John Joseph Adams Books

JJA_colophonJohn Joseph Adams Books is a science fiction and fantasy imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt dedicated to publishing best-selling and award-winning science fiction and fantasy from a diverse range of voices, both new and established—fiction that is literary and accessible, sometimes experimental, and always full of a sense of wonder. For news about the imprint, including information about recent acquisitions and other future titles, visit the John Joseph Adams Books news page.

Questland (forthcoming)

Literature professor Dr. Addie Cox is living a happy, if sheltered, life in her ivory tower when Harris Lang, the famously eccentric billionaire tech genius, offers her an unusual job. He wants her to guide a mercenary strike team sent to infiltrate his island retreat off the northwest coast of the United States. Addie is puzzled by her role on the mission until she understands what Lang has built: Insula Mirabilis, an isolated resort where tourists will one day pay big bucks for a convincing, high-tech-powered fantasy-world experience, complete with dragons, unicorns, and, yes, magic. Unfortunately, one of the island’s employees has gone rogue and activated an invisible force shield that has cut off all outside communication. A Coast Guard cutter attempting to pass through the shield has been destroyed. Suspicion rests on Dominic Brand, the project’s head designer— and Addie Cox’s ex-boyfriend. Lang has tasked Addie and the mercenary team with taking back control of the island at any cost. But Addie is wrestling demons of her own—and not the fantastical kind. Now, she must navigate the deadly traps of Insula Mirabilis as well as her own past trauma. And no d20, however lucky, can help Addie make this saving throw.

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The Apocalypse Seven (forthcoming)

The whateverpocalypse. That’s what Touré, a twenty-something Cambridge coder, calls it after waking up one morning to find himself seemingly the only person left in the city. Once he finds Robbie and Carol, two equally disoriented Harvard freshmen, he realizes he isn’t alone, but the name sticks: Whateverpocalypse. But it doesn’t explain where everyone went. It doesn’t explain how the city became overgrown with vegetation in the space of a night. Or how wild animals with no fear of humans came to roam the streets. Add freakish weather to the mix, swings of temperature that spawn tornadoes one minute and snowstorms the next, and it seems things can’t get much weirder. Yet even as a handful of new survivors appear—Paul, a preacher as quick with a gun as a Bible verse; Win, a young professional with a horse; Bethany, a thirteen-year-old juvenile delinquent; and Ananda, an MIT astrophysics adjunct—life in Cambridge, Massachusetts gets stranger and stranger. The self-styled Apocalypse Seven are tired of questions with no answers. Tired of being hunted by things seen and unseen. Now, armed with curiosity, desperation, a shotgun, and a bow, they become the hunters. And that’s when things truly get weird.

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A Dark Queen Rises (forthcoming)

The Burnt Empire Saga #2

Queen Aqreen of Aquila leaves her husband Jarsun and flees across the Red Desert. She is determined to keep her daughter from being used by Jarsun to stake his claim to the Burning Throne of Hastinaga, seat of the all-powerful Burnt Empire. But Jarsun is vengeful and can summon legions of demoniac forces at will. The Red Desert is vast, and the journey dangerous. Aqreen and Krushita’s caravan of ten thousand wagons will take several years to reach the only safe harbor, the queendom of Reygar. Jarsun’s pursuit is relentless and his vengeance terrible, but hope shines from the growing powers of little Krushita herself, along with the four-armed, twin-bodied Vanjhani wagon train leader and their band of valiant desert militia. Fierce battles are in store. There are other players in this great game of demigods and mortals, each pursuing their own agendas. The powerful seer-mage Vessa seeks to join Krushita’s talents with that of Drishya, an avatar destined to confront and kill Tyrak, Jarsun’s diabolical son-in-law. Ladislew the assassin aligns with Tyrak for her own reasons. All paths culminate in a feverish finale on the hot sands of Reygar, as father, mother, and daughter confront each other in one ultimate showdown.

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The Conductors

Hetty Rhodes and her husband, Benjy, were Conductors on the Underground Railroad, ferrying dozens of slaves to freedom with daring, cunning, and magic that draws its power from the constellations. With the war over, those skills find new purpose as Hetty and Benjy solve mysteries and murders in their community that white authorities would otherwise ignore. In the heart of Philadelphia’s Seventh Ward, everyone knows that when there’s a strange death or magical curses causing trouble, Hetty and Benjy are the only ones that can solve the case. But when an old friend is murdered, their investigation stirs up a wasp’s nest of intrigue, lies, and long-buried secrets—and a mystery unlike anything they’ve handled before. With a clever, cold-blooded killer on the prowl, Hetty and Benjy—testing their magic and placing their lives at risk—will discover how little they really know about their neighbors . . . and themselves.

 

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The Unfinished Land

Reynard, a young apprentice, seeks release from the drudgery of working for his fisherman uncle in the English village of Southwold. His rare days off lead him to strange encounters—not just with press gangs hoping to fill English ships to fight the coming Spanish Armada, but strangers who seem to know him—one of whom casts a white shadow.

The village’s ships are commandeered, and after a fierce battle at sea, Reynard finds himself the sole survivor of his uncle’s devastated hoy. For days he drifts, starving and dying of thirst, until he is rescued by a galleon, also lost—and both are propelled by a strange current to the unknown northern island of Thule. Here Reynard must meet his destiny in a violent clash between humans and gods.

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Chosen Ones

SAVING THE WORLD ONCE MADE THEM HEROES. SAVING IT AGAIN MAY DESTROY THEM.

Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice—catastrophic events known as Drains—leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.

After the Dark One fell, the world went back to normal . . . for everyone but them. After all, what do you do when you’re the most famous people on Earth, your only education was in magical destruction, and your purpose in life is now fulfilled?

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Creatures of Charm and Hunger

In the waning days of World War II, tucked into the sleepy Cumbrian countryside in the north of England, lies the Library: the repository of all occult knowledge for the Société des Éclairées, an international organization of diabolists. There, with a victory for the Allies hanging in the balance, best friends Jane Blackwood and Miriam Cantor begin to contemplate their futures as diabolists. But when Miriam learns her missing parents are suspected of betraying the Société to the Nazis, she embarks upon a desperate, dangerous gambit to clear their names. Meanwhile Jane, fearing her life might be at stake, embraces a forbidden use of the Art that puts everyone she loves in danger. As their friendship buckles under the stress of too many secrets, Jane and Miriam will come face to face with unexpected truths that change everything they know about the war, the world, and most of all themselves. After all, some choices cannot be unmade—and a sacrifice done with the most noble of intentions might end up creating a monster.

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Collected Excerpts

John Joseph Adams Books is a science fiction and fantasy imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt dedicated to publishing best-selling and award-winning science fiction and fantasy from a diverse range of voices, both new and established—fiction that is literary and accessible, sometimes experimental, and always full of a sense of wonder. If that sounds like it’s up your alley, then lucky you! You can try for free all of the titles we have to offer in our John Joseph Adams Books Collected Excerpts ebook sampler!

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Half Way Home

Five hundred colonists have been sent across the stars to settle an alien planet. Vat-grown in a dream-like state, they are educated through simulations by an artificial intelligence and should awaken at thirty years old, fully-trained, and ready to tame the new world. But fifteen years in, an explosion on their vessel kills most of the homesteaders and destroys the majority of their supplies. Worse yet, the sixty that awaken and escape the flames are only half-taught and possess the skills least useful for survival. Naked and terrified, the teens stumble from their fiery baptism ill-prepared for the unfamiliar and harsh alien world around them. Though they attempt to work with the colony A.I. to build a home, tension and misery are rampant, escalating into battles for dominance. Soon they find that their worst enemy isn’t the hostile environment, the A.I., or the blast that nearly killed them. Their greatest danger is each other.

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Reentry

After almost dying on Mars, astronaut Liz Anderson returns to Earth, but not to a hero’s welcome. America is in turmoil. The war is over, but the insurgency has just begun. So while life on Mars may have been deadly, at least up there she knew who the enemy was. Along with her, Anderson has brought the remnants of the artificial intelligence that waged war on two planets. Buried somewhere deep within the cold electronic circuits lies the last vestiges of her dead partner, Jianyu. Liz is torn, unsure whether he’s somehow still alive in electronic form or if this is just a ploy by an adversary who will go to any length to win. Heartbroken and treated with suspicion, she finds herself caught up in the guerrilla war being waged on Earth, wondering if the AI threat is truly gone, or if it has only just begun.

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