JONES, Raymond F.
(1915-1994)
   US writer, very active for about 15 years after he first appeared in ASF in 1941 with "Test of the Gods". He was virtually silent in the 1960s; some novels appeared in the 1970s. His best-known short story is the witty "Noise Level" (1952), an archetypal ASF tale of CONCEPTUAL BREAKTHROUGH, scientific advance taking place throughdestruction of a previous paradigm: SCIENTISTS are told that ANTIGRAVITY exists, and so proceed to invent it. The story had two sequels, "Trade Secret" (1953) and "The School" (1954). During his most prolific - andmost exciting - period he wrote 1 story, "Utility" (1944), under the pseudonym David Anderson. Two collections, The Toymaker (coll 1951) and The Non-Statistical Man (coll 1964), gather much of this work.RFJ's firstnovel, also from that time, is probably his best. Renaissance (1944 ASF; 1951; vt Man of Two Worlds 1963) is a long, complicated PARALLEL-WORLDSadventure with an exciting narrative - WAR, superscience and echoes of nuclear HOLOCAUST - and a number of lively variations on favourite sf themes. The Alien (1951), the story of the discovery of an ancient ALIEN artifact in the ASTEROID belt, likewise displays strong narrative drive. This Island Earth (1949-50 TWS; fixup 1952) begins with beleaguered ALIENSsecretly using human scientists in order to resist an enemy in an intergalactic war which threatens to engulf Earth. The protagonist finally persuades them that, by allowing their tactics to be dictated by vast COMPUTERS, they have become predictable to the enemy. But he may be toolate. The film version, THIS ISLAND EARTH (1954), begins well but loses interest when it diverges - perhaps inevitably-from the book.RFJ's 1950s juveniles are also good. They are Son of the Stars (1952), Planet of Light (1953) and The Year when Stardust Fell (1958).After The Secret People(1956; vt The Deviates 1959) and The Cybernetic Brains (1950 Startling Stories; 1962) RFJ became comparatively inactive, and more recent novels, like Syn (1969) and Weeping May Tarry (1978), the latter with Lester DEL REY, show a much diminished energy. Though not generally an innovator inthe field, RFJ, during his first period of activity, produced solid, well crafted HARD-SF adventures.
   JC/PN
   Other works: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea * (1965), a tie to the tv series VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA; Moonbase One (1971); Renegades of Time (1975 Canada); The King of Eolim(1975 Canada); The River and the Dream (1977 Canada).

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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