People crave to be transported out of the mundane world into a place that is new and wondrous, and that is what speculative fiction does best.”

— David Farland

With seven out of the top ten grossing movies of all time being science fiction and fantasy, it’s no wonder that Hollywood’s future is seen to reside with the writers of science fiction and fantasy, or more specifically the winners of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest according to David Farland, screenwriter, NYT bestselling author, and Writers of the Future Contest coordinating judge.

“The mentality is simple in Hollywood: if it makes money, you do it. And if it keeps making money, you keep doing it,” says Farland. “And for reasons that are very simple, science fiction and fantasy have proven time and again to be huge moneymakers.” The top ten grossing movies of all time, of which seven are science fiction or fantasy, include:

  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Avatar
  • Titanic
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • The Lion King
  • Jurassic World
  • The Avengers
  • Furious 7
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

And while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is rapidly closing in on this list, the total number of science fiction and fantasy in the top ten will remain at seven.

“All of the top-grossing movies of all time have one thing in common,” Farland says. “They all take the viewer to another time, another place. People crave to be transported out of the mundane world into a place that is new and wondrous, and that is what speculative fiction does best.”

Farland was the grand prize winner of the Writers of the Future Contest in 1987 and has since gone on to publish over fifty novels, with several becoming NYT bestsellers. Due to his success, he later became a contest judge, a video game designer, and a screenwriter.

“L. Ron Hubbard was a very prolific fiction writer during the 30s and 40s, and wrote several works that are classics in their field. He worked as a writer for Columbia Pictures for the highly successful movie serial The Secret of Treasure Island and The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. And for Warner Bros., he worked with Norvell Page scripting The Spider Returns. So I find it very interesting that he created the Writers of the Future Contest, and that the legacy continues with writers like myself who are providing more material to feed Hollywood’s voracious appetite for science fiction and fantasy.”

Writers of the Future is now in its 36th year and is the world’s largest and most recognized merit competition for writers of speculative fiction. Its over 400 winners have gone on to publish over 1,150 novels and 4,500 short stories. You can get more information and entry details here. ◊

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