Jim, I thought that was a very intuitive answer. Though I've never heard of the book you mentioned, I've read (several years ago) "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire", and can't help but see a comparison between that culture and the one we live in today. And one only has to look at the 7 deadly sins from Galatians in the Bible to see where our society is now. I could go into a whole political thing about the distance between the haves and have nots, but there are other portals outside this message board for that discussion. But, going back to the question at hand ("How is the fiction world at the moment?"), my hat is off to you for the novels you write, but to answer a question with a question, actually 2 questions...."Does fiction emulate life, or does life emulate fiction?" and lastly, "Why write fiction when real life is so much more interesting?" The only thing missing in real life as opposed to fiction are the romantic vampires, and some people will argue with you about that.
Keep writing, Jim. You've made fiction a piece of art, with your vocabulary and your stories.