Smith, James Robert 1957- (Bob Smith)

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Smith, James Robert 1957- (Bob Smith)

PERSONAL:

Born 1957; married; children: one son. Hobbies and other interests: Writing, reading, backpacking, forest preservation.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Matthews, NC. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, novelist, short-story writer, comic book scripter, editor, anthologist, and U.S. Postal Service letter carrier.

WRITINGS:

The Flock, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2006.

(Editor, with Stephen Mark Rainey) Evermore, Arkham House (Sauk City, WI), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Novelist, short-story writer, and editor James Robert Smith is an author who works primarily in the horror and dark fantasy genre. A prolific reviewer and author of numerous comic book scripts, Smith works as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service when he is not penning works of environmental terror, Lovecraftian horror, and atmospheric, gothic suspense.

Smith's debut novel, The Flock, pits the greedy interests of humans against the impersonal resolve of nature to survive and fight back against threats. In the wild lands of central Florida, a 450,000-acre tract of wilderness, once a government facility and military bombing range, hides a startling ecological secret. Within the trackless lands lives a huge flock of gigantic, predatory birds, unchanged since prehistoric times. Vance Holcomb, a wealthy environmentalist, is dedicated to protecting the fearsome creatures and seeks to set up a research compound to study them. Clashing with Holcomb are the Berg Brothers, tough and money-minded siblings who want the birds' habitat for development into lucrative residential real estate. Adding to the tension is a right-wing militia group hired by unknown persons to eradicate the flock, and a young but idealistic wildlife officer determined to uncover the mysteries tramping about the Florida wildlands. In the book, Smith "maps out a complex living environment that makes the flock's continued existence almost believable," observed a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Smith's novel "echoes the themes" from the popular motion picture Jurassic Park and "should appeal to fans of SF suspense," remarked Jackie Cassada in Library Journal.

An editor and anthologist, Smith produced the Edgar Allan Poe-themed anthology Evermore with coeditor, Stephen Mark Rainey. The sixteen stories, twelve of which are original to the volume, explore topics such as the origin and meaning of Poe's obscure prose poem "Eureka" and the writer's ideas on the topic of "clever robotics." Other stories, such as "The Masque of Edgar Allan Poe," by Steve Rasnic Tem, and "All Beauty Sleeps," by Joel Lane, revisit the obsessions and psychological landscapes of classic Poe characters and apply them to the experiences of tragic, modern-day protagonists. In comparison to other Poe-themed anthologies from recent times, Evermore "comes closest to evoking the streak of morbid curiosity that was Poe's unique contribution to … fiction," commented a Publishers Weekly critic.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, July 1, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of The Flock, p. 71.

Publishers Weekly, June 19, 2006, review of The Flock, p. 45; September 18, 2006, review of Evermore, p. 41.

ONLINE

James Robert Smith Home Page,http://www.jamesrobertsmith.net (August 5, 2007).

James Robert Smith MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/jrobertsmith (August 5, 2007).

James Robert Smith Web log,http://www.tilthelasthemlockdies.blogspot.com (August 5, 2007).

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Smith, James Robert 1957- (Bob Smith)

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