Category: Writing

The War Beneath by TSJ Cover Revealed

 

Coming this Fall:  THE WAR BENEATH by TIMOTHY S. JOHNSTON

Coming this Fall from ChiZine Publications

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of this underwater thriller, coming from ChiZine Publications this fall!

It has been a long wait for a new novel since THE VOID, released in March 2015, but I promise it will be worth it.  This new novel is action packed and exciting, and is set in the next frontier — the Earth’s oceans — during a new cold war.  The environment is dangerous but compelling, and the novel takes place at a time when the world’s superpowers are fighting with each other to colonize and exploit the ocean floor.

Here is the cover, below!

The Greatest Trifectas in Film History

 

The Greatest Trifectas in (Recent) Film History by TSJ

While writing the blog entry “Where Has the Character-Driven Action Film Gone?” (found here) I mentioned the idea of a trifecta — or “triple” — in film history. There are few directors who can create successful film after successful film. Having one critical and commercial hit is difficult enough. Having two in a row is even harder. And three? Nearly unheard of.

I decided to create a list of the greatest triples in film history. Even the concept seemed absurd, however — what gives me the right to create such a list? Who am I to say one director created a “better” trifecta than another? Moreover, how does one define success or failure in the creative/artistic industry? Sometimes a box office hit can be a critical failure, or vice versa. Well, to be blunt, this is my blog. I’ll write what I want. However, to identify triples and narrow the field it was necessary to create a list of criteria that I would follow.

TSJ at Forty-Seven

 

Forty-Seven. Can’t really believe it, but there it is. It’s been quite a ride so far.

I couldn’t have been born at a better time, really. I was born in 1970 and grew up with the explosion of science-fiction films that coincided with the birth of modern f/x. I also had the benefit of discovering novelists from the Golden Age of Science Fiction — Isaac Asimov, Fred Pohl, and Robert Heinlein to name just a few.

TSJ’s Top Three Movies of All Time

 

People often ask me about my favorite movies. I try to watch a lot of thrillers and horror, especially in the Science Fiction genre, I like to talk about movies, and I enjoy reviewing great ones on my blog. So, I figured that this might be a good place to write an article about my top three films of all time.

Counting down from Three to One …

TSJ Remembers Wes Craven

 

When I learned of Wes Craven‘s passing in the Summer of 2015, it hurt.

He was one of the originals. He was a horror director who helped create the “slasher” genre, but he did so with more backstory and style than some of his peers. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET brought us Freddy Krueger, one of the greatest villains of all time.

So many films of the slasher genre involved teenagers being teens, and having to deal with the repercussions of bad or questionable choices. When this movie appeared I was fourteen years old and among the age demographic that Craven had targeted. (I was perhaps a tad on the young side of the demographic, but the movie had a greater effect on me because of it.) Nightmares are by nature scary and intangible things and have the potential to impact in emotional and scarring ways. Wes Craven tapped into this in a very effective way, and Freddy’s history ensured that he was an invincible villain. Freddy became iconic and instantly recognizable around the world.

TSJ on THE TERMINATOR

I watched THE TERMINATOR on the weekend.

I had to.

It was calling me.

I use the phrases “watershed film” or “watershed book” quite a lot. That’s the point of this entire blog. What are the movies/books/tv shows that influenced me in the years leading to my first attempts at writing fiction? Hell, even the name of this blog — “Life After Gateway” — is a nod to my favorite Science Fiction novel. This blog is dedicated to the books and movies that inspired me in my creative/formative years. A few TV series, some fantastic authors, and a small selection of short stories helped along the way. Certain teachers were invaluable too.

TSJ on the Imposter Theme in Science Fiction

John Carpenter’s THE THING, 1982

In 2013, coinciding with the release of my first novel, THE FURNACE, I wrote an essay for John Scalzi’s website on the Imposter Theme in Science Fiction.  It’s a common plot element in the genre, and I encountered it repeatedly in my formative years.  The novels INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and THE PUPPET MASTERS feature the theme.  John Carpenter’s THE THING had a massive impact on me when it was released, and THE FURNACE is actually an homage to it and the novella it was based on, WHO GOES THERE?

On Horror and Science Fiction Influences

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of participating in a radio program with host Gail Barker.  I spoke about Horror/Science Fiction movies and how they inspired me to write.  Movies like ALIEN and THE THING.  In the 1980’s, during my most formative years developing my creativity, a wave of slasher films hit theaters.  Parents hated them, but believe it or not, they taught me about the importance of emotion in all stories, regardless of genre.