Amazing Stories Reviews A BLANKET OF STEEL: “It’s Prescient.”

Amazing Stories Reviews A Blanket of Steel:  “It’s prescient.”

This is a stellar review.  I am still processing it.  The reviewer, R. Graeme Cameron, has so far read and reviewed three of my books:

The War Beneath, Fatal Depth, and now A Blanket of Steel.  He initially saw my work as entertaining and escapist, but in this review, he has seen something more, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

From the review:

A Blanket of Steel is not simply a ‘daring do’ thriller. It is actually a serious look at the possibilities inherent in learning how to exploit the ocean’s riches for the benefit of humanity … The man writes from a profound knowledge of the subject … It’s all about resources, and a precursor of things to come. Wars are going to be fought over these claims.”

The premise of these books came from my education in Earth Sciences back in the late 1980s and early 1990s while at the University of Western Ontario.  The oceans offer an immense source of wealth and riches for nations.  We already make use of them, obviously, but what we currently harvest/mine from the oceans and their floors is just the beginning … just the glimmers of what’s to come.  I also realized that climate change — global warming and rising waters, flooded shorelines and inundated coastal facilities — would drive nations to find, and claim, any mineral or agricultural wealth they could locate, even if it was under water.

And the Earth’s surface is 70% water.

The premise therefore became a quest to claim and hold riches, fight for them, go to war for them, and develop the technologies and weapons to dominate the underwater world.

It’s James Bond, but underwater.

It’s “The Abyss meets James Bond.”

A Blanket of Steel is a book thirty-four years in the making.  It has been a remarkable journey, and it is founded in reality and what I believe, to quote Isaac Asimov, is ‘future history.’

More of the review from Amazing Stories:

“The premise of The Rise of Oceania is not farfetched. It’s prescient. … Betrayal seems as constant as revenge, greed, and our other shining emotions which supposedly lift us above the level of the animal kingdom. Things get very complicated … Johnston is adept at keeping the tension rising. Just when you think Truman has figured everything out satisfactorily, the situation goes awry, and the situation is more dangerous than before. One encounter after another appears to resolve the problem, but in fact makes things worse … Beneath all the fun and excitement, there’s a serious message worth thinking about … A Blanket of Steel offers hope for our future. Johnston has put enough thought and research into the prospect to render the promise of the premise plausible and doable. It would be wonderful if he turns out to be prescient in that, too.”

A HUGE thank you to Amazing Stories.

A big thank you also to Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd., who acquired the series and published my standalone technothrillers.  They allowed me creative freedom to tell my stories and demonstrate why I feel the oceans are crucial for humanity’s future.  I did this while telling a grand adventure of the colonization and exploration of large areas of the ocean floor. I used a pair of siblings to tell the story, which began on just a tiny piece of the ocean floor and grew into a struggle to claim a vast swath of resources and eventually found an independent underwater nation.  It includes their struggle to create, innovate, and even steal incredible technologies while fighting a war of espionage against other nations.  I hope you enjoy A Blanket of Steel! — TSJ




A Blanket of Steel from Timothy S. Johnston and Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ltd.

“Read the book and prepare to be blown away by one of the best writers I have ever had the pleasure to read. Timothy S. Johnston is simply amazing.” — FIVE Stars from Readers’ Favorite

“Innovative technology, Mac taking risks no one else would dare and thinking his way through to brilliant solutions … But the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been before. This is it. The countdown to the final battle … Johnston does an excellent job of keeping the tension taut as he plays with the reader’s perceptions of characters we thought we knew and trusted …” — SFcrowsnest

“Expect to be left breathless. Trust me here. Please. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.” — Michael Libling, author of The Serial Killer’s Son Takes A Wife and Hollywood North: A Novel in Six Reels

Book Cover, Jacket Copy, and the Gripping Book Trailer:


A mysterious assassin has murdered Cliff Sim, Chief Security Officer of the underwater colony, Trieste. Cliff was a mountain of a man, highly trained, and impossible to defeat in combat. And yet …

Someone brutally beat him and left his broken body in a secret Chinese facility at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

And included a calling card for Truman McClusky, Mayor of Trieste.

Taunting him.

Mac has led the underwater colonies in their fight against the world’s superpowers. Climate change has devastated the surface; nations suffer famine, drought, rebellion, rising waters, and apocalyptic coastal flooding. But now, as Mac leads the underwater colonies to freedom and independence, he’s faced with the gravest threat of his life: a Russian assassin, hellbent on killing Mac and everyone he cares for. Now Mac must uncover the identity of the killer, face him in combat, and at the same time lead people in battle against the largest underwater force ever assembled. It’s Mac’s final test, and to win the war, he must use every tool at his disposal, including the most surprising and devastating underwater weapons ever invented.

If Mac fails, all hope is lost for the future of human colonization on the ocean floors.

But the assassin could be anyone …

Watch your back, Mac.

A Blanket of Steel is the most gripping thriller yet in The Rise of Oceania.


The other books in The Rise of Oceania series by Timothy S Johnston:

The War Beneath 9781771484718
The Savage Deeps 9781771485067
Fatal Depth 9781554555574
An Island of Light 9781554555819
The Shadow of War 9781554556007

Watch the exciting book trailer for A Blanket of Steel!


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THE WAR BENEATH:  FIRST PLACE 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER Action / Adventure Category Winner, 2019 Silver Falchion Award Finalist, 2018 CLUE Award Semi-Finalist, 2019 Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist, & 2019 CYGNUS Award Shortlister

THE SAVAGE DEEPS:  FIRST PLACE 2020 CYGNUS Award Winner, 2019 GLOBAL THRILLER Awards Finalist, 2022 Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist; 2019 CLUE Award Shortlister

FATAL DEPTH: FIRST PLACE 2021 GLOBAL THRILLER Award Winner, 2022 Silver Falchion Award Finalist (Best Action Adventure), 2021 CYGNUS Award Semi-Finalist


“If you’re looking for a techno-thriller combining Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy and John Le Carré, The War Beneath will satisfy … a ripping good yarn, a genuine page-turner.” — Amazing Stories
“One very riveting, intelligent read!” — Readers’ Favorite
“If you like novels like The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising,
you will certainly enjoy The War Beneath.” — A Thrill A Week
“If you’re here for thrills, the book will deliver.” — The Cambridge Geek
“… an engaging world that is highly believable …” — The Future Fire
“This is a tense, gripping science fiction/thriller of which Tom Clancy might well be proud . . . When I say it is gripping, that is the simple truth.” — Ardath Mayhar
“… a thrill ride from beginning to end …” — SFcrowsnest
“… if you like Clancy and le Carré with a hint of Forsyth thrown in,
you’ll love The War Beneath.” — Colonel Jonathan P. Brazee (RET),
2017 Nebula Award & 2018 Dragon Award Finalist
“Fast-paced, good old-fashioned Cold War espionage … a great escape!” — The Minerva Reader

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