Sixteen Fandoms (and Events) I’m Most Excited About in 2016

Happy New Year! What a year 2015 was.

During 2015, we saw Pottermore’s complete overhaul (for good or for worse). We went to the very first GeekyCon. We saw the film adaptation of John Green’s novel Paper Towns. We saw the last Hunger Games movie. We saw season five of Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey. We read yet another Cormoran Strike novel. We saw Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the two biggest box office successes that we’ve seen in a long time. (I know, I know. I have yet to review Mockingjay, Part 2 or Paper Towns or The Force Awakens. I’ll get on that in 2016.)

All good and well for 2015, but it is now time to look to next year. As I did last year, once again I am enumerating the fandoms (and events) that I’m excited about this year. This time, though, there are 16. You know, for 2016.

#16 Sherlock

We are finally getting some more Sherlock! Unfortunately, it is only one episode—a special—set to air tomorrow, Friday, January 1st, 2016 on PBS at 9:00pm ET, with an encore performance at 10:00pm ET on Sunday, January 10th. This actually marks the first time that a new episode of Sherlock has premiered in the UK and the US on the same day. In addition to the broadcast on television, the special will also air simultaneously online at The episode is titled The Abominable Bride and it also marks the first time that the show is set in 1890s London. Up until this point, the show has portrayed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic characters in a more modern setting. I’m so excited to see this!

Filming for season four will supposedly start in the spring, but I doubt that we will see season four in 2016.

#15 Pottermore

Ever since the overhaul in September, Pottermore is being updated daily—unlike the old Pottermore, which was being updated every few months. Rowling herself is not giving us new content every day. No, no. The “Pottermore Correspondent” is reporting instead on Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child—the non-book entities that are moving the franchise forward.

Thankfully, though, Pottermore still features writing by J.K. Rowling in its own little section on the website. However, I’m hoping that this section 1) doesn’t somehow morph into an encyclopedia and deprive the fans of the printed encyclopedia that they have craved for oh so many years and 2) doesn’t die a slow death as Rowling runs out of things to share with the fans about the wizarding world. That said, I’m looking forward to some new content from Rowling in 2016, as well as the comeback of the Sorting Hat and Wand quizzes, plus the Patronus quiz that we were promised!

#14 Robert Galbraith

Although there is no guarantee that we’ll get another new Cormoran Strike novel in 2016, since there has been no news about Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym) since Career of Evil was released in October. However, since The Cuckoo’s Calling was released in 2013, The Silkworm in 2014, and Career of Evil in 2015, I’m holding out hopes that the fourth novel will appear in 2016. I’m hoping, though I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen. JKR has so many demands placed on her time, particularly now with the new stories that she is writing within the Harry Potter world.

(Even if we don’t see book four in 2016, I still need to read two and three. So many books. So little time.)

#13 Magic School Bus

I wrote this last year about the Magic School Bus reboot [with more details in the brackets]:

I’m excited for this reboot [coming to Netflix sometime in 2016], but also wary. Magic School Bus without the same animation, without the same voice talent—particularly Lily Tomlin as Ms. Frizzle—is going to be very different and difficult to get used to. However, I am excited that Magic School Bus will be teaching more modern science (current episode fifty on computers feels particularly dated), so maybe this notion of new science will help me get past the more artistic aspects of the show.

#12 NerdCon: Stories

In 2015, I went to the very first NerdCon: Stories in Minneapolis. When Hank Green first announced NerdCon, I thought: A convention all about stories? And in my home state? Sign me up! While GeekyCon does have a Lit Track, I can’t attend Lit panels due to my position in the main stage. I had a great time at NerdCon in 2015 (I will write about it in full at some point), and I’m excited to go back again in October 2016!

#11 Snape and the Marauders

From the producers of the fan film The Greater Good, we have another fan-made Harry Potter backstory—this one about Severus Snape, Lily Evans and the four marauders. The Kickstarter campaign was successful. The filming is complete. A trailer has been released. Now we must wait for the film. (IMDB states that it will be released on March 1st.)

More information about this fan film can be found on their official website.

#10 Mythbusters

Unfortunately, 2016 will see the last episodes of one of my favorite shows. Fortunately, before the end, the show will bring back the “build team”–Kari, Grant and Tory–for a reunion. Adam and Jamie have been gearing up for the last season, which starts in January, so we know that it’s going to be a good one! At least, Adam has promised good things on social media. I’m sad to see it go, but the show left so many episodes to rewatch again and again; I think I’ll survive.

#9 Obduction

Cyan’s newest project was supposed to have been released Q4 of 2015, but was pushed back to Q1 of 2016, due to reasons explained here. Last year I wrote this about Cyan and Obduction [with updates in brackets]:

I’ve been a fan of the Myst game series for a long time. I remember playing a little bit of Riven during a high school art class, then playing (and completing) Myst through Myst IV: Revelation [including Uru] during college with my friend Luke. I still have yet to finish Myst V: End of Ages [I actually finished playing it this year!] and the two expansion packs to Uru [I didn’t exactly play these expansion packs this year, but I watched a couple walkthroughs on YouTube, and I decided that’s good enough for the not-terribly-well-received expansions], but I’m hoping that can happen sometime before Obduction is released, which is currently slated for “late 2015”. I preordered Obduction when I donated to their successful Kickstarter campaign, so FictionRow will report when it is released! I also plan to write a review of Myst V when I finish it [still in the works], even though End of Ages was released seven years ago now. I might even review the others games too, just because.

I’m just as excited as I was last year to start playing this game! Check out the preview!

#8 Cursed Child

I know. The last time I wrote about this play, I basically said that I was no longer excited about Harry Potter–that this play was just another ploy to exploit the fans for more money. I actually thought, “Who really cares about the story continuing, especially when Deathly Hallows wrapped it up so nicely and closed the last chapter for good?”

That was before a black Hermione Granger was cast, which changes EVERYTHING. All my thoughts on the subject are forthcoming, and I probably still won’t/can’t go see it, but I am very excited about this play nonetheless!

#7 Game of Thrones

As season six approaches, I am feverishly trying to finish reading the ASOIAF book series. I very likely won’t make it before the April premiere, but I’ll try to at least finish A Clash of Kings before then! Also, Bran is back! I’m excited.

#6 BroadwayCon 2016

I wish I could put BroadwayCon and LeakyCon ahead of GeekyCon on this list. “BwayCon” is going to be new and different and ALL KINDS OF AWESOME. There will be a RENT 20-year anniversary and the entire cast of Hamilton will be there. For those two reasons alone, it pains me to tell people that I can’t go. Since the con is in January–just a few weeks away–which is ironically right in the midst of One Act contest season for me, I can’t go. Sure, I could abandon my students and my real job and go anyway, but I am way to responsible for that. I’m excited for all my friends who are going, though!

#5 LeakyCon 2016

If I thought writing about BroadwayCon was going to be painful, writing about Leaky is excruciating. My first LeakyCon was in Orlando in 2011, and at that point, it was still a Potter-only convention (scheduled around the premiere of Deathly Hallows, Part 2), which I loved. It wasn’t until 2012 when I started working for them that it began to include other fandoms, eventually morphing into GeekyCon, which made sense. Harry was done. The last film had been made. But now, Fantastic Beasts is happening, as well as Cursed Child, and there is so much more to discuss now. Let the theorizing begin!

But once again, my IRL commitments force me to stay behind for this con too. I can easily drive down to Minneapolis for the two-day NerdCon: Stories in October, but to fly out to L.A. for a few days? That’s simply not possible. Teachers in MN get three months of summer vacation. Apart from that, at least in my district, we get very little vacation time from September through May. Three personal days, to be exact, which is just not enough for a trip to L.A., unfortunately.

#4 GeekyCon 2016

I look forward to GeekyCon every summer. It truly does feel like going “home” and seeing “family”. It doesn’t really matter to me what programming is planned or which special guests are invited to come, so long as I can spend some time with my “Geeky friends” and hang out with them in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade for one night. (At least, I hope GeekyCon continues to do Open At the Close, even though LeakyCon  is coming back. I love GeekyCon as a whole, but the park event is always my favorite part of me week.) Once again, you’ll see me in the main stage for the duration of the con. Come find me!

#3 Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is technically done, since the series has aired in the UK already, but for the fans in the US, we’ll be seeing the beginning of the end (the first episode of season six) at 9:00pm ET this Sunday, January 3rd on PBS!

#2 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Unfortunately, we won’t see Episode VIII in 2016. Fortunately, we will see another Star Wars movie! Confused? Then you haven’t heard: Disney is making “standalone” Star Wars films in between episodic releases. Here’s the timeline:

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (the first standalone): Dec. 16, 2016
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII (the next of the “new” trilogy): May 26, 2017
  • Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo (working title): May 25th, 2018
  • Star Wars: Episode IX (the last of the “new” trilogy): 2019
  • Star Wars Anthology: Boba Fett (working title): 2020

So, in other words, we are going to get a new Star Wars movie every year for at least the next five years, which is totally exciting and hopefully not overkill. But let’s focus for a moment on Rogue One, due out this December:

Following the foundation of the Galactic Empire, a wayward band of Rebel fighters comes together to carry out a desperate mission: to steal the plans for the Death Star before it can be used to enforce the Emperor’s rule.

A flashback movie?! Set during the first Star Wars movie?! Please, December 16th, come soon!

#1 Fantastic Beasts

With the numerous pictures, poster and a trailer recently released, it’s “all aboard the hype train!” No, wait. Scratch that. How about “all aboard the Hype-warts Express?” Yes, better. November 18th can’t come soon enough either.

Fantastic Beasts is one of many things that I really should have reported on in 2015, when the poster and new trailer were released. Unfortunately, I have two things working against me: 1) my very busy teacher life and 2) my tendency to be wordy. I’m making a resolution to write more often in the new year, with far fewer words per post. I have several drafts started, so I hope to publish them all in the coming weeks. Thank you for visiting in 2015 and please keep coming back in 2016!

Which fandoms are you most excited about in 2016? Share yours in the comments!