Since most of my predictions for 2009 came true–I predicted in 2008, for example, that I would end my 2009 Booklife/Finch tour reading from a storage closet in an Atlanta bar and that the blogosphere would come apart at the seams during a harmless discussion of magazine pay rates–I’ve decided to again put forth some knowledgeable mutterings about the year to come.
(1) I predict that China Mieville will publish a novel about squid and that it will be odd. I predict this because you could see this coming as early as 2003, when City of Saints & Madmen came out in the U.S. China’s entry in the bibliography of “King Squid”–Naughty Lisp and the Squid–points to an unhealthy obsession–one I used to share, but which I have since put behind me.
(2) Because Jane Austen has so much to answer for now, scientists will clone her by combining her DNA with the DNA of a woolly mammoth and she will appear before the International Court on charges of Ridiculous Cross-Pollution, the resulting mash-up called Pride of the Courtly Cave Bears.
(Baby mammoth, or a resurrected Jane Austen?)
(2) Margaret Atwood will announce her new invention, on which she has been hard at work for the past few years: The Infernal Claw. This device, which has replaced her right hand and wrist, is indeed a steel claw hooked up to a machine that allows her, even in her sleep, to remotely sign readers’ books. Her books will now come with nanotechnology embedded in the title pages so that she may randomly and without warning sign your copy of her latest novel. The ectoplasmic, alt-world doppelganger of The Infernal Claw will use the nanotechnology on the title page as a portal through which to enter your brain and both tickle it and convince you to admit that you do not write science fiction (and, in many cases, this will be true).