Any recent "avant-garde" trends in SFF?

tegeus-Cromis

a better poet than swordsman
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Slipstream, interstitial, bizarro fiction, the New Weird are all 20+ years old. Have there been any more recent such named trends or movements?
 
I have to wonder if we are kiving in a post-trend age for writing. I'll bet it is much less of a club than it ever was.
 
I have to wonder if we are kiving in a post-trend age for writing. I'll bet it is much less of a club than it ever was.

Science fiction themes tend to be cumulative in the sense that themes come to science fiction and after a peak of interest and experimentation tend to settle down to a steady turn out of new stories. Think space opera, cli-fi. cyberpunk, alternaivte history, new wave etc and how they never really disappeared. They're still with us on tick-over.

With so many themes joining science fiction and the inevitable mash-ups between such themes, it may look like a spaghetti mess of old stuff to many people. The greater spectrum of what already exists weighs against any new themes that could come along, just be looking at the numbers of sub-genres. As for new sub-genres to come, maybe:
  • gene-ism – the impact of altering genes in the human, fauna and flora species
  • engineering impact – the ability to alter our surroundings to make our lives more interesting or easier (this differs from science impact because it takes into account the practicalities that need to be dealt with in the story one way or another)
  • life-differentials – with the difference in life-spans becoming ever greater for various reasons, how are people going to react to each other and why
  • habitat influencing – where the habitat for humans changes and how their physical and mental well-being are affected over the generations
  • quantum physics impact - there have been tentative forays into this subject, but it still needs to be grappled with in depth and via nuance.
 
Science fiction themes tend to be cumulative in the sense that themes come to science fiction and after a peak of interest and experimentation tend to settle down to a steady turn out of new stories. Think space opera, cli-fi. cyberpunk, alternaivte history, new wave etc and how they never really disappeared. They're still with us on tick-over.

With so many themes joining science fiction and the inevitable mash-ups between such themes, it may look like a spaghetti mess of old stuff to many people. The greater spectrum of what already exists weighs against any new themes that could come along, just be looking at the numbers of sub-genres. As for new sub-genres to come, maybe:
  • gene-ism – the impact of altering genes in the human, fauna and flora species
  • engineering impact – the ability to alter our surroundings to make our lives more interesting or easier (this differs from science impact because it takes into account the practicalities that need to be dealt with in the story one way or another)
  • life-differentials – with the difference in life-spans becoming ever greater for various reasons, how are people going to react to each other and why
  • habitat influencing – where the habitat for humans changes and how their physical and mental well-being are affected over the generations
  • quantum physics impact - there have been tentative forays into this subject, but it still needs to be grappled with in depth and via nuance.
You can find those subjects going back to the '60s. But I don't think the relative frequency of certain subjects is really the same as trends in style, like those listed in the subject line, or something like grimdark, steampunk, etc.

What I was getting at is that the writing world is a bit more fractured than it ever was before, and there is less of an obvious conduit for a trend to propogate through than in the days of traditional publishing. More people are writing, fewer people are reading and there are a multitude of places to discuss fiction. That environment encourages diversity but makes it harder for large trends to gain steam.
 
You can find those subjects going back to the '60s. But I don't think the relative frequency of certain subjects is really the same as trends in style, like those listed in the subject line, or something like grimdark, steampunk, etc.

What I was getting at is that the writing world is a bit more fractured than it ever was before, and there is less of an obvious conduit for a trend to propogate through than in the days of traditional publishing. More people are writing, fewer people are reading and there are a multitude of places to discuss fiction. That environment encourages diversity but makes it harder for large trends to gain steam.

Happy you are citing other factors contributing to the lack of trending.

The method in my madness for picking the trendy subjects for tomorrow is because that is where research is producing a slew of useful technology advances that will get to market or are issues we're going to have to face in reality in the near future. Both these reasons have in the past produced mini-trends before.
 
Happy you are citing other factors contributing to the lack of trending.

The method in my madness for picking the trendy subjects for tomorrow is because that is where research is producing a slew of useful technology advances that will get to market or are issues we're going to have to face in reality in the near future. Both these reasons have in the past produced mini-trends before.
But do those subjects relate to how the story is written in terms of style?
 
You mean like Urban Fantasy? That's more of a more recent 'style' I guess. It also broke off into several sub-genres.
Urban fantasy seems to be similar to the intersticial and slipstream in the OP. Like cyberpunk, they contain specific subject matter, but are also a style or aesthetic.

Kind of like how a pulp/noir is often a detective story, but has a style separate from mystery in general.
 
Science fiction themes tend to be cumulative in the sense that themes come to science fiction and after a peak of interest and experimentation tend to settle down to a steady turn out of new stories. Think space opera, cli-fi. cyberpunk, alternaivte history, new wave etc and how they never really disappeared. They're still with us on tick-over.

With so many themes joining science fiction and the inevitable mash-ups between such themes, it may look like a spaghetti mess of old stuff to many people. The greater spectrum of what already exists weighs against any new themes that could come along, just be looking at the numbers of sub-genres. As for new sub-genres to come, maybe:
  • gene-ism – the impact of altering genes in the human, fauna and flora species
  • engineering impact – the ability to alter our surroundings to make our lives more interesting or easier (this differs from science impact because it takes into account the practicalities that need to be dealt with in the story one way or another)
  • life-differentials – with the difference in life-spans becoming ever greater for various reasons, how are people going to react to each other and why
  • habitat influencing – where the habitat for humans changes and how their physical and mental well-being are affected over the generations
  • quantum physics impact - there have been tentative forays into this subject, but it still needs to be grappled with in depth and via nuance.
Who is writing New Wave sf now please?
 
Romantasy (a romance novel plot in a fantasy setting) is big among the youths and in the tiktok scene--Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros topped the charts last year, but Sarah J. Maas has been writing in a similar genre since 2012, with great success. (Arguably Mercedes Lackey was already doing this in the 80s, but "romantasy" seems to be a separate, modern marketing category.) Not my personal cup of tea, but I'm happy for pretty much anything that gets folks reading. Interestingly, I haven't noticed a similar trend of sci-fi romance (romancifi? sci-fomance?).
 
Who is writing New Wave sf now please?
It has been subsumed into much of the sf written over the last 50 years, and I don’t think it is really a distinct thing now in the same way it was when it first started to gel in the late 1960s.
 
Romantasy
seems to me this has been true of science fiction as well. Star Trek went that route on tv with TNG.
The X-Files too (I had forgotten Scully and Mulder were romantically involved by the show's end--the second feature film was jarring in that regard).
Same with superheroes--the Black Widow and the Hulk are an item?

Ay carumba.
 
Post-Extinction SF, where the species of plants, animals, fungi etc have to deal with the world left after the passing of the humans
 
Post-Extinction SF, where the species of plants, animals, fungi etc have to deal with the world left after the passing of the humans
Is this really a new avant garde trend in SF? I've seen nothing that meets this description in all my reading of the current literature.
 

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