Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Bradfield, Scott

(1955-    ) US writer and academic, connected with the University of Connecticut since 1989. His first fiction of genre interest, "What Makes a Cage? Jamie Knows" in Protostars (anth 1971) ed David Gerrold, was sf, and gave little sign of the dangerous hilarity of his mature Fabulations, most of which press the envelope of the mundane but take strength through not quite splitting from the world into supernatural explanations. His best short stories appear in The Secret Life of Houses (coll 1988 UK; with 4 stories added exp vt Dream of the Wolf 1990 US; further exp vt Greetings From Earth: New and Collected Stories 1993 UK), most of which are set in SB's home state of California, a venue whose "mundanity" is itself (> Los Angeles) irradiated with the surreal. His first two novels, The History of Luminous Motion (1989 UK) and What's Wrong with America (1994 UK), inhabit the same world. SB is of fantasy interest primarily for his third novel, Animal Planet (1995), a tale which explicitly harks back to George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945 chap) but which radically differs in technique. Although SB's Satire of the contemporary world contains – as does Orwell's – elements of Allegory, his tale settles only intermittently into that fixed relationship between meanings that is necessary to allegory. Moments of fixity constantly dissolve into overheated, angry, extremely funny Beast Fable. The various revolutionary animals' relationship to humans is immensely complex, and constantly shifting: animals can be mere animals, Talking Animals, peons, underprivileged classes or media stars. [JC]

Scott Michael Bradfield

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.