US writer who began publishing sf with "Like the Gentle Rains" for IASFM in 1982, but who has clearly felt more comfortable with tales of novel length. His first book, The Sleeping Dragon (1983), a SWORD-AND-SORCERY fantasy, begins the RECURSIVE Guardians of the Flamesequence, continued with The Sword in the Chain (1984) and The Silver Crown (1985) - these 3 assembled as Guardians of the Flame: The Warriors(omni 1985) - plus The Heir Apparent (1987) and The Warrior Lives (1989) - these 2 assembled as Guardians of the Flame: The Heroes (omni 1989) - plus The Road to Ehvenor (1991). Though this sequence, along with D'Shai (1991)and Hour of the Octopus (1994) in the projected D'Shai fantasy series, makes up the bulk of his production to date, it could be argued that JR's sf, beginning with Ties of Blood and Silver (1984), is central to his work. This sf adventure and Emile and the Dutchman (fixup 1986) belong very loosely to the Metzada sequence, which spans the Galaxy with anarchic verve. More controversially, Not for Glory (fixup 1988) and its sequel Hero (1990) focus directly upon the Jewish planet of Metzada, from whichtough mercenaries (who rather resemble Gordon R. DICKSON's Dorsai) issue forth into combat; but these Israeli-like soldiers, and the Germans and French and Dutch who have rigidly maintained their own "racial"characteristics for centuries on their own planets, seem strangely stereotyped. It will be interesting to see what JR can do to sophisticate his ongoing galaxy.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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