Latest JJLA news


A great Library Journal review for SUMMERLAND by Hannu Rajaniemi, published by Gollancz in the UK and Tor in the US in June:

In 1938 Britain, the Queen is dead but still ruling the living from afar in Summerland, the city of the afterlife. Stakes of “life or death” no longer have meaning, and the most important commodity on both planes of existence is power. What matters in life if it does not stop at death? Rachel White is a secret intelligence officer with a penchant for interrogating Soviet spies and avoiding her suffocating marriage. She uncovers a mole in Summerland, but her fears are dismissed by her superiors. Humiliated and demoted, Rachel embarks on a rogue mission to bring down the mole and clean house in both the living and dead British Empire. Finnish-born Rajaniemi (“Jean le Flambeur” series) takes a familiar premise (Soviet vs. British spies in the 1930s) and turns it into something new, a complex philosophical espionage story interwoven with mathematical theory and ghosts, taking great care to make Summerland an intricate and vivid world of technological and spiritual wonder.
VERDICT: Recommended for the author’s fans and readers who enjoy Ben Aaronovitch and Adam Roberts.


• May 16th, 2018 • Posted in News


Debut novelist Helen-Rose Owen has joined the John Jarrold Literary Agency.


Her novel Graceland is a character-driven work about two friends who die during a road trip across America. And then they wake up. The afterlife they find themselves in is almost identical to the real world but with one crucial and devastating difference – there is nobody else there.


What follows is the story of how their relationship struggles under the strain of their situation. The book explores themes of loss, grief, and how to connect with people you love but no longer quite know.


Graceland can be compared to the work of Becky Chambers, Nnedi Okorafor, and Naomi Alderman. Graceland has a complex, dynamic woman in its central role; it explores serious themes with an open heart and a sense of humour; and uses its speculative premise to address ideas rooted in the real world and engage in contemporary culture. It is concerned with how we derive meaning from our lives and how our relationships define, or fail to define, our identities.


Helen-Rose was raised by a punk and a Quaker in the North of England, and has a corresponding knack for disobedience. She moved to Belfast for university where she studied theology, and then lived and worked at Northern Ireland’s oldest peace centre for two years. She recently finished an MA in history where she concentrated on themes of religion, identity and conflict. She has had articles published here and there, but never published any fiction.


John Jarrold said: “This is a novel where the protagonists are dead – but it’s neither a ghost story nor a horror story. The setting is brilliantly realised, as is the multi-layered plot.  It is about how our actions – and reactions – can build and change relationships for the better or the worse.  The way the two initial protagonists – and another character – react both to their situation and to each other is totally engrossing. They aren’t white hat heroes at all, they’re living, breathing (irony intended) human beings with flaws.  And as they explore their situation, we feel both sympathetic and sometimes angry with them. A fascinating new writer whose voice grabs from the first line.”



• May 2nd, 2018 • Posted in News


A very good first review from Publishers Weekly for SUMMERLAND, Hannu Rajaniemi’s new novel, coming in June from Gollancz in the UK and Tor in the US:



• April 30th, 2018 • Posted in News


Anna Alexander, Senior Rights Manager at Macmillan UK, has sold German rights in all three novels in the OF BLOOD AND BONE series by fantasy novelist John Gwynne to Johanna Bedenk at Blanvalet, who have previously published his four-book series THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN successfully, for a higher advance.


World rights in the series were acquired by Bella Pagan at Macmillan from agent John Jarrold for a major advance. The first book in the series, A TIME OF DREAD, was published by Macmillan in January 2018.  A TIME OF BLOOD will follow in April 2019. Macmillan had earlier acquired world rights in THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN series pre-emptively from Jarrold.


Bestselling novelist Conn Iggulden said of MALICE, the first book in THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN series:


‘Influenced by Gemmell’s RIGANTE and George R R Martin’s GAME OF THRONES – two good strands of DNA. Great characters and plot – it gets faster and more fascinating by the page…Hell of a debut.  Highly recommended’


Sebastien de Castell, bestselling fantasy author, said of  A TIME OF DREAD: ‘Gwynne’s writing is superb’.


• April 25th, 2018 • Posted in News


Richard King, Rights Manager at Orion, has sold Romanian rights to SUMMERLAND by Finnish science fiction novelist, Hannu Rajaniemi, to Nemira.


Nemira have previously published Hannu’s hugely successful debut THE QUANTUM THIEF, plus two further books – in which world rights were acquired pre-emptively by Gollancz from agent John Jarrold for a high five-figure sum in pounds sterling, on the basis of one chapter.


SUMMERLAND is the first book in a new three-book world rights contract with Gollancz, mixing John Le Carré with SF.  It is an  account of the afterlife and what happens when it spills over into the world of the living from the most exciting new voice in the genre since Neal Stephenson. Loss is a thing of the past. Murder is obsolete. Death is just the beginning.


SUMMERLAND will be published this June in the UK by Gollancz and in the US by Tor.


• March 21st, 2018 • Posted in News