Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Frayn, Michael

(1933-    ) UK novelist, satirical essayist and playwright. His chief fantasy excursion is the genially barbed Afterlife novel Sweet Dreams (1973), whose aspiring architect hero drives through a red traffic-light, and unknowingly through Death onto the ten-lane expressway approaching a modernized City of Heaven. Here the saved are rewarded according to their capacity: for the protagonist, a middle-class social circuit identical to Earth's, with a wife, a pleasant lover, a rewarding career, etc. Miracles are possible but regarded as socially gauche. Since Heaven is outside Time, jobs include the design of the Alps and even of humankind; there are opportunities for social climbing towards business partnership with God. It is an amusing, deceptively light parable of human longings and limitations.

Some of MF's shorter squibs likewise satirically address problems of Religion and theology. [DRL]

other works: At Bay in Gear Street (coll 1967) and Listen to This (coll 1990) contain relevant pieces.

Michael Frayn

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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.