The Geomancer


Is There a Silver SFnal Lining to the Recession?

Been talking about the economy as relates to SF with Mark Chadbourn, whose Age of Misrule trilogy we'll be publishing in a few months. He kindly lets me repost his thoughts here:
My joint major at university was economics, and the upshot of that is I'm always out-of-cycle with everyone else. I'm worrying six months ahead of an economic downturn when everyone else is smiling, and I'm smiling when everyone else is miserable, which sometimes doesn't win friends.

It seems we're on a cusp now: a couple of months to see if the measures all Governments are introducing actually start getting people spending (which is the key in any recession - if people save everything goes into a downward spiral). But in six months we should be seeing the very early stages of an up-tick. Any company which weathers the next six months should be in a good position.

Somewhere I've got a talk I occasionally give about how genre is the marker for great social and political events. One of the strands is how SF/F/Crime always does *exceptionally* well in economically difficult times - if you plot it out on a graph, it becomes very clear. But just think with SF in the thirties and seventies. Horror, incidentally, does well in boom-times.

If I was on the stock market, I'd be advising investors to put their cash in SF/F for the next few years because, as you're finding, it's going to do really well. It would be good if someone could pitch this theory to the major chains, because if they got behind it, everyone would benefit (and it would become self-fulfilling).

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