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Gilbert, Zoe

Entry updated 6 June 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(?   -    ) UK academic and author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Time Machine" in Luna Station Quarterly for December 2011. A sophisticated use of interacting modes within the enabling frame of Fantastika consistently marks her longer fiction. In her first novel, Folk (2018), an isolated Island houses a complex community whose interactions, as told through interweaving stories, some with supernatural elements, end in a dance of convergences greater than the sum of the parts. Mischief Acts (coll of linked stories/fixup 2022) is a series of very closely interlinked tales, clearly similar in structure and theme to some of Peter Vansittart's mythopoesis-drenched renderings of the Matter of Britain, including The Story Teller (1968) and The Death of Robin Hood (1981). Mischief Acts begins in 1392 with a chthonic humiliation of the Shapeshifter Herne the Hunter in the Great North Wood south of the Thames in London, and ends with his restoration there in a 2073 riven by Climate Change, in what may be seen as a profound renewal of the meaning of story (as opposed to any extractive calculus or thematics) [for Folktale, Herne the Hunter, Instauration Fantasy, Matter and Story see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The sections narrating the deep past and the future are set as Poetry. [JC]

Zoe Gilbert



  • Folk (London: Bloomsbury, 2018) [hb/David Mann]
  • Mischief Acts (London: Bloomsbury Circus, 2022) [coll of linked stories/fixup: hb/David Mann]


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