From a short, but substantive interview with the late Poul Anderson in 1975:
TANGENT: What do you think of the cycles and trends in science fiction, if they exist at all?
ANDERSON: Well, I think Algis Budrys put it very well once—a passing remark in a review or something: ‘Trends are for second-raters.’ There seems to be an occasional bandwagon, but what really happens is somebody has come along and broken new ground, done something original, and it’s worth exploring, you know, so naturally we all get interested—a lot of us try ourselves out in it too. But as far as making that an all-time direction or something, that is only what people incapable of originality would do. The originators, the ground breakers, they’ve gone on to something else.
I think, basically, that Jim Baen is right in his new direction. Not that there should be any declared moratorium on down-beat stories, but it does look as if that theme has been pretty well worked out, for the time being at least. What new disasters can you think of that haven’t already been done? (Laughs) You get these cycles, you know, about ten years or so ago, there was such a rash of stories, about psionics especially, and we all got sick of ‘psi’, and about ten years before that there’d been such a rash of anti-utopian things, especially bad imitations of The Space Merchants. I at least got the feeling that if I read one more of those I’d have to go and throw up.
In other words, this relentless push for multiculturalism, female authors, and diversity on the part of the SF publishers, too, shall pass.
In not entirely unrelated news, the third volume in Brian Niemeier’s Soul Cycle series, THE SECRET KINGS, has been released.