Thank you, Sir Peter

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The man who started it all

When Peter Jackson first conceived the idea of bringing the Lord of the Rings trilogy to the big screen, few people imagined the enormous boost he would end up providing to our creative industries.

We now have some of the most imaginative writers, producers and presenters in the world.

Like John Armstrong, who dreams of a centrist Labour Party leader who picks fights with his own allies and deliberately ignores the membership of the party he leads. He writes of a leader who needs to relax more, then gives him 90 days to steady the sinking ship.

Or Fran O’Sullivan, who imagines a Labour Party leader who sucks up more to the business community, and who finds herself wondering whether the person who led Labour to its worst ever defeat might be the better person for the job.

Meanwhile, Duncan Garner continues his magnificent work, creating from nothing a piece of paper with the signatures of up to 18 Labour Party MPs on it, while Jono Hutchison invents a tale of a party leader being upstaged by a rival at a public event.

Colin Espiner’s strange, at times surreal, tale of a coup that is not a coup and is therefore a coup because it is not one, attempts to call upon the fantastical to explain the otherwise mundane world of politics. While it never quite reaches the heights achieved by the likes of Jorge Luis Borges or Gabriel García Márquez, Espiner’s effort at magical realism is still a worthy one.

And it is impossible to ignore the astonishing body of work being produced by Patrick Gower, a creative genius at the very peak of his artistic powers.

We are blessed with so much good fiction at the moment, even if much of it appears to fall within the unfairly-maligned fantasy genre. And the good news for fans of the genre is that our golden age of fantasy fiction looks set to continue.

Thank you, Sir Peter Jackson, for inspiring so many people to create such vivid, wonderful works of fantasy fiction.

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