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Interesting answer by Ryan up above, but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to disagree with almost everything they said lol. While I would have nothing against the genres they mentioned popping up again, I don't think we are going to see a big resurgence. Instead, these are the directions that I believe the science fiction genre is heading into for 2019 and beyond.

Politics - Yes, I know, science fiction stories has always been political, but I think 2019 is the year where it will really start to surge to the forefront again. We have already seen it beginning last year, with anthologies like "Resist: Tales from a Future Worth Fighting Against" as edited by Gary Whitta, Christie Yant and Hugh Howey. It features twenty-seven well-known science fiction authors contributing stories where they warn about what the future would be like if the world continues on its current political course. Not only are the stories very political, but the book is also used as a tool for political activism as proceeds from its sales went to the American Civil Liberties Union. This also brings me to the second trend that I predict for the science fiction genre this year.

Social Justice - Yes, I know that social justice and politics goes hand in hand, but books can also be about the one without veering too far towards the other. Not only are we seeing more marginalized authors rising to prominance in the genre, but the stories are also more focussed on ecomic and racial inequality. Once again, these are not topics that are new to science fiction, but for a while they were washed out by stories of robots and space ships and artifical intelligences. Movies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel are paving the way in cinemas, but I think books will carry the strongest messages.

LGBTQ Themes - There has long been a belief that the science fiction genre is aimed squarely at straight, male readership, but we have been seeing a large shift in recent years with things really taking off in 2019, I think. Science Fiction gives authors the freedom to tackle themes of sexual bias without being tethered to the heteronormative cultural assumptions that the world has been saddled with for so long. Authors like Joanna Russ, Charlie Jane Anders, Melissa Scott and others have long been vocal advocates for a more inclusive future for science fiction and I think this year and beyond will see the floodgates open even further.

These are just my personal predictions for what topics will be trending in 2019, but so far it looks like I'm right. It is certainly a very exciting time for fans of the genre as it is being wrenched away from the elite few who have been clinging to it and trying to stop it from evolving and shifting towards the masses.
You can look at just about any popular book franchise to see that they have a real-life impact amongst their hardcore fans. Whether it is naming their children and pets after their favorite characters or getting tattoos of scenes or symbols described in the books, these examples are everywhere. If you need any famous examples, I can think of a few actually.

The Culture Series - Iain M. Banks. Banks is a Scottish author who is known for his science fiction books, particularly the very popular "Culture" series. The books are about the "Culture" which is pretty much a society that is made up of humans, aliens and artificial intelligences that co-exist peacefully. Banks himself described this setup as space socialism as everyone who is party of the Culture have access to virtually whatever they want and don't have to work for it. The second Culture novel, The Player of Games, was published in 1988 and featured ships named "Of Course I Still Love You" and "Just Read the Instructions." As anyone who has watched the SpaceX launches will know, these are also the names that Elon Musk gave to the two autonomous spaceport drone ships that he used. Musk is not the only one who have paid homage to the Culture novels either. The Five Deeps Expedition, which is the world's first manned expedition to the deepest point in each of the five oceans, named their submersible the DSV Limiting Factor and its mother ship, the DSSV Pressure Drop. Both of these names come from ships in the Culture novels.
I absolutely love how inclusive books have become in recent years, not only in terms of the diversity of the authors who now write, but also with the characters that they are able to come up with. Disability is something that is taking a bit longer to become mainstream in literature, but just like LGBTQ characters, I think it is something that is going to gain momentum. I make a point of only reading diverse books, so I have come across a few of them that have disabled characters in the lead. Here are my recommendations if you are interested in reading about really interesting protagonists who have to deal with some kind of disability in their lives.
There has already been so many great suggestions, so I'll just add a couple of quick ones. The Sparrow and its sequel, Children of God by Mary Doria Russell are about the discovery of intelligent life near Alpha Centauri. Humanity eventually narrows the source of the music down to a planet called Rakhat and the crew that is sent over to investigate is organized by the Society of Jesus. They obviously include a Jesuit priest in the mission and I'm sure everyone can guess what happens next.

Staying with the theme of missionaries, there is The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber. Once again a missionary is sent off to a new planet in order to spread the gospel to the aliens who reside there.

Lilith's Brood is another good book about aliens and first contact. It is also the only book that I know about where the aliens actually want to interbreed with humans in an effort to form a whole new species.
Good question! I've tried to stop judging books by their covers, but back in the days when physical libraries were still a big part of my life I admit that I have grabbed eye catching books off the shelf without doing more research about the book in question. Those where the days when I couldn't just quickly pull out my phone and do a quick Google search for reviews about the book. The only criteria you had to base your decisions on were the book cover, the information on the back, the author description on the inside and that was about it. Times have obviously changed a lot since then, but for all the bad books I ended up reading because of their nice covers, I also discovered some good ones that I would never otherwise have read.

The Princess Bride. - I know most people only know about The Princess Bride thanks to the movie, but the the movie itself was based on a book that has a very different tone to film. This in itself is not necessarily bad and I've come to love both versions for what they are. What I still cannot understand to this day is what the cover of The Princess Bride that was at my local library had to do with the story. I've even come to doubt my own recollection of the cover over years just because it was so weird and out of place compared to the actual story. Your question reminded me of the cover and after looking it up, it turns out to have been the work of an artist named Ted Coconis. I can't even begin to describe how bizarre the covers is, so everyone will just have to search it out on their own. Just keep in mind that it is not safe for work. If anyone asked me to describe the story of The Princess Bride purely by looking at this cover, I can assure you that it would have been nothing like what was actually in the book.

Watership Down. - I'm including this one because the version I read had a cover that made it look like a children's fairytale with cute and cuddly bunny rabbits. I also had no idea what the title was supposed to mean as it sounded a bit nautical to me. In the end the story turned out to be way more violent and disturbing than what I could have dreamed of looking at the cover picture.