Robb, J D

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of US author Eleanor Marie Robertson (1950-    ), much better known under her working name, Nora Roberts, who under that name – though the Robb titles are themselves bestsellers – may be the most popular novelist in America, with sales of more than eight million copies a year (as of 2008). Some of Nora Roberts's approximately 200 books are paranormal romances, and a few are Timeslip tales, all being told with a wit and bravura not normally associated with the romance genre. The Chronicles of the One series beginning with Year One (2017) begins with a virus-caused planetary Disaster, but moves rapidly into darkish fantasy, with Magic and Monsters, and a rapid transition to an ornate Ruined Earth ambience. Remember When (2003) as by Nora Roberts and J D Robb – with the second half issued as Big Jack (2010) as by Robb alone, but as a seemingly standalone contribution to the Eve Dallas sequence, without acknowledgement of its earlier publication – is a romantic mystery which remains unresolved for many years, the revelatory climax only occurring in the Near Future.

Robertson is in fact of interest as an sf writer almost solely under her J D Robb name. which she has used exclusively to date for the Eve Dallas sequence of noirish, Near Future police procedurals set in a grungy but intense New York, beginning with Naked in Death (1995) and continuing at a rate of at least two titles a year, the setting gradually if inconspicuously becoming more visibly set in a realized future as the action progresses from around 2020 to circa 2060. With around sixty volumes of the sequence in print, at least forty of them being successive New York Times bestsellers, "J D Robb" may be the world's most popular living sf writer in terms of sales. The individual titles vary widely, though with a constant focus on personal relationships. In a world only marginally affected by Climate Change or the kind of political turmoil many of its readers may in fact be glad not to encounter, Technology has advanced: non-sentient but highly adaptive Robots known as droids are common (this being one of Robbs's sharp calls, distinguishing her from many sf writers who assume self-consciousness must accompany sophisticated responsiveness); Cloning is illegal but happens; Dallas drives a car capable of flight, and in later volumes occasionally wears Mecha-like body armour indistinguishable to the eye from a fashionable leather coat; life-extension procedures (see Medicine) have vastly increased the number of pro-active centenarians, and cancer has been eradicated; Virtual Reality goggles recreate crime scenes; women seem finally to have gained unchallenged equality (see Feminism; Women in SF); Space Habitats are routinely mentioned, as is some form of interplanetary travel. For a series whose first instalments are thirty years older than the most recent volumes, which continue to appear at an almost invariable rate of two per year, Robb has maintained a surprising degree of control over background verisimilitude.

In some instalments, this sf radiance is indeed purely background; but in a number of titles it comes more to the fore during the course of storylines that sometimes insistently honour generic romance tropes, though in this series the Sex is sometimes more violent and imaginative than usual. Immortal in Death (1996) involves an anti-ageing Drug that drives users to suicide; Rapture in Death (1996) introduces Dallas to a deadly Virtual Reality environment; "Interlude in Death" (in Out of this World, anth 2001, ed anon) is set in a Space Habitat; Purity in Death (2002) involves a viral plague spread from Computers to humans; Origin in Death (2005) contains an elaborate presentation of criminal Cloning. After many volumes, the sequence remains inventive. [JC]

Eleanor Marie Robertson

born Silver Spring, Maryland: 10 October 1950


works (selected)

works as by J D Robb


Eve Dallas

works as Nora Roberts (highly selected)


Time Again or The Hornblower Bros

  • Time Was (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette Intimate Moments, 1989) [Time Again or The Hornblower Bros: pb/]
  • Times Change (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette Intimate Moments, 1990) [Time Again or The Hornblower Bros: pb/]
    • Time and Again (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette Intimate Moments, 2001) [omni of the above two: Time Again or The Hornblower Bros: pb/]

Donovan Legacy

  • Captivated (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette Special Edition, 1992) [Donovan Legacy: pb/]
  • Entranced (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette Special Edition, 1992) [Donovan Legacy: pb/]
  • Charmed (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette Special Edition, 1992) [Donovan Legacy: pb/]
    • The Donovan Legacy (Toronto, Ontario: Harlequin, 1999) [omni of the above three: Donovan Legacy: pb/]
  • Enchanted (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette Special Edition, 1999) [Donovan Legacy: pb/]
    • Charmed & Enchanted (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette, 1999) [omni of the above two: Donovan Legacy: pb/]
  • Cordina's Crown Jewel (Toronto, Ontario: Silhouette Special Edition, 1992) [Donovan Legacy: pb/]

Gallaghers of Ardmore

Three Sisters Island

Sword of Truth

  • Key of Light (New York: Jove, 2003) [Sword of Truth: pb/Rich Hasselberger]
  • Key of Knowledge (New York: Jove, 2003) [Sword of Truth: pb/Rich Hasselberger]
  • Key of Valor (New York: Jove, 2004) [Sword of Truth: pb/]
    • The Key Trilogy (New York: Jove, 2004) [omni of the above three: Sword of Truth: pb/]

In the Garden

  • Blue Dahlia (New York: Jove, 2004) [In the Garden: pb/]
  • Black Rose (New York: Jove, 2005) [In the Garden: pb/]
  • Red Lily (New York: Jove, 2005) [In the Garden: pb/]

Circle Trilogy

Sign of Seven

  • Blood Brothers (New York: Jove, 2007) [Sign of Seven: pb/]
  • The Hollow (New York: Jove, 2008) [Sign of Seven: pb/Rich Hasselberger]
  • The Pagan Stone (New York: Jove, 2007) [Sign of Seven: pb/Raymond K Gebman]

Inn Boonsboro

Cousins O'Dwyer

  • Dark Witch (New York: Berkley, 2013) [Cousins O'Dwyer: pb/]
  • Shadow Spell (New York: Berkley Books/Science Fiction Book Club, 2014) [Cousins O'Dwyer: hb/]
  • Blood Magick (New York: Berkley, 2014) [Cousins O'Dwyer: pb/]

Guardians Trilogy

  • Stars of Fortune (Waterville, Maine: Thorndike Press, 2015) [Guardians Trilogy: hb/]
  • Bay of Sighs (London: Piatkus Press, 2016) [Guardians Trilogy: hb/]
  • Island of Glass (Waterville, Maine: Thorndike Press, 2016) [Guardians Trilogy: hb/]

Chronicles of the One

  • Year One (New York: St Martin's Press, 2017) [Chronicles of the One: hb/]
  • Of Blood and Bone (New York: St Martin's Press, 2018) [Chronicles of the One: hb/]

individual titles (highly selected)

about the author

  • Patrick L McGuire. "J D Robb: Somehow It Still Works" (January 2015 SF Commentary) [pp 17-29: mag/]


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