Robinson: For some reason, the readers who are voting with their feet are migrating from science fiction into fantasy. Basically, they've all decided they'd rather not be exposed to any story that their grandfather would not have recognized.
I don't know why that is. Just as we're entering the future, just as technology is proving itself, just when we've managed to keep 6 billion people alive where we had trouble feeding 2 billion, just as the commercial space program is taking off, suddenly everybody goes, "Let's stampede backward into the past."
Truer words were never spoken. I blame Anne McCaffery. Though I really liked her Dragonriders of Pern series, it was clear that there was a shift to fantasy with an underlying sci-fi theme.
The boom in the popularity of Japanese anime in the past 10 years began with techno-oriented storylines, woven with Oriental mysticism. Now, the genre is almost entirely mystic fantasy in nature.
Can a writer like Spider Robinson truely take a Heinlien outline without an ending and turn it into something worth reading? Lemme think about that...uh...maybe.