When I was at NYC Comic Con last October, most of the science fiction and fantasy titles announced involved shifters. A few years before that, vampires were a bigger deal due to the Twilight craze (I think Team Jacob spurred the shifter trend) which has been winding its way back down.
I think I was lucky to spend my childhood in the late 90s, when it was a bigger, darker scene for sci-fi and fantasy. The teen horror, sci-fi, and fantasy realms were run by R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Tamora Pierce, K.A. Applegate and quite a few other awesome people I can’t recall at the moment. Nickelodeon aired “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” while Disney Channel had “So Weird.” Dark stories for teens like The Hunger Games weren’t as uncommon, they were actually closer to the norm for children’s books at the time.
The first time I picked up on SFF trends, it was when Buffy hit the scene. Suddenly, it was vampires everywhere. It was at the tail end of that when Harry Potter became popular. There was also a bit of alien/space opera still lingering from The X-Files and Firefly. The witch trend was next, which had Harry Potter and Charmed and some other book series I can’t quite recall. During college I kind of lost track of most media, but I think the it was the Twilight vampire bandwagon again, then followed by few fey stories were big those years. Shifters/paranormal romance have now overtaken the scene but I feel like that’s winding down.
While I was meandering around the Regency era (I usually didn’t care for historical romance before), I started noticing that more historical paranormal and steampunk novels have been coming out. Then looking at the Nebula Awards Nominees, there were more than two entries that fall into that category. For an obscure sub-genre like historical paranormal to have that many entrants is peculiar. I think that will be the next genre to get major print, especially after Supernatural’s Wild West episode airs, that might just be it’s shotgun to the race.