Though it is mostly focused on sci-fi, Guardian UK blogger Damien G. Walter throws in a little horror into his consideration of a post-science fiction world. We should note that Walter sees a distinction between "sci-fi" and "science fiction." Perhaps that's a UK thing - can any international readers enlighten us? Anywho, from the blog post:
But even as sci-fi powers its way to full spectrum dominance of the cultural battlefield, many readers and writers of speculative fiction are looking at the banners proclaiming Mission Accomplished with, if not awe, then certainly shock. Among these readers, sci-fi is a term of derision, in much the same way that literary fiction would reject being labelled as soap opera simply because it happens to have similarities with EastEnders. Sci-fi is at best a dilution, at worst an absolute corruption of the ideas born out of fantasy, horror and science fiction over their long history. The wave of sci-fi overwhelming the mass media today, while often fun, is rarely on the level of the best those genres have to offer.
Yet the literary tradition that has its roots in HG Wells and Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe and George MacDonald, that grew through the writing of Tolkien, Lieber, Howard, Heinlein, Clarke and Asimov, and branched into the modern genres of fantasy, horror and science fiction, may have reached its fruition. The modern mythology of speculative fiction that those writers shaped is now as familiar to modern audiences as their everyday lives. Alien civilisations, robot overlords, zombie uprisings, elven nations and starships have become a lingua franca for artists of all kinds to draw on, whether to create light-hearted entertainments or to use as metaphors to explore the darkest recesses of human psychology and society.
The walls that defined speculative fiction as a genre are quickly tumbling down. They are being demolished from within by writers such as China Miéville and Jon Courtney Grimwood, and scaled from the outside by the likes of Michael Chabon and Lev Grossman. And they are being ignored altogether by a growing number of writers with the ambition to create great fiction, and the vision to draw equally on genre and literary tradition to achieve that goal.
So the question for today is, can we imagine a what post-horror-ghetto world would look like? Is it even possible?