(1954-2011) US writer who first began publishing fiction with "Like the Gentle Rains" for IASFM in 1982. JR is best-known for The Guardians of the Flame sequence, which began with the Sword-and-Sorcery fantasy The Sleeping Dragon (1983), a novel about role-playing gamers (> Games) drawn into their Gameworld, but this element diminishes in importance in later volumes, which include The Sword and the Chain (1984) and The Silver Crown (1985) – these first three assembled as Guardians of the Flame: The Warriors (omni 1985) – plus The Heir Apparent (1987) and The Warrior Lives (1989) – these two assembled as Guardians of the Flame: The Heroes (omni 1989) – plus The Road to Ehvenor (1991) and The Road Home (1995). JR has also published several sf novels.
In recent years JR has inaugurated two new fantasy series: the D'Shai novels – D'Shai (1991) and The Hour of the Octopus (1994) – which are perhaps his best work, and the Keeper of the Hidden Ways series, which begins with Keeper of the Hidden Ways: The Fire Duke (1995). Both series benefit from being conceived in JR's maturity as a writer, and so enjoy a greater sophistication than those novels set in venues created at the outset of his career. [JCB/GF]