NELSON, Ray
   Working name of Radell Faraday Nelson (1931-), who also writes as R.F. Nelson, R. Faraday Nelson and Ray Faraday Nelson, and once under the house name Jeffrey Lord (Lyle Kenyon ENGEL). He has been active in both sf and detective genres, publishing his first sf story, "Turn off the Sky", in FSF in 1963. He worked as a gagwriter for cartoonist Grant Canfield, andfor a time collaborated with Michael MOORCOCK in smuggling Henry Miller books from France into the UK; Moorcock was caught, RN forced to cease. RN holds a secure place in the hearts of sf FANDOM (he used to be a fan artist) for having invented the propeller beanie which in fan cartooning is always emblematic of the sf fan.RN's first sf novel was The Ganymede Takeover (1967) with Philip K. DICK, a tale in which Dickianpreoccupations are somewhat dampened by implausibly foregrounded action sequences. His second, Blake's Progress (1975 Canada; rev vt Timequest 1985 US), accords the poet/painter William Blake (1757-1827) the capacityto travel through time, along with his wife Kate; she is by far the better painter of the two, though her husband signs her works. History is altered, the novel being in part an ALTERNATE-WORLDS story. In its full revised form it is a highly energetic vision of the poet, and RN's best work. Then Beggars Could Ride (1976 Canada) and its sequel, The Revolt of the Unemployables (1978), depict an ecological UTOPIA of small, self-contained but interacting units, in which a protagonist tries to sort himself out. RN's most recently published novel is \#1 in the projected Timebinder sequence, The Prometheus Man (1982), in which a rigid andtherefore DYSTOPIAN meritocracy has transformed the USA into a land of employables (not numerous) and the Uns, or unemployables (the great majority). The plot revolves around a marriage broken by the system as well as an assortment of gurus, tycooons and revolutionaries; it does not fully resolve. At least one sequel is reportedly awaiting publication. Though sometimes over-easily applied, RN's iconoclasm is all the morewelcome for its surprising rarity in the sf field.
   JC
   Other works: The Ecolog (1977 Canada); Dimension of Horror * (1979) as Jeffrey Lord, \#30 in the Richard Blade series.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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