Jones, D F

Tagged: Author

(1918-1981) UK author whose date of birth has been variously given, though the claim that he served as commander in the Royal Navy throughout World War Two suggests the earliest of these; he was variously employed afterwards, beginning to publish sf with the first – and best – volume of his Colossus trilogy, Colossus (1966), effectively filmed as Colossus, the Forbin Project (1969). In both book and film, Charles Forbin has helped to create a master Computer designed to coordinate all the defences of the western world; however, the Soviets have been building a similar computer, Guardian. In an impressive scene, the two computers exchange information. Soon Colossus gains consciousness and attempts to take over the world. The sequels, The Fall of Colossus (1974) and Colossus and the Crab (1977), expand from the first volume (in the process diluting its admonitory impact) by introducing complicated plots, religious sects that worship Colossus (see Religion), and irritated Martians; ultimately everything comes to a transcendental stop.

Some of Jones's other novels are of interest. In Implosion (1967), set in a grimly Dystopian regime, most women have become sterile, those who remain fertile being imprisoned in the special breeding areas. Denver is Missing (1971; vt Don't Pick the Flowers 1971) subjects the city to geological devastation. Earth Has Been Found (1979; vt Xeno 1979) burdens an unsuspecting Earth with an alien Invasion. All these later novels succumb with excessive ease to a slick gloominess, caught in which his characters show little scope for action or development, and by the end of his career his work had lost most of its initial glum panache. D F Jones was given an OBE in 1969. [JC]

see also: Disaster.

Commander Dennis Feltham Jones

born London: 15 July 1918

died London: 1 April 1981

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