What Will the Future Bring?

What can we expect from fiction in 2012? I predict that the best fiction 2012 will be of two opposite kinds, the ones that tackles the many current world problems which are converging to crisis point, and those that ignore it altogether. Why is this? Because the best fiction of the first kind in 2012 or any other year must necessarily focus on what is most important at that time or what people are most interested in. Naturally what is important and what interests people are not necessarily the same. But the best fiction will be concerned with one or the other.

The second category, that brand of fiction that ignores current problem entirely is just as important, just as worthwhile. For one thing, it gives the reader a vacation for worrying about things that distress him and allows the subconscious mind to do its healing work behind the scenes. The best fiction 2012 will also include entirely escapist themes. In times of crisis escapist novels sometimes play an unusual part in history because often solutions to real problems arise accidentally out of solutions to imaginary ones. The fiction of H.G. Wells probably provides the best examples of this phenomenon.

No one quite knows what to expect in 2012 though many theories abound and many people are heavily invested in their point of view as to what the future portends. I have no strong opinions of my own about what this year will bring; I have no prediction about which quarter we may expect our surprises. After all, it wouldn’t be a surprise then, would it? However, I expect the very best fiction for 2012 will have some very big surprises for the reading public, as in Gahan Hanmer’s The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality.