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Cowling, Ruby

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(?   -    ) UK academic and author whose first decade of stories – most of interest as Fantastika, all unfailingly adventurous – have been assembled as This Paradise (coll 2019); most of her work is set in a surveillance-soaked Paranoia-inducing very Near Future rather similar to that found in several of the episodes of the Television anthology series Black Mirror (2011-2019). On the Caribbean island described as "This Paradise", a twenty-nine year old English women, trained as a journalist before a series of Disasters has broken the back of her native land, serves as a nannie for a entrepreneurial couple whose chill narcissism almost certainly has caused the death of a Black dependent during a hurricane; the protagonist survives, compromised, entrapped in a world Climate Change that is tolerable only for those who have helped create it. Similar melodramas of compromised surrender infuse tales like "On Day 21" and "Flamingo Land". Cowling's work is tautly experimental, sometimes expressionistically so, always with a sense that words – however expertly aimed – cannot capture the accelerations of loss of 2020. [JC]

Ruby Cowling

born Bradford, West Yorkshire


  • This Paradise (Norwich, Norfolk: Boiler House Press, 2019) [coll: pb/Kristy Campbell]


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