novels are already fashionable and have been for several years, though not quite as fashionable as vampires.

    Case in point: Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series, Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series, Kit Whitfield’s Bareback/Benighted, Eileen Wilkes’ Lupi series, Caitlin Kitteredge’s Nocturne City series, Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten, Stolen and Frozen, Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenkins series, Maggie Stiefvater’s Linger and Shiver and many others.

    Paul Jessup’s Werewolves and Mark Millar’s Lonely Werewolf Girl are both very fine works, but the trend is already there.

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