Medium puzzles me because it is such a varied but uneven platform and I'm not sure what kinds of thinking communities hang out there. David Somerville of the Atlantic should know what he's talking about but it felt as if he was just covering all the bases.
The article is really generic and I'm not sure of the predictive value here. Dystopias are never going to not be trendy.I'd expect a shift to more eco-dystopias and natural disasters after the recent disasters in the Caribbean and Florida.
It puzzles me there's no awareness in the article of the growing influence of global literature, the exploration of refugees and their stories, the reworking of historical themes to do with slavery, plagues, diaspora journeys, reinventions of identity.
If I think about books I've ordered recently and reviews that interest me, I'd start with Curtis Dawkins The Greybar Hotel because that seems likely to revive prison memoirs. George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo has spurred debate and curiosity about a sophisticated Buddhist take on the afterlife and Tibetan mythologies. Beyond mindfulness, you might say.
Gabriel Tallent's My Absolute Darling, a shocker of a novel about an adolescent girl trying to survive her survivalist wacko father is possibly going to prompt more studies of cults and extremist groups under Trump. This might fall under what Somerville calls paranoid tribalism?
The Romantic nature writers (Helen Macdonald, Robert Macfarlane) seem to have opened a door to the spooky and haunted in the great outdoors and I'm betting that produces some great mysteries and thrillers. Dybbuks and doppelgangers, anyone? Next year, 2018, marks the end of of WWI a century ago, and I'm counting on some post-war gothic. Fascism in the 1930s as allegory for aspects of now? Historical fiction too (I'm busy with a scandalous secret history that takes place during the Anglo-Boer War on a remote farm, so I might be prejudiced).
Post-humanism perhaps, as identities become more cyborgian on the Internet,. But I'd also expect to see more reworking of the Greek and Roman classics, the odysseys, Oedipal dramas, Medeas and Cassandras coming back in 21st-century settings.
As well as all the unexpected wild cards! What kinds of books are you looking out for, @Marc Joan ?
Yes, he was kind of vaguely mentioning almost everything ... sitting on multiple fences. But then I suppose he might say that multiple different kinds of books will get published in the next year or so...
As for the kind of books I'm looking out for: what I expect to see from the publishing industry is more of the same (who can blame them -- they'll follow what they perceive to be a safe bet), regardless of precise genre / sub-genre, etc; but what I'd like to see is something which makes me forget that I'm reading, where I sit back after the last page and say to myself 'who'd have thought such characters existed? who'd have expected such a story?'
Maybe what I'd like to see is already out there, but that brings up another problem, which is the difficulty of finding pearls amongst the beachfuls of empty, rotting oysters. There are too many books being published. Literacy for the masses has been a catastrophe.
I have a feeling that, although dystopian fiction etc will always be around, in these turbulent times we might see a move towards happy endings, supernatural/Gothic novels (as MaryA says) and maybe even a resurgence of the great, sweeping family sagas that Maeve Binchy, Rosamunde Pilcher and Penny Vincenzi did so well in the 1980s. I love a family saga, me
Novels are, for me, escapism. Much as I admire fiction that tackles contemporary social themes and the darker workings of the human mind (see my love for Boneland!), these days there's enough trouble on the news to drive me into the arms of a book that's kind...not fluffy or girly, just one with great affection for its characters and a feeling at the end that all might just come good one day.
But I'm something of a sentimentalist!