Rachelle Gardner, an agent with Wordserve Literary (and a fantastic source of practical information about the publishing industry), began taking a poll on her blog a few days ago with the intention of learning more about her readers. One of the questions was "Do you write primarily fiction or non-fiction?" followed by "If fiction, what genre do you write in primarily?". 26% of responses came back "Fantasy/Sci-fi," followed by 21% in the "General/Other" category (which could potentially contain other speculative genres such as Alternate History, Steampunk, etc.). Out of the seven genre choices available in the poll, both of those percentages led by considerable margins (at least 10 percentage points).
This, while certainly the most recent, is not the first encouraging sign I've seen regarding the growing trend in Christian speculative fiction. On his website, Where the Map Ends, Jeff Gerke has posted interviews with many authors of Christian speculative fiction; read them, and you'll see some very positive and optimistic attitudes about the future of the Christian spec. fic. industry.
A lot of Christian publishing houses still seem wary about the speculative trend, but personally I think that the industry is on the cusp of what could be a massive revolution. As a Christian writer of speculative fiction, I'm extremely excited to be riding this wave. God has already done some great things in the industry, and I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing what else He has in store for the future!
What about you? Are you encouraged or discouraged by what you see in the world of Christian speculative fiction? What course do you think the trends are taking?