If you haven't been following Planet Algol -- and, if not, what's wrong with you? -- you might have missed the news that Blair will be publishing a sandbox setting and rules supplement based on his remarkable science fantasy campaign next year. As Jeff Rients noted in the comments to the post, science fantasy-style D&D really seems to be coming into its own and that's probably one of the most remarkable and unexpected fruits of the old school renaissance.
As I hope I've emphasized here, the early days of the hobby were filled with examples of science fiction and fantasy existing side by side, cross-pollinating with reckless abandon. Settings like Dave Arneson's Blackmoor, Bob Bledsaw's Wilderlands, Barker's Tékumel, and Dave Hargrave's Arduin, to cite just four prominent examples, weren't afraid to include robots, spaceships, and blaster pistols alongside orcs, wagons, and crossbows. Back in those days, most gamers hadn't yet internalized the wholly artificial distinction between genres of fantastic fiction, a distinction the great pulp writers who influenced D&D didn't recognize either.
Rob Conley has stated numerous times that he believes the old school renaissance is at its best when it travels down roads untraveled in the early days of the hobby, owing either to commercial considerations or the particular interests of the designers who were influential back then. The return of science fantasy as a major genre for gaming is a great instance of this principle in action. Old school fans nowadays seem very willing to reject the dogma that science fiction and fantasy just don't mix and I'm very glad to see that. I keep coming across new sites and blogs devoted to campaigns that freely borrow from both genres; it's a definite trend and a very welcome one indeed.
Perhaps 2010 will be the Year of Science Fantasy ...