His short story "Rat Race", first published in the April 1966 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, was nominated for a Hugo Award. In 1996, "Correspondence Course", first published in the April 1945 edition of Astounding Stories, was nominated for a Retro Hugo award for best short story. Another short story, "The Alien Machine", first published in the June 1949 edition of Thrilling Wonder Stories, was later combined with two other short stories, "The Shroud of Secrecy" and "The Greater Conflict", and expanded into the novel This Island Earth, upon which the movie of the same name was based.
Jones also wrote the story upon which a 1952 Tales of Tomorrow television program episode, titled "The Children's Room", was based.
Jones short story, "Tools of the Trade", that appeared in the November 1950 issue of Astounding, was the first story dealing with 3D printing, although he called it "Molecular Spray" at the time.
Nine of his books have been made available for free by the Gutenberg Project, despite their recent publication, because they fell into the public domain when the original copyright was not renewed: The Great Gray Plague, The Memory of Mars, Cubs of the Wolf, The Colonists, The Year When Stardust Fell, The Unlearned, The Alien, and Human Error, plus the Japanese book 火星の記憶.