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National News

Tuesday, 16 October, 2007 11:28 PM

Science Fiction: How The Cult Became A $200 Million Industry

Who would have thought that the geek in the corner reading about aliens attacking the world in 2080 AD could be holding one of the most lucrative pieces of literature in today’s marketplace? Although many may laugh at fans of science fiction, little do they know of the power of science fiction as an industry.

John Ringo, respected science fiction authority and best-selling author, reveals the hidden facts that describe the popularity of the industry. “The science fiction genre is such a wildly popular genre that it generates over 200 MILLION dollars a year in book sales. It has 11 sub-genres, all generating big numbers consistently. And guess what? In the past two years of television, the highest rated debuts were for sci-fi shows. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

So the question remains: how has science fiction evolved from the pinnacle of geekdom to such a booming industry? The answer is simple: it predicts the future of today’s hot-button issues. Before society’s view of the future was one of a far off era, but today it seems within reach. A quick glance back to the sci-fi movies of the 80’s and 90’s prove that science fiction did have a pretty realistic grasp on the future (bar the Terminator of course)!

This growing appeal stems from the realization that stories about the future are predicated on today’s knowledge. Think back to a popular TV show that first hit the airwaves in the late 1950’s, “The Twilight Zone.” Rod Serling’s ability to put an eerie twist on seemingly normal events captivated fans. As Serling described it, “Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.”

“Today, science fiction stories featuring the consequences of humankind’s destruction of the environment or the role of female military leaders are truly signs of our time. They are a fictional but realistic extrapolation of issues that impact ours and future generations,” says Ringo.

A winning example of the science fiction industry’s popularity is the success of the numerous conventions or ‘cons’. Here enthusiastic fans travel across the nation, or around the world, to attend festivals of suspended reality which feature guest appearances by science fiction authors, actors and characters.

Ringo himself uses these conventions to promote his books, such as his new release “Sister Time” (published by Baen Books). Tens of thousands of fans show up to enjoy the festivities. “Some of the cons have grown to astonishing proportions,” says Ringo. “Dragon Con in Atlanta boasts about 30,000 fans. It’s gotten enormous. Then there’s Comic Con in San Francisco which attracts more than 125,000 fans. Last year, the Fire Marshall shut down the convention center because there were too many people!”

With growing popularity and huge monetary returns, science fiction continually builds its fan base by catering to the desires of it’s fans. This explosive growth has transformed science fiction from the butt of Star Trek jokes to a market that boasts some of the most educated and forward-thinking consumers. And when it comes to the future, who doesn’t want to hang with the forward-thinking crowd?

ABOUT JOHN RINGO

John Ringo had visited 23 countries and attended 14 schools by the time he graduated high school. This left him with a wonderful appreciation of the oneness of humanity and a permanent aversion to foreign food.

He studied marine biology but the pay wasn’t so great. So he turned to database management where the pay was much better. Ringo later became a professional science fiction writer. He is author of the New York Times best-selling series “The Posleen Wars,” comprised of A Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, When the Devil Dances, Hell’s Faire, and Cally’s War. He has also done stints as an op-ed writer for the New York Post and a guest commentator for Fox News.

With his younger years spent in the 82nd Airborne, cave diving, rock-climbing, rappelling, hunting, spear-fishing and sailing, Ringo is now happy to let other people risk their necks. He prefers to read, and of course, write science fiction and hang out in cigar bars.

Source: NewsandExperts.com

 

 

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