The speculative fiction category can seem as infinite as time and space, with its myriad subgenres, sprawling series, and license to delve into any period of history, real or imagined.

In this feature, PW explores a few of the themes emerging in the coming seasons. “Of Courts and Conspiracies” looks at what George R.R. Martin hath wrought and asks whether there’s a light at the end of the grimdark tunnel. “Paths Not Taken” discusses the latest eras getting the alternate-history treatment, and “Distant Stars and Earthly Concerns” explains why publishers are singing the praises of space opera. Finally, in “Beyond One Thousand and One Nights,” we look at the burgeoning Arabic SF scene.

Below, more on the subject of science fiction and fantasy books.

Of Courts and Conspiracies: Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2015–2016

A Game of Thrones set the grimdark tone for modern epic fantasy, but what comes next?

Path Not Taken: Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2015–2016

Authors continue to rewrite history, imagining everything from a Napoleonic War fought with dragons to magic in the Wild West.

Distant Stars and Earthly Concerns: Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2015–2016

Space adventure, a classic SF subgenre, is flying high.

Beyond One Thousand and One Nights: Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2015–2016

Genre fiction is gaining ground in the Middle East—and, slowly, the books are moving West.

To Be Continued: Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2015–2016

A sampling of forthcoming titles in ongoing fantasy, alt history, and space adventure series.