I’m not at all so sure that the connection between current crisis and future speculation (or speculative futures) is as straightforward as Felix Gilman suggests at Ecstatic Days, but I find these questions quite the fascinating nevertheless:
Economic collapse, the heat death of the earth, and the forthcoming resource wars of the 2010s: what do these things mean for genre fiction? Some subgenres will prosper, presumably, others will decline. As we are plunged into a real-life gothic-punk nightmare, what people are looking for in escapism and exoticism seems likely to change.
What’s going to happen to all those books about gritty decaying Dickensian cities once we’re all actually living in one?
Test case: pirates. There’s been a bit of a resurgence of pirate stories recently. Fun and light-hearted escapism, with just a touch of tongue-in-cheek jokiness. What’s going to happen to the demand for pirate stories now that pirates are actually a problem again?