By Angie Argabrite, Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at 9:01 am.
Following the wild success of author Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, dystopian fare is being called the next big thing in young adult fiction—set to steal attention away from all the vampire romances that have quickened our pulses in recent years. The best-selling Hunger Games trilogy, about a 16-year-old heroine in a post-apocalyptic world, has moved some 26 million print copies and spawned what seems to be an onslaught of copycat YA novels, each imagining the end of the world as we know it in different ways (nuclear bombing, super volcanoes, viruses, etc.). The film version of The Hunger Games has so far attracted both male and female audiences in droves (it made $152.5 million in its opening weekend), so it appears that producers’ reported concerns about the film’s limited appeal to a male audience were unfounded (with no small thanks to smart marketing!). Speaking of men and doomsday, 90-year-old Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping apologized this month for predicting that the Rapture would occur last October. Most people have already forgotten about Camping, though, and begun fretting over more recent predictions—for instance, the potential consequences of the so-called end of the Mayan calendar, as well as a report that a Sumerian-discovered planet that’s four times the size of Earth is headed our way. A NASA scientist has just released a video in which he calmly debunks these scenarios, one by one. Of course, smart marketers know that going apocalyptic needn’t be an end game.