Dear Warp Speed Odyssey,
This is for your blog, and I hope this answers most of your questions. Thank you for your interest in my science fiction novels.
I am working on my thirty-seventh sci-fi novel. All those books are set in the Colony Ship Universe and are related, but in five series.
But before I go on about my novels, I will give you some background about me. As a teen in the 1970s, I really came to enjoy playing games which required an active imagination. Those role playing adventures, whether they were set in a fantasy type world with tunnels, trolls, and treasure; or set in a science fiction world with lasers, lizard-aliens, and light speed; I enjoyed them.
Added to that is my lifelong love for reading, and that gives you the etiology of the ideas which would eventually come pouring out of my mind and into my novels.
I write the types of books which I would like to read. My favorite subgenre of science fiction is the setting of a lost generational colony ship. That theme is the core to all of my novels.
The setting for my books begins on the Earth in about the year 2170. The world is a mess, and about a century before, the human population of Earth was devastated by the Great Event and the 90-Hour war. The survivors of those catastrophes worked together to launch seven generational colony ships in an attempt to find humanity a new home. Those gigantic colony ships were launched, but never heard from again.
Well, the last remnant of humanity goes to look for those seven colony ships.
My books follow those adventures.
The first series is the Colony Ship Eschaton (finished with ten books in Kindle, paperback, and audio). The second series is the Colony Ship Vanguard (finished with eight books in Kindle, paperback, and audio). The third series is the Colony Ship Conestoga (finished with eight books in Kindle, paperback, and audio). The fourth series is the Colony Ship Trailblazer (finished with eight books in Kindle, paperback, and audio). The fifth series is the Colony Ship Warren which has the first book out in Kindle and paperback, and the narrator is working on the audio version.
I also have a stand-alone novel, the Battle on the Marathon, which is available in Kindle, paperback, or audio.
The books are out in audio format done by excellent, professional narrators!
As to me, I have read science fiction since I was a small child. For over forty years I have been making notes, writing outlines, and drawing deck plans of various colony ship. These jumbled ideas have finally coalesced into book form in my writing.
I guess I was inspired by many works in sci-fi which cover the idea of colony ships. Damon Knight’s The World and Thorinn and Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky showed me how bizarre and interesting a generational space ship environment could be and how so much could go horribly wrong. Those books, and many others in that same genre, have given me hours of pleasure in reading. There also have been board games and video games which cover similar situations. There are so many variations on the lost colony ship theme it almost seems like a trope and it would take a long time to list all the RPGs, games, novels, movies, and even a TV show which fleshed out the action which can take place in a colony ship. So, now I have added my own contributions to this genre of adventure fiction.
Professionally, I worked as an RN for 10 years in various critical care units–cardiac, surgical, and medical. I saw lots of people die, and I also listened to some really amazing people share their life stories with me. I have worked part-time as a visitation pastor for my church for twenty years now.
I graduated from a variety of colleges, all of which helped shape and mold me into what I am today. After finishing a doctoral degree, I decided to focus on informal educational endeavors. I still love to learn.
I enjoy reading very much and derive pleasure from many kinds of literature.
And yes, I am planning on making all seven of the colony ships into books. If you have read my work, you will know what that means.
If a reader is new to my works, someone could start with book one of any series. It is always good to start with the first book in a series, but any of my series can start as the launching point to delve into the Colony Ship Universe.
The Battle on the Marathon is the longest of any of my books and is the only one to be written in first person style. If you like first person, jump into that book! It could be read prior to reading any of the other works, so whenever a person feels like diving into that work, the timing would be perfect.
Back to reality. I have four grown-up daughters, a delightful wife, a silly cat, and two goofy dogs. Over the years we have had numerous dogs and cats.
I live in the Northern Plains of the USA, so I experience the cold and bitter winds of the winter, and the blistering hot and dry of the summers. I also live with a chronic associate, a painful form of degenerative arthritis. I have lots of mechanical parts inside my body (nine total joint replacements), and in some ways, I truly am a cyborg.
People have asked me how I write, or what my writing process is, and all I can say is that I create some people and a universe in my mind, and then I just watch what those people do and record it into a book format.
John Thornton (April 2020)