Profile of Alaya Dawn Johnson

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This profile moderated by Alaya Dawn Johnson.


Alaya (pronounced ah-lie-ah) lives, writes, cooks and (perhaps most importantly) eats in New York City. Her literary loves are all forms of speculative fiction, historical fiction, and the occasional highbrow novel. Her culinary loves are all kinds of ethnic food, particularly South Indian, which she feels must be close to ambrosia. She graduated from Columbia University in 2004 with a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures, and has lived and traveled extensively in Japan.



Novel: Racing the Dark, forthcoming from Agate Publishing.

Short story: "Among Their Bright Eyes" in Fantasy Magazine #5 (Winter)

Novella: "Third Day Lights" in Interzone issue #200, September/October 2005. Reprinted in Year's Best SF #11, edited by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

Novella: "Shard of Glass" in Strange Horizons, February 2005. Reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy #6, edited by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. Shortlisted for the Carl Brandon Society Parallax award.

Short story: "Who Ever Loved" in Arabella Magazine, December 2004
"Good for Hanging" in Chizine, Fall 2004. Honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror #18
The Revenant of Tokyo Bay: Godzilla and the Japanese Ghost in The Internet Review of Science Fiction, March 2004.


SF Site, David Soyka
on "Third Day Lights"

Science fiction is no different from any fiction in frequently pondering the significance of existence, which can easily become sophomoric in the wrong hands. But Alaya Dawn Johnson manages to tread the fine line rather well in her atmospherically powerful -- and a bit disturbing -- "Third Day Lights." Think Jonathan Carroll on LSD and you'll sort of get the idea.

Tangent Online, Michael Gabriel Bailey
on "Third Day Lights"

I don't think I have ever read a story that was as disturbing and hypnotic as "Third Day Lights" by Alaya Dawn Johnson...I found this story succeeded for me because of the amazing imagery, the original ideas, and the incredibly graceful use of language.

Tangent Online by Eugie Foster
on "Shard of Glass"

Johnson's story is evocative, rich with sensory ...She takes us on an exhilarating journey of cultural exploration, social expectations, and ingrained racial injustice that culminates in a satisfying conclusion. Her poignant handling of racial issues is deft and thoughtful, effective without being overbearing or ham-fisted, making for a poignant and effective tale.

Richard Hawkins in SciFi UK
on "Third Day Lights"

This story reminds me of the feeling I had when I first saw Salvador Dali's paintings at the Tate Gallery in London. Bizarre. You can't help frowning through half the story, and it just gets deeper towards the end. ...Beautiful SF.

Claude Lalumiere (Lost Pages/Found Pages)
Third Day Lights

"This sparkling gem of a story evokes many past masters of fantastic fiction Moorcock, Vance, Silverberg, Zelazny, and probably others but the vibrant synthesis that emerges is entirely Johnson's. A brash far-future adventure that often feels like fantasy, "Third Day Lights" is gorgeously written and sizzling with energy..."

Publishers Weekly
Shard of Glass

"Stories from such renowned authors as Esther Friesner and Gene Wolfe are surprisingly outclassed by tales from relative newcomers Alaya Dawn Johnson and Anne Harris."