A light in the darkness…
Humanity is spreading throughout the cosmos. For an age, we have reveled in our ability to touch the stars. Now, we are breathing life into new worlds and calling them home.
On the planet Lumen, a once seemingly lifeless and frozen rock, generations have toiled at the Pillars of Dawn to make it habitable. As Lumen’s atmosphere nears stability, something dark stirs in the wild.
One night, a young couple from the colony Vale goes missing in the forest beyond the perimeter wall. The colonists embark upon a search and rescue operation, but they find the wild to be a much more alien and dangerous place than they could have ever imagined.
As Vale faces strife within its walls, the darkness outside the colony threatens the pillars. Something has come from deep within the planet, and it wants its world back.
“Timothy Johnson is as adept at handling a sweeping story set on an alien world as he is at the quieter character moments. Reading THE PILLARS OF DAWN is like watching a slow-burning fuse traveling toward a planet-sized stick of dynamite.” —Slade Grayson, author of AUTUMN MOON, I AM THE NIGHT, and KILL YOUR HEROES
“THE PILLARS OF DAWN is immersive and complex, yet it cuts to the bone. Terrifying and exhilarating, a slow-burn sci-fi fantasy.” —Nick DeWolf, author of FRIGHTFULLY EVER AFTER, PULLING STRINGS, and VILLAINS NEVER DIE
Risk everything, or no one goes home.
With Earth’s resources on the verge of exhaustion and worldwide civil war imminent, we looked to the stars for answers. Beneath the surface of lifeless planets, we found all the resources we could ever consume.
Stellan Lund is chief security officer aboard the Atlas, a carrier. Life on a carrier is peaceful. As long as the Atlas’ crew does its job, the New Earth Council leaves them alone. The only risk is an occasional case of black madness, a mental-break condition that is thought to be caused by extended deep space travel. It’s a small risk to take for freedom.
But then Adelynn Skinner, an agent of the New Earth Council, boards and orders the Atlas to uncharted territory where a dying planet with unidentified material waits. It could be the key to ending New Earth’s civil war—or it could end civilization as they know it. They will break protocol and mine the planet before its red giant star consumes it because some risks are worth taking.
Stellan isn’t about to let Skinner jeopardize the Atlas or its crew, but with mounting disturbances and rising concern over the black madness, Stellan struggles just to hold the ship together.
When an accident exposes some of the crew to the alien material, reports of black madness escalate. But something about these cases is different—and it seems to be spreading.
Combining character-rich storytelling, a dynamic plot, dystopian themes, and suspense that builds into an avalanche, Carrier follows Stellan Lund as he discovers he carries the fate of a world and that sacrificing whatever remains of his soul may be necessary to survive. Carrier is an action-packed, horrifying contemplation of what it means to be human and heroic, ultimately investigating how the most beautiful human traits may lead to the destruction of all that we hold dear.
Because some risks are worth taking. What would you risk to survive?
“With CARRIER, Timothy Johnson marks his territory as a strong new voice in zombie fiction. Beautiful writing, good zombie action and a compelling cast of characters onboard a massive spaceship make CARRIER a fun ride.” —Craig DiLouie, author of SUFFER THE CHILDREN, OUR WAR, and THE CHILDREN OF RED PEAK
“[Timothy Johnson] has created a complex world of three-dimensional characters, a multi-layered plot, and enough twists and turns that even a jaded reader like me couldn’t figure out what was going to happen next.” —Slade Grayson, author of AUTUMN MOON, I AM THE NIGHT, and KILL YOUR HEROES
“The Only Memorial You Can Ever Have” (PDF) in Deracine Magazine, Vol. VIII, Summer
“I Am Emergent” in What Remains: An Inked in Gray Anthology (Nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Award)
“Brothers by Dust” in The Will to Survive: An Anthology for Hurricane Relief (out of print)
“The Last Family Pillar” (PDF) in Gamut, issue 6, June 2017
“The Story of Jessie and Me” in Tales From the Lake, Vol. IV
“Awakening in a Dead City” in Fat Zombie: Stories of Unlikely Survivors from the Apocalypse
Reviews and Editorials
“Richard Thomas’ New Short Story Collection Is a Masterclass of Dark Fiction Persona and Experimentation”
“Interview with Zev Labinger, Cover Artist for Phoebe 51.1”
“LeVar Burton Gives a Powerful Voice to His Visionary 1997 Post-Apocalyptic Novel”
“Bradley Bazzle Writes Unique Fiction With Familiar Skin in New Collection”
“Horror With Authenticity: Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians”
“What a Horror Author Taught Me About Artistry”
Of course, if you would like to see the type of journalistic work I’ve done, you can find a full list of my news, event coverage, profiles, and more on my author page for Electrical Contractor Magazine, where I worked as a writer, editor, and project manager for … a long time.