Welcome to My World

When you open an Eric R. Johnston novel, you are transported to a place of dark creatures and dreadful nights. There is no hope and no escape; only despair. Enter if you dare.

Series of Darkness

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Harvester: Ascension, Revision and Backstory

This June will see the official relaunch of Harvester: Ascension, a novel I have rewritten over the past six months.

The original version of this story was written between October of 2009 and August of 2010, with most of the writing completed in July of 2010. When it found its home with a publisher, I couldn't be happier, but much of the original message and intent were lost through the editing process, as the original editor on this piece had an entirely different vision than I of what it should be. This left me ultimately unhappy with that edition. It didn't at all resemble what I had wanted, so when the contract expired, I decided to rewrite it from scratch, and republish it under my own brandDarkness Press.

Ultimately, Harvester: Ascension is a battle between a jealous and petty "god" and a loving one. Taking elements from our cultural mythology, including stories from both the Old and New Testaments, I portrayed one being, the villain, as more akin to the God of the Old Testamentwith destruction of places and people, concerned more about being worshiped than forgiveness and love; while the protagonist is the God of the New Testament, the God of love who sacrifices Himself for His people--of course, this "god" in the novel is female. Before I get hammered too heavily on this point, I should point out that I have taken quite a few liberties in order to tell my story, so this portrayal is not intended to be 100% true to the source material, but more of an approximation.

The backstory in Harvester: Ascension is often referenced but never fully explored. This is because it is a story that will be told in the sequel, which I am now calling Harvester 2: The Creation. The Father, which is to represent the Highest Power, is the creator of the universe, but soon afterwards assigns his children--the two named in Harvester: Ascension are Torqa and Moria, but there are more than these two--to be guardians over the planets that are destined to bear life. One of the Father's commandments is to never allow themselves to be worshiped. Moria is the guardian of Earth, a goddess who sometimes refers to herself as Gaia, while Torqa is the guardian of a distant world known as Oraplax.

The inhabitants of Oraplax, a species called the Q'Thiel, were a war-torn, yet proud people, who eventually came together to solve their energy crises by building what they called The Harvester, which was a huge--about the size of the moon--orbiting station that collected energy directly from their sun, which they called Alsar. This Harvester was able to collect the radiation like a super solar panel, as well as being able to collect actual material from the star. What the Q'Thiel didn't intend was to infuse the mind of the machine with Torqa, their guardian, whose existence had only been known as a part of long-ago myth.

Over the next few centuries, many of the Q'Thiel forgot they themselves had built the large orbiting station and began worshiping it as a god. Torqa loved this worship, despite the Father's orders not to allow this to happen, and demanded more, eventually forcing the Q'Thiel into submission. Meanwhile, the scientists that worked aboard the Harvester knew exactly what it was, yet were surprised that it had somehow developed sentience, not realizing that the mind was infused with their planet's guardian. Fearing the mind was unstable, and the danger that posed, the scientists encoded the genetic information of all Oraplaxian species and stored them on the Harvester, creating a kind of Noah's Ark, which, later, Torqa aimed to take full advantage of to reintroduce the Q'Thiel race.

Eventually, Torqa grew tired and jealous of the Q'Thiel and used the Harvester's powers to destroy the entire solar system, which was an event it soon came to regret. When it found Earth untold eons later, it claimed Earth for it's own, choosing to eradicate all life on the planet and replace it with that from Oraplax.

This dichotomy of gods--what seems to be two different gods within the Judeo-Christian tradition--is something that has always interested me. I'm satisfied with this new version of the novel, and I am looking forward to completing the sequel.


  1. I read the original and was really impressed with it, so can only wonder at what you have come up with next, Eric R. Johnston.

    Can wait to get hold of my copy.

    Serina Hartwell - Author of The Hidden Saga

  2. I think you will be pleasantly surprised