The Novels of Raymond F. Jones
A Complete Checklist and Guide
Published by Gnome Press, 1951.
This novel was originally published in serialized form in Astounding Science Fiction
magazine during 1944. Renaissance is an epic parallel-dimension story with
political overtones. It has been described as "highly intelligent space opera."
A large number of fans believe this to be Jones' best work. It was republished as Man
of Two Worlds by Pyramid Books in 1963.
Published by World Editions, 1951.
First published under the Galaxy imprint, The Alien has an exciting premise; a
scientific mission in the asteroid belt comes across an entombed alien. What follows is
ground breaking material written in a strong and entertaining manner. Jones is on top form
This Island Earth
Published by Shasta Publishers, 1952.
A novel-length version of three stories that were first published in
Thrilling Wonder Stories magazine in 1949 and 1950. The stories which
make up this book were originally entitled "The Alien Machine", "The Shroud
of Secrecy" and "The Greater Conflict". This Island Earth
is an unusual and engaging tale of a group of scientists on Earth who are requested
by aliens to assist in a galaxy-spanning struggle for survival. It was made into a
film by Universal Studios in 1955.
Son of the Stars
Published by The John C. Winston Company, 1952.
An immensely popular inclusion in the Winston Juvenile Series of books aimed at younger
readers. Son of the Stars deals intelligently with several themes relating to
Planet of Light
Published by The John C. Winston Company, 1953.
An entertaining and thoughtful sequel to Son of the Stars. The hero of the first
book, Ron Barron, travels with his family off-world. A succinct but favourable review in
the June 1954 Galaxy magazine describes Planet of Light as "fine
reading for all ages." This is definitely one of my favourites and in my opinion this
sequel is even better than its predecessor.
The Secret People
Published by Avalon Books, 1956.
This is one of Jones' most powerful works. Set in the near future, it tells the story of a
group of persecuted mutants with telepathic abilities. The Secret People is an
intricately plotted novel that contains several very dark passages and some stunning
imagery. This novel was republished as The Deviates by Galaxy Publishing in 1959.
The Year When Stardust Fell
Published by The John C. Winston Company, 1958.
Another very well written novel in the Winston Juvenile Series of science fiction novels
marketed for teen-age readers. This story focuses on a small rural community and tells of
how it copes when much of the fabric of its lifestyle, which was taken for granted, falls
The Cybernetic Brains
Published by Avalon Books, 1962.
An expanded(?) version of a novelette first published in Startling Stories in
1950. This compelling tale has several clever plot twists that centre around human minds
-- enslaved within government-run scientific installations -- that form an
all-encompassing network of intelligence across the world. There are certain passages
where the disembodiment theme is extrapolated to quite "far-out" conclusions.
This is one of my personal favourites among his novels. The Cybernetic Brains is
a fantastic read but sadly marked the end of Jones' most productive period. He was to fall
silent for much of the next ten years.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Published by The Whitman Publishing Company, 1965.
A 'spin-off' book based on the US television series of the same name that ran from
1964-68. The series in turn was inspired by the 1961 movie directed by Irwin Allen. As
with Jones' Winston novels, this book is rare, though well worth seeking out.
Published by Belmont Books, 1969.
A novelisation of the much earlier short story "Divided We Fall", which
originally appeared in Amazing Stories in 1950. With a central theme concerning
synthetic men and power struggles, the plot of this story pre-dates some of those explored
in contemporary science fiction films.
Published by Criterion Books, 1971.
Geared towards the juvenile market, this is a fast-moving story set in a scientific colony
on the moon. Moonbase One is an exciting, adventure-packed tale with some
interesting ideas about the practicalities of living on the luna surface. Comments about
the possibility of there being extractable water on the moon were pulled from serious
scientific proposals at the time, and they hold up well today in the light of recent
Renegades of Time
Published by Laser Books, 1975.
The first of Jones' novels to be published under Roger Elwood's Canadian Laser Books
imprint. High adventure in time and space, this novel represents the division that can be
drawn between Jones' early period of writing and the final few years of his career in
which much of the hard science of his previous work is toned down. As well as being a fun
read with plenty of action, this novel contains some astute observations on human
relationships. An abridged version of this novel was published as The Lost Ones
by Bonneville Productions in 1978.
The King of Eolim
Published by Laser Books, 1975.
A beautiful and touching tale written with a great deal of compassion and understanding.
Very much reflective of his mellowing out as an author, The King of Eolim
nevertheless asks serious questions about the advisability of using genetic engineering to
weed out 'undesirables' in creating a physically and mentally 'perfect' human race. One of
the strengths of Jones' work throughout his entire career was well drawn, believable
characters. In later works such as this the focus is very much on that.
The River and the Dream
Published by Laser Books, 1977.
This novel is an out-and-out fantasy adventure that deals with themes common to the
fantasy genre. Apart from one or two isolated examples within his short fiction output,
this is Raymond F. Jones' only fantasy work. A sensitively written tale with a sombre
theme of disenchantment running through it, it makes one wonder what other novels like
this by Jones would have been like. Although atypical, it is in my opinion one of his best
Weeping May Tarry
Published by Pinnacle Books, 1978.
This was originally a short story by Lester Del Rey called "For I Am A Jealous
People" (1954), which Jones here expanded into a full length novel. Weeping
May Tarry, his last published work, has a religious theme that echoes some of the
short fiction that Jones wrote for Roger Elwood. A little-known novel that deserves wider
Sources and Acknowledgements
- Twentieth Century Science Fiction Writers, ed. J. P. Pederson, St. James'