Pseudonym used by Japanese-US astrophysicist and author Yoji Kondo (1933-2017) for all his fiction. He has been professor of astrophysics at the University of Oklahoma (1972-1977), the University of Houston (1974-1977), the University of Pennsylvania (1978-1988) and the George Mason University (from 1989), with over 200 scientific papers to his credit. He has edited the journal Comments on Astrophysics since 1979, was President of the International Astronautical Union Commission on Astronomy from Space 1985-1988, and worked in senior positions for NASA between 1965 and 2001, receiving a NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1990.
Compared with the evident achievements of his academic career, his fiction has been quite deliberately lightweight, though vigorously speculative within those limits, consisting in general of adventures substrated by Hard-SF concerns. He is perhaps best known for a Near-Future sequence written in collaboration with John Maddox Roberts: Act of God (1985), The Island Worlds (1987) and Between the Stars (1988). The action is at times congested, and the elements of Military SF in the mix becomes unrelenting as generations pass and the cast becomes confusingly huge; but the vision that unfolds of a bustling and expanding Solar System frequently exhilarates. Delta Pavonis (1990), also with Roberts, is again an sf adventure; and Supernova (1991) with Roger MacBride Allen, rather more interestingly recounts, with gripping verisimilitude, the scientific process involved in discovering that a nearby Star is due to go nova and flood Earth with hard radiation – which happens. Legacy of Prometheus (2000), yet again with Roberts, focuses on the Sun as a bounteous Power Source.
In 2000 an asteroid was named Jojikondo. [JC]
born Japan: 26 May 1933
died 9 October 2017
Act of God
works as editor
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