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Paull, Laline

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(?   -    ) UK playwright, screenwriter and author whose staged dramas to date, beginning with Boat Memory (first performed 2004 Olivier Theatre, London), have been nonfantastic. Her first novel, The Bees (2014), is a surprisingly complex Animal Fantasy whose protagonist, an Ugly-Duckling-like Mutant worker bee, rises in the hive to become a handmaiden to the totalitarian Queen herself [for Ugly Duckling, and for distinctions between Animal Fantasy and Beast Fable, see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. A frame story evocative of Richard Adam's Watership Down (1972) – where it is seen that this Dystopian hive is located in a brown-field site about to be developed, and its population destroyed by pesticides – satisfactorily grounds the more allegorical elements of the fable.

Paull is of specific sf interest for her second novel, The Ice (2017), a Near Future tale in which Climate Change has already melted the Arctic sea ice and increasingly threatens the shrinking glaciers of the north. Images of this disintegrating world are interwoven with a thriller plot whose unpacking similarly risks destroying the lives of the tale's protagonists. Eco-tourism is Satirized en passant. [JC]

Laline Paull

born London


  • The Bees (London: 4th Estate, 2014) [hb/]
  • The Ice (London: 4th Estate, 2017) [hb/Jo Walker and Chris Wormell]


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