Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Raymond F. Jones, journeyman science fiction writer, would have been 100 years old today.

Jones was born in Salt Lake City on November 15, 1915.  His first story, "Test of the Gods" appeared in the September 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.  Jones published another 21 stories that decade but really reached his stride during, publishing some three dozen stories and eight books.  His first novel Renaissance (1951; also published as Man of Two Worlds) was an accomplished and highly readable parallel worlds story.  The following year saw his fix-up novel This Island Earth, which was the basis of the popular 1954 movie.  1951 also brought the first of Jones' three novels for the Winston Adventures in Science Fiction series, Son of the Stars, followed by a sequel, Planet of Light, in 1963 and by standalone The Year When Stardust Fell in 1958.

The quality and vigor of his writing fell off during the 70s, although he did publish three paperback originals for Roger Elwood's short-lived Laser Books line.  His last novel was 1978's Weeping May Tarry, an expansion of Lester del Rey's classic novella "For I Am a Jealous People;" although the novel was completely written by Jones it was published as by "Rayond F. Jones and Lester del Rey."

Jones never made it to the top tier of science fiction writers but his work remains well-plotted, thoughtful, and certainly worth looking up.  He died in Sandy, Utah, in 1994 at age 89.

Here's a link to Jones' short story "The Colonists" from the June 1954 issue of IF Worlds of Science Fiction:

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