The television series American Horror Story has explored an array of time periods in its first seven years. The debut season, subtitled “Murder House”, took place in 2011 (the same year that the show aired). Season 2’s “Asylum”, depicted events in the mid to late 1960’s. Most of the action in Season 3’s “Coven” occurred in 2013, albeit with some flashbacks to the 1830’s and other periods. Season 4, subtitled “Freak Show”, took place in 1952. Season 5’s “Hotel” returned to present-day with a 2015 setting. Season 6’s “Roanoke” occurred mostly in 2016. And finally, Season 7’s “Cult” depicts events during and after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election cycle.
On Friday, January 5th, Ryan Murphy (who co-created American Horror Story with Brad Falchuk) spoke with the Television Critics Association and responded to questions about season 8: “All I’ll say about it is I want to go to the future — still topical, but the future.” He also said, “I think people will like it. It’s different from what we’ve done before, but I always try and do the opposite of what I’ve done on that show.”
While Murphy’s quotation about “the future” is rather ambiguous, speculation about what he meant has run rampant among fans online. The current iteration of Wikipedia’s AHS page claims that season 8 “will have a sci-fi theme” even though the showrunners haven’t indicated anything along those lines, and Murphy has explicitly stated that Season 8 will not involve outer space. In THR, Jackie Strause notes that Murphy elaborated a bit and indicated that the season will occur no more than 20 years from now and called it “a projection story.”
Back in 2014, in response to fan speculation that AHS might one day explore space, Murphy told Entertainment Weekly, “We’re not doing space because space is not America. It’s American Horror Story, not Intergalactic Horror Story.”