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Jones, Stephen Graham

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1972-    ) US author, a Native American, much of whose work has viewed the world experienced by Native Americans in terms of horror (see Horror in SF); the estranged possibly delusional protagonist of his first novel, The Fast Red Road: A Plainsong (2000), embarks on a Fantastic Voyage through an America that he understands as a Post-Holocaust Weird Western nightmare, but may just be the contemporary world seen unfiltered; eyes opened, he may be able to write a new world. All the Beautiful Sinners (2003) is a more mundane Western, but with edges of immersion in legend. Demon Theory (2006) is a horror story in which the innards of a haunted house and the world of Cinema are woven together. The nineteenth century Indian agent who helped destroy the Blackfeet nation in Ledfeather (2008) is condemned to inhabit the soul of a contemporary man, where he is visited by the consequences of his actions.

Several later novels follow the same pattern. The young protagonist of Mapping the Interior (2017) follows his dead father through a portal deep into the family home, which is larger inside than out [for Little, Big see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The Only Good Indians (2020) returns to Jones's favourite structuring device, in which events decades earlier than the main action are resumed or relived by figures shaped by them; as in most of his best work, these events, and their victims, are seen within the larger context of Native American life in the grips of an Imperialism which has come close to expunging it (see also Race in SF).

Jones is a prolific story teller, of his several collections, The Faster Redder Road: The Best UnAmerican Stories of Stephen Graham Jones (coll 2015) provides the most compendious view of his career to the date of its publication. [JC]

Stephen Graham Jones

born Midland, Texas: 22 January 1972

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