This is number 26 of my Lockdown Stories (I lost count after doing two posts at once) – Act of Gods.
It is another story featuring Tom, Simon and the London Institute of Parapsychology. It gave me the chance to delve into further aspects of the way this universe works, but also talk about issues of race and privilege. When I started the series I took on board several standard tropes which sit below even the best fantasy fiction. The main characters are generally “special” with a destiny that sets them apart from the rest of humanity even if they come from humble origins or an outsider group. Norman Spinrad satirised the same tropes in golden age science fiction in his wonderful The Iron Dream – supposedly a novel written by an Adolf Hitler who moved to the US in the 30s and became a science fiction writer.
There are always honourable exceptions – especially Terry Pratchett who used his books to simultaneously question the assumptions of fantasy and the real world. However I have become uncomfortable with the idea that magicians are part of an exclusive club which in my view mirrors the exclusive club of the elite in our society. Having Tom as a voice which challenges that is something I will continue as I write more.