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Jones, Robert F

Entry updated 4 September 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1934-2002) US journalist (mostly for Sports Illustrated) and author whose first novel of sf interest, Blood Sport: A Journey up the Hassayampa (1974; vt Ratnose 1975), follows a man and his son up the Hassayampa River, along whose banks all Times – the future, the present and the past – as well as in a sense all rivers, exist simultaneously, a suffusion of Archipelago venues rich enough to house every imaginable culture. Interpenetrating this "riverrun", the villain Ratnose flourishes ambivalently; it is he against whom the protagonists must prove themselves. The Diamond Bogo: An African Idyll (1978) is also set against conundrums of the unknown, in this case an Africa which harbours a cape buffalo with the eponymous diamond embedded between its horns, as well as a Lost Race of early humans, apparently surviving examples of homo erectus. The posthumous Bloodroot (2015) pits visitors to a small contemporary Vermont town against a chthonic Gaia-like oak-spirit beneath the surface of the world, which demands awe. In work like these novels, and other fiction and nonfiction, Jones created an unusual and sophisticated interaction of action and a slightly gonzo literary introspection, a quasi-genre veering at points close to allegory that might be called the "literary safari" (see Fantastic Voyages). [JC]

Robert Francis Jones

born Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 26 May 1934

died Bennington, Vermont: 18 December 2002

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