C. W. Johnson

Physicist and science fiction writer .

Science and dreams

I have wildly divergent backgrounds to my writing. On one hand, I am a professor of theoretical physics and so have a great technical and scientific background. On the other hand, I was trained by Kim Stanley Robinson, Joanna Russ, Peter S. Beagle, Algis Budrys, and Tim Powers---all writers very much from the literary, rather than technical, tradition of science fiction and fantasy. I actually don't find "hard" sf that interesting--amusing, maybe--because I know the real science and that's much more interesting than faked technical gobbledy-gook. The human aspects of sf appeal to me instead: the struggle of the human heart with itself, played out on an alien landscape. When I write, I find myself seeking an intuitive, imaginative realm; I look for the emotional, not the scientific, plot of the story. It's my ultimate goal to try to combine these two strains.
I haven't published much, partly because I have become increasingly and annoyingly perfectionistic, too much so I think; and even science fiction is not an easy field to break into (but easier than most other literary endeavors). Many of my stories are less science fiction, not so much fantasy as 'fantastical,' stories spun out of a dreamlike state.

Current projects :
Slower than Light : a novel of space exploration set ten thousand years in the future, when Earth is a nearly-forgotten myth. Chapter 1

Dark Trek, the true story : A satire on the science and politics of the beloved sci-fi franchise. Did you ever notice that, for all its mouthing of liberal views, the Federation suffers heavily from "the white man's burden"? Paramount will probably never let me publish this, but it will be fun to write. The prolog.

My science fiction publications

  • "Under Ice" : Writers of the Future Vol V , Algis Budrys, editor, 1989.
  • "The Caldron of Mourning" : After Hours (now defunct) August, 1991.
  • "Sisyphus": Tomorrow August, 1995
  • "Drowned Love": Realms of Fantasy October 1997. An excerpt.
  • "Blood Feud": A story about feminist vigilante vampires in Bosnia. Sold to an anthology, A Kiss of Death that will appear in late 1998. An excerpt.

    Unpublished stories

    "Spawning Day" : After the ice caps melt....

    "Ursus vs Pygmalion" : George Bernard Shaw, but the cockney flower girl is replaced with a grizzly bear.

    Feminist science fiction

    Back to my home page.

    The Goddess of Wisdom ...writes SF and also wrote The Biology of Star Trek . I recommend this book!