Latest JJLA news

Brian Aldiss RIP

I started attending the London SF Meeting on the first Thursday of the month in November 1972 – at the Globe pub in Hatton Garden.  Met various people there, including Rob Holdstock and John Brunner – and Peter Nicholls,  who was then running the SF Foundation at the North-East London Polytechnic.  And I heard about SF conventions.  So I joined the 1973 Eastercon, OMPAcon, which took place at the Grand Hotel in Bristol.  Had a great time, met some people I still run into at cons.  On the Sunday night I left the con hall around 2am after watching DOCTOR STRANGELOVE. Walked into the bar (which was open as long as people wanted to drink) and saw Peter Nicholls sitting with others at a big, round table.  He waved me over.  As I sat down I realised I had Peter on one side of me, Brian Aldiss on the other and Jim and Judy Blish across the table.  Bloody hell. Brian and Jim were among my heroes – naturally enough.


We sat there chatting about life, the universe and everything.  Jim and Judy went to bed about 4.  Peter, Brian and I stayed there, drinking and talking, until breakfast time, when we decamped to the restaurant and ate a hearty meal.  I caught the train back to London later that Easter Monday morning, feeling ten feet in the air.  I had come home.


I didn’t see Brian again until the 1974 Eastercon in Newcastle. When I arrived and walked into the hotel bar he was ensconced in the corner, chatting to members of Hawkwind, who used to turn up at cons sometimes, back then.  I thought I’d say hello if I got a chance later in the weekend.  I was halfway to the bar when Brian shouted “Hello, John!  Not going to say hello!!!” Amazing. There are more stories over the 40-odd years since, but those early meetings, and the huge fun, stay with me always.  And I haven’t mentioned the magnificent novels and stories.  I think I might seek out a CD with All Creatures That on Earth Do Dwell tonight…


• August 21st, 2017 • Posted in News


Writer Shweta Taneja has joined the John Jarrold Literacy Agency.


Shweta is a fantasy author, comic writer and journalist based in India. She’s written seven books and two hundred articles in a career spanning fourteen years. She’s a Charles Wallace India Writing Fellow and was shortlisted for Best Writer Award in ComicCon India for The Skull Rosary.


Her graphic novel Krishna Defender of Dharma is part of CBSE and Kendriya Vidyalaya Recommended Lists. Her novels include Ghost Hunters of Kurseong, and How to Steal a Ghost @ Manipal.


The bestselling Anantya Tantrist Mysteries -The Matsya Curse and Cult of Chaos are published by HarperCollins in India. This is a series of adventures and cases solved by a female occult detective, Anantya Tantrist. Based in Delhi, the capital of India, the series takes readers through richly layered supernatural species and creatures, controlled by ruthless occultists called tantriks.


Anantya is 23 years old, the only female tantrik in India (female tantriks are not officially recognised by the Tantrik Association so what she’s doing is illegal), gutsy, expletive-spewing, colourful in her life choices and very entertaining.


The novel is written from a first-person point of view, where Anantya takes us through her rather psychedelic world, dealing with one monster at a time (be it human or otherwise) through wit and blood magic. The supernatural world and its species are based in myths and folklore of the Indian subcontinent.


The series is urban fantasy, comparable to John Constantine, Anita Blake and The Dresden Files.


John Jarrold said: “Shweta’s writing grabbed me immediately. Anantya is a wonderfully involving character and the books mix wit and horror brilliantly.”


Shweta Taneja said: “John has vast knowledge and experience when it comes to the speculative fiction genre and I’m thrilled to be represented by his agency.”


Shweta’s website is:



• August 21st, 2017 • Posted in News


Game designer and novelist Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan is the latest author to join the John Jarrold Literary Agency. Gareth describes himself as: “39, Irish, married, twin four-year-olds, generally affable”.

He has been heavily involved in the Paranoia roleplaying game – and there are exciting announcements coming soon on that front. He is the author of the Paranoia novel Reality Optional. He has also contributed short stories to the Stone Skin Press anthologies The Lion and the Aardvark and Schemers.

Gareth has recently worked on the award-winning DRACULA DOSSIER project with Pelgrane Press & Ken Hite ( – Stoker’s original text expanded and annotated as a spy novel, together with a plethora of roleplaying supplements based on it. He is presently working on CTHULHU CITY ( – a supplement of Mythos urban weirdness that mashes up all of Lovecraft’s cities, from Providence to R’lyeh.

His new novel is THE GUTTER PRAYER.


As above…

Guerdon is neutral in the Godswar – but can the rulers of this city of alchemists, thieves and priests keep the peace intact?

So below…

Three thieves – an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man – are betrayed by the master of the thieves’ guild. What strange allies can they gather on their quest for revenge?


Gareth said:

“It’s a novel about how systems break down or mutate under pressure, and how individuals – unscrupulous or heroic – will get crushed by those systems unless they pick the right moment to act, and exert pressure in the right place. That’s likely an outgrowth of my background in tabletop game design – one of my strength is cohesive world building, and the world rarely respects the desires and drives of individuals except at certain pivotal moments.”

John Jarrold said:

“Gareth’s setting is wonderful – as are his characters (human and non-human) and their stories, the way they wind together and interact, and the decisions they make – or those that are forced upon them. His voice is fascinating and involving and this marks a new star of epic fantasy. You’ll be entranced, and sometimes you will shudder at the dark routes through the city’s underworld and the beings you encounter there.”


• July 25th, 2017 • Posted in News


Sam Eades, Editorial Director at Trapeze, has acquired World Rights (All Languages) for The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club by David M Barnett in a deal struck by John Jarrold Literary Agency.

Sam Eades, editor said: ‘The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club is a novel about loneliness, something that many of us will experience at some point in our lives. With his trademark warmth and humour, David explores an unlikely friendship across the generations that will tug on the heartstrings but most importantly leave the reader with hope. Publishing Calling Major Tom has been an absolute joy with rights sold around the world, and I’m so pleased to be working with David again!’

David M Barnett, author said: ‘The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club, just like Calling Major Tom, was sparked by a real news item; what if a nursing home took in students to offer cheaper accommodation but also encourage some inter-generational activity between young and old? We follow Jenny Ebert, a young woman with a troubled past who is hoping to reinvent herself at a new university. As the Baby Boomers and the Millennials cross swords and struggle to find common ground in the remote, coastal Sunset Promenade, everyone begins to learn that what divides us can sometimes bring us together. But as Jenny and the older residents start to bond over a shared love of old film noir movies, secrets, lies and the very real threat of a crime-wave sweeping Sunset Promenade jeopardises the fragile peace… and heralds even darker and more serious consequences. Think The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel meets Fresh Meat meets Farewell, My Lovely, and you’re halfway to The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club.’

John Jarrold, agent said: ‘After Calling Major Tom, the wit, immediacy and warmth of David Barnett’s writing are even more clear in The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club, which makes me laugh and thrills me simultaneously.  His characters are wonderfully real and flawed.  I cheer for them on every page.”

David Barnett is an author and journalist based in West Yorkshire. After a career working for regional newspapers he embarked upon a freelance career writing features for most of the UK national press. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed Gideon Smith series of Victorian fantasies, published by Tor Books, and teaches journalism part-time at Leeds Trinity University. David was born in Wigan, Lancashire, in 1970 and is married to Claire, also a journalist. They have two children, Charlie and Alice.

The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club will be published by Trapeze in March 2018 in export trade paperback, ebook and audio with the mass market paperback in Summer 2018.

• June 16th, 2017 • Posted in News


Jen Gunnels at Tor in New York has acquired US rights to Andrew Bannister’s Spin Trilogy, a major science fiction series that opened with CREATION MACHINE, from Helen Edwards, Rights Director of Transworld UK.


Agent John Jarrold sold world rights in the trilogy to Simon Taylor in 2015, and CREATION MACHINE was published by Transworld UK in 2016. The second book in the series, IRON GODS, was published in May 2017. Tor publication dates will be confirmed later.


CREATION MACHINE has received great praise:



“Debut novelist Andrew Bannister comes to the genre with his talents fully formed in the ambitious, compulsively readable Creation Machine . . . [it] has everything: intriguing far-future societies, exotic extra-terrestrial races, artificial galaxies and alien machines dormant for millions of years. Bannister holds it all together with enviable aplomb.” (Eric Brown GUARDIAN)


“Balancing bursts of action with expansive world-building, immersive prose and sharp dialogue, Bannister has written a colourful debut that conjures up the same kind of gnarly, lurid weirdness that made Iain M. Banks’ SF epics so memorable.” (SFX)


“An excellent read that ticked the boxes for me. Augmented humans up to and including one as a cloud of nanomachines, Banksian drones and cruel politics. Grotesque and interesting alien life, and characters I cared about – all written in an engaging style.” (NEAL ASHER)


“A thrilling debut . . . delivers in spades everything I’m looking for in a Space Opera – imaginative settings, strange aliens, an arsenal of unusual weapons, and, most of all, characters I like and who I want to know what happens to them. This is a book that is fast-paced and stylish, but not one where its literary merits outweigh its sheer enthusiasm and sense of enjoyment . . . It reminded me of the first Peter F. Hamilton I read in its sense of epic-ness, or the first Iain (M.) Banks I read in its intelligent plotting and its sense of humour . . . I can’t recommend this one highly enough . . . should be a monster.” (Mark Yon SFFWORLD)


“Bannister’s a fresh, vivid and inventive voice, and Creation Machine’s epic roller-coaster gives modern space opera a much-needed shot in the arm. The scale is Cinemascope, but he keeps a clear and intelligent focus on his characters, settings and ideas.” (IAN R. MACLEOD)


“I really enjoyed Creation Machine: fast-paced, intelligent SF, action-packed and immersive.” (ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY, author of Children of Time)


“Bannister’s exemplary world building brings a sense of awe to Creation Machine – you can’t help but marvel at his descriptive prowess . . . a beautiful space opera.” (SCiFiNOW)


• June 16th, 2017 • Posted in News