Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
King-Smith, Dick

Working name of UK writer Ronald Gordon King-Smith (1922-2011), most of whose 80 or more tales are fantasies; most are for younger children, and thus not treated here in detail. He began writing with "Alphabeasts" for Punch in 1965; this set of comic verses was illustrated by Quentin Blake. His first novel, The Fox Busters (1978), is like many of its successors a Beast Fable whose protagonists live on a farm and sometimes exhibit (DK-S has a sharp eye for genuine animal behaviour) Animal-Fantasy traits. His most interesting books tend to elicit comparisons between animal and human behaviour in a traditional beast-fable manner. He is best-known for The Sheep-Pig (1983; vt Babe: The Gallant Pig 1985 US), filmed as Babe (1995), about a pig that wants to be a sheepdog. Other titles of interest include Noah's Brother (1986) and The Schoolmouse (1994). [JC]

Ronald Gordon King-Smith

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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.