James Rollins, Springfield, New Zealand (2008)
|Born||James Paul Czajkowski 
August 20, 1961
|Pen name||James Rollins, James Clemens|
|Occupation||Novelist, Journalist, Veterinarian|
|Education||Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D. V. M.)|
|Alma mater||University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri (1985)|
|Genres||Action-adventure, Action-thriller, Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Techno-thriller|
|Notable work(s)||Amazonia, The Last Oracle|
James Rollins is the pen name of American veterinarian James Paul Czajkowski – born August 20, 1961 – a writer of best-selling, action-adventure, thriller novels. He gave up his veterinary practice in Sacramento, California to be a full-time author.
Rollins is an amateur spelunker and a certified scuba diver. These pastimes have helped him to provide content for some of his earlier novels, which are often set in underground or underwater locations.
Under the nom de plume James Clemens, he has also has published fantasy novels, including Wit'ch Fire, Wit'ch Storm, Wit'ch War, Wit'ch Gate, Wit'ch Star, Shadowfall (2005), and Hinterland (2006)
- 1 Biographical sketch
- 2 Influences
- 3 First novel
- 4 Action-adventure novels
- 5 Fantasy novels
- 6 Collaboration with Rebecca Cantrell
- 7 Bibliography
- 7.1 As James Rollins
- 7.2 As James Clemens
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Born in Chicago, Illinois, he graduated from high school from Parkway West Senior High in Ballwin, MO, in 1979. His undergraduate work focused on evolutionary biology. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri in 1985 with a doctorate in veterinary medicine (D. V. M). Soon after, he moved to Sacramento, California, where he established his veterinary practice, licensed July 24, 1985.
Rollins found the authors of the Doc Savage series inspirational as a youth. He acquired an extensive collection of the popular 1930′s and 1940′s pulp magazine stories. Rollins was fascinated by stories of the exploits of Howard Carter and his discovery of the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, King Tutankhamun (King Tut). This true-life tale later inspired Rollins' novel, Excavation, in which the main character, archaeologist Henry Conklin, and his nephew Sam discover a lost Inca city in the mountains of the Andean jungle that contains a treasure—and a curse. He also enjoyed Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan novels, L. Frank Baum's Oz series, and C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. In general, He was also inspired by Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, whose works he used as a springboard for creating similar contemporary novels filled with what he refers to as "the three M's of fiction: magic, mayhem, and monsters. "
Czajkowski sold his first novel, Witch Fire (1999), under the pen name of James Clemens through Terry Brooks' publisher. Brooks had been one of the judges for a writing contest at the Maui Writers' Conference in Maui, Hawaii, in which James had entered a manuscript he had recently completed.
Beneath the ice at the bottom of the Earth is a magnificent subterranean labyrinth, a place of breathtaking wonders—and terrors beyond imagining. A team of specialists led by archaeologist Ashley Carter has been hand-picked to explore this secret place and to uncover the riches it holds. But they are not the first to venture here—and those they follow did not return. There are mysteries here older than humanity and revelations that could change the world. But there are also things that should not be disturbed—and a devastating truth that could doom Ashley and the expedition: they are not alone. For the caverns are inhabited by an entire subterranean ecosystem of primitive mammals—some intelligent, others savage, all beyond the reach of today's knowledge.
In Peru, high in the Andes, Dr. Henry Conklin discovers a 500-year-old mummy that should not be there. While deep in the South American jungle, Conklin's nephew, Sam, stumbles upon a remarkable site nestled between two towering peaks, a place hidden from human eyes for thousands of years. Ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting, and wealth beyond imagining could be the reward for those with the courage to face the terrible unknown. But where does this perilous journey end—in the cold, shrouded heart of a breathtaking necropolis—something else is waiting for Sam Conklin and his exploratory party. A thing created by Man, yet not humanly possible. Something wondrous...something terrifying...a mysterious metal known only as el Sangre del Diablo (or Devil's Blood), known only to the most ancient of Incas and a secret sect of Dominican friars who have already killed and died to protect its secrets.
Ex-Navy SEAL Jack Kirkland surfaces from an aborted underwater salvage mission to find the Earth burning. Solar flares have triggered a series of gargantuan natural disasters. Earthquakes and hellfire rock the globe. Air Force One has vanished from the skies with America's president on board. Now, with the U.S. being on the narrow brink of a nuclear apocalypse, Kirkland must pilot his oceangoing exploration ship, Deep Fathom, on a desperate mission miles below the ocean's surface. There devastating secrets await him—and a power an ancient civilization could not contain has been cast out into modern day. And it will forever alter a world that's already racing toward its own destruction.
Four years ago, all contact with a U.S. medical expedition in the wilderness of the Amazon basin was lost; a 30-man team declared lost and likely dead. Now one of its members, Gerald Clark, ex-Special Forces, staggers into a mission but dies within hours. He carries identification and is also a CIA operative. Two years before the expedition, his left arm was amputated at the shoulder whilst in Iraq. Photographs of the corpse and finger prints reveal that the arm has grown back perfectly. Unable to comprehend this inexplicable event, the United States CIA establishes a special team to return to this impenetrable secret world of unforeseen perils and to follow the trail of the dead man. On arrival, they enlist Nathan Rand, the son of the leader of lost researchers. A mysterious plague, that threatens the Earth's entire population, leads back to Gerald Clark. This means that the route to the expedition's destination must be discovered at any cost. The nightmare that awaits Rand and the team of scientists and seasoned U.S. Army Rangers dwarfs any danger they may have anticipated.
After an Alaskan game warden rescues a man from a crashed plane and saves him from subsequent attack by foreign soldiers, his ex-wife's piloting skills take them all to the man's intended destination, a US base on the Arctic ice, set up following the discovery by advanced sonar of a derelict Russian scientific base buried within a massive iceberg, Ice Station Grendel, where the personnel all died decades earlier. A Russian submarine carrying the son of the station's former commander also approaches, ostensibly for a handover of the bodies found by the Americans. Both sides know that the station contains vastly important scientific secrets, worth fighting for, but neither side knows quite how the other will fight, or how Grendel itself will complicate matters. In an atmosphere of mistrust and fear, the Alaskans, and the scientist overseeing the sonar project, have unexpected roles to play.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
In 2008, Rollins was commissioned by Random House to write the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the 2008 American adventure science fiction film. This is the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise, created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg.
Altar of Eden
The story starts outside Baghdad Zoo immediately after the Battle of Baghdad. After being decimated during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the floodgates have been opened for the smuggling of hundreds of exotic birds, mammals, and reptiles to Western nations. However, this crime hides a deeper secret. Years later, a Louisiana state veterinarian, Lorna Polk, is flown to a wrecked fishing trawler in the Mississippi River delta basin by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The crew is missing, but the boat holds a live cargo: a caged group of exotic animals. Initially, Polk assumes it to be part of a black market smuggling racket. Then she discovers disturbing deformities that make no sense. Also, they all share disturbingly heightened intelligence. To uncover the truth about the origin of this strange cargo and the threat it poses, Polk must team up with a man who shares a dark and bloody past with her, now an agent with the CBP.
SIGMA Force Series
The SIGMA Force is a fictional division of the U. S. DARPA program. The chief operatives in SIGMA combine highly trained military skills with specialist scientific knowledge. The Force's purpose is to investigate and to secure sensitive information that could be a threat to the United States. It is a combination of Counter-terrorism, research, and covert operations. Following the first book, Sandstorm, the SIGMA Force headquarters moves into the sub-basement of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.. These novels are intended to be read in chronological order.
The first book of the SIGMA Force series, Sandstorm, published in 2004, starts with Commander Painter Crowe and Cassandra Sanchez attempting to thwart a computer hacker who is putting the United States into danger. Meanwhile in the British Museum, a private collection is destroyed. The cause can not be explained. DARPA director, Vice Admiral Anthony Rector instructs SIGMA to send a small team to investigate. Their quest takes them into the Arabian desert, to a long-buried threat that may bring about the end of the balance of power. This novel introduces SIGMA Force and, also, a mysterious opposing group, referred to as the Guild, who appear in some of Rollins's future SIGMA novels. The main character, Painter Crowe, is intelligent, fearless, resourceful, and romantic. In this story, Crowe battles not only with the Guild but also with his former SIGMA partner and potential love interest, Cassandra Sanchez. Cassandra is acting under the orders of the Guild. Crowe's mission is to locate the lost city of Ubar with the multi-millionaire Lady Kara Kensington and her adoptive sister, Safia Al-Mazz. At Ubar, Crowe's team, chased by Cassandra, finds a lake of anti-matter, which could provide unlimited power. In spite of being forced to cooperate with Cassandra because she holds Safia's life in the balance, Painter defeats the Guild. Ubar collapses into the lake. Later, using a clue he got from Cassandra (she refers to someone called "The Minister"), and the data on her salvaged laptop, Crowe realises that DARPA director, Admiral Tony "The Tiger" Rector, is part of the echelon that run the Guild. Rector commits suicide before he can be arrested and Doctor Sean McKnight, the Director of SIGMA, is selected to replace him. Painter Crowe is promoted into the position of the director of SIGMA.
The magi brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ child; their bones may bring destruction to the world, if they are allowed to remain in the hands of the thieves who stole them, for these bones may not be bones at all. They may be something much more terrible and deadly, as Map of Bones, his second SIGMA Force novel published in 2005, suggests.
In Black Order, published June 2006, SIGMA Force team members risk their lives to get to the heart of one of humankind's greatest mysteries: the origins of life itself.
James' next novel was The Judas Strain, published July 2007. The members of SIGMA Force seek to prevent an outbreak that could threaten the entire planet. It is based on the Hindu temple complex of Angkor Wat. The book also marks the apparent death of Dr. Monk Kokkalis and the introduction to Sigma Force of the character Joe Kowalski, who appeared in Ice Hunt. He acts as Gray Pierce's sidekick in this and following stories. Gray's parents are captured and held hostage by sadistic Guild operative, Annishen, and Amen Nasser.
The fifth SIGMA Force novel is The Last Oracle published 2008. It involves an ambitious, young Russian politician's desire to use autistic savant children to develop a new world order. It is revealed that Monk did not die as understood previously in The Judas Strain, but was, for reasons central to the plot of this book, picked up by a Russian sub and ended up in the hands of the bad guys with amnesia due to experiments done on him. He is rescued by three of the children, and together they escape and attempt to thwart the plot. With help from Gray and the Gypsies, he and the children succeed although he still has possibly permanent amnesia due to the brain surgery experiments. If the plans hadn't been stopped, many world-leaders would have been killed due to radiation exposure at Chernobyl and millions of people would have died worldwide due to radiation being flooded into the world from the highly radioactive Lake Karachay.
The sixth book in the Sigma Force series, The Doomsday Key, published June 2009, starts with three murders on three different continents. Each shares a puzzling, hideous disfigurement, but otherwise no other obvious connection. A clue links the father of one victim, an influential U.S. senator to a Norwegian corporation. Painter Crowe takes part of the team to Oslo, while an unexpected phonecall from a traumatised Rachel Verona has Grayson rushing all over Europe, ending up in a high-security prison in France. Painter and his team fly over the Arctic Circle to land in Spitzbergen. Ultimately, it is revealed that the characters are dealing with an ancient, fungal parasite that was discovered and used first by the Egyptians and then, later, by eleventh century ancient Celts and Druids as a bioweapon.
In the seventh book in the series, The Devil Colony, published June 2011, Sigma Force deals with mysterious nanotechnology that may have been mastered by an ancient Native American tribe. The team attempt to track down a lost map, journeying to Fort Knox, and the grave of Meriwether Lewis. Rollins refers to secret codes used by Thomas Jefferson and Lewis. The coded message leads Painter Crowe to John Trumbull's painting depicting the presentation of the Declaration of Independence.
The eighth novel, Bloodline, published June 2012, has Sigma Force following up the information gained by Painter Crowe in the previous novel. The President's daughter is kidnapped by mysterious doctors who seek her baby. President Gant's family is revealed to be a driving force behind the Guild, with their bloodline stretching back for centuries. The novel deals with the quest for immortality and with nanotechnology and microengineering.
The ninth novel in the series, The Eye of God, was published in June 2013.
The Banned and the Banished
The Banned and the Banished series is about a girl named Elena "who ripens into the heritage of lost power. " She goes on a journey to defeat the Dark Lord and to find herself.
There are five installments in the series.
- Book One: Shadowfall
- For 4,000 years, the people of the Nine Lands have lived peacefully under the guidance of their hundred gods. When the goddess Meeryn is murdered, the peace is shattered, and Tylar de Noche, a defrocked knight who, as sole witness, is now sole suspect, must find the killer and prove himself innocent. Tylar turns to Delia, a priestess and love interest, and to Rogger, a thief wise to the ways of the criminal underworld. Slogging hither and yon for scraps of clues, the three begin to suspect that the supposedly pacific gods are in fact engaged in an ongoing struggle for power and control. The self-absorption of the gods and the apathetic ignorance of the people form stumbling blocks on Tylar's quest.
- Book Two: Hinterland
- Failed Shadowknight Tylar witnessed the death of a god, whose blood healed his deformities but branded him a Godslayer and a hunted criminal. In this second volume, Tylar's struggle for the truth is vindicated when he is officially reinstated as a Shadowknight. Yet this is a trap, revealed as Sithryn forces flow from the Ice Eyrie to wage a deadly siege, trapping Tylar and his friends. But even Tylar's skill and magic cannot save the Citadel of Tashijan, ancient Shadowknight headquarters, for something foul lies at the heart of their Order. The Cabal has infiltrated the inner council and Tylar and his allies must flee for now there can be no refuge from evil.
Collaboration with Rebecca Cantrell
Rollins collaborated with mystery writer Rebecca Cantrell to write City of Screams, a novella set in Afghanistan (published: October 30, 2012), The Blood Gospel (published: January 8, 2013) and Innocent Blood (published: December 10, 2013).
As James Rollins
Stand-alone adventure novels
- Subterranean (1999)
- Excavation (2000)
- Deep Fathom (2001)
- Amazonia (2002)
- Ice Hunt (2003)
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
- Altar of Eden (2010)
SIGMA Force series
- Sandstorm (2004)
- Map of Bones (2005)
- Black Order (2006)
- The Judas Strain (2007)
- The Last Oracle (2008)
- The Doomsday Key (2009)
- The Devil Colony (2011)
- Bloodline (2012)
- The Eye of God (2013)
- The Sixth Extinction (TBP 2014)
- The Skeleton Key [E-book] (2011)
- Tracker [E-book] (2012)
The Order of the Sanguines Series (with Rebecca Cantrell)
- "City of Screams" [E-book] (2012)
- The Blood Gospel (2013)
- "Blood Brothers" [E-book] (2013)
- Innocent Blood (2013)
Tucker Wayne Series (with Grant Blackwood)
- The Kill Switch (April 8, 2014)
Kids & Adult series
- Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow (2009)
- Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx (2011)
As James Clemens
The Banned and the Banished series
- Wit'ch Fire (1998)
- Wit'ch Storm (1999)
- Wit'ch War (2000)
- Wit'ch Gate (2001)
- Wit'ch Star (2002)
The Godslayer series
- Shadowfall (2005)
- Hinterland (2006)
- "James Rollins" official website
- "James Clemens" official website
- An interview with James Rollins on the BookBanter podcast (2011)
- An interview with James Rollins on the BookBanter podcast (June 1, 2009)
- A Conversation with James Clemens
- James Rollins chapter excerpts and essay about Sandstorm (Official HarperCollins Web Page)
- Web de James Clemens en español Web de Proscritos y Desterrados (Entra en el Universo de James Clemens)
- Reviews of James Clemens' works at FantasyLiterature.net
- James Clemens at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database