Heroes of an Unknown World (Preorder)

Ayize Jama-Everett

February 7, 2023

trade paper · 320 pages · $17 · 9781618731975 | ebook · 9781618731982 | Edelweiss

In the final Liminal novel, a found family of Black superheroes has one last chance to save the world.

The Liminal People · The Entropy of Bones · The Liminal War · Heroes of an Unknown World

After traveling back in time to rescue his fostered daughter, Taggert has returned to the present and found himself in his favorite place: up against the wall. But the world they’ve returned to is not the one they left: everything is slightly grayer, the music is boring, joy is just out of reach. The liminals’ entropic enemies, the Alters, are trying to bring about the end of the world by sucking the life — literally — out of enough people to tip the balance their way.

Traveling from Jamaica to London to Indonesia to the heart of the whirlwind in the desert at the heart of all deserts, Taggert and his found family of liminals and supporters have to find a way to bring back the joy before they’re all ground down into the gray dust.


“Therapist and theologian Jama-Everett takes his group of Black superheroes from 1970s London to contemporary Morocco in the fascinating and action-packed final Liminal novel (after The Liminal War). Liminals possess supernatural powers, among them central figure Taggert’s ability to manipulate DNA to harm and heal; his adopted daughter Prentis’s empathy with animals; and wind spirit A.C.’s power over the elements. Taggert and his seven major allies must finally defeat the beautiful but monstrous Alters, who work to drive all of humanity to lemming-like suicide by creating a physically and spiritually depressed new world. In breathlessly paced adventures told from ever-shifting perspectives, Jama-Everett celebrates the power of family, community, and music to unite peoples and combat entropy, using dramatic flashbacks to illustrate the salvific power of self-sacrifice for a greater good. His fictionalization of the role psychedelics (here “manna,” the food of the gods) can play in mental health and clear conviction that writing can heal those whom mainstream culture has ignored add depth to the rip-roaring action. Series fans and new readers alike are sure to be drawn in.” — Publishers Weekly

Praise for Ayize Jama-Everett’s Liminal Novels

“In Ayize Jama-Everett’s The Liminal War, the family one chooses is just as important as the one a person is born into.” — Nancy Hightower, Washington Post

“A vitality to the voice and a weirdness that, while not always controlled or intentional, is highly appealing for just that reason.” — Charles Yu, New York Times Book Review

“Chabi breaks the mold for superheroes in more ways than one.” —Leilani Clark, KQED

“Rooted in Chabi’s voice, the story is spare, fierce, and rich, and readers will care just as much about the delicate, damaged relationship between Chabi and her mother as the threat of world destruction.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A fun and fast-paced thriller. Recommended for: Mutants, misfits, anyone who’s ever felt partway between one thing and another.” —The Ladies of Comicazi

“You’ll be sucked into a fast-paced story about superpowered people struggling for control of the underground cultures they inhabit…. The novel is a damn good read. It’s a smart actioner that will entertain you while also enticing you to think about matters beyond the physical realm.” —Annalee Newitz, io9

“A great piece of genre fiction. But picking which genre to place it in isn’t easy. The first in a planned series, it’s got the twists and taut pacing of a thriller, the world-warping expansiveness of a fantasy yarn, and even the love-as-redemption arc of a romance. Oh yeah, a lot of the characters in it have superhuman powers, too.”—The Rumpus

“The action sequences are smartly orchestrated, but it is Taggert’s quest to retrieve his own soul that gives The Liminal People its oomph. Jama-Everett has done a stellar job of creating a setup that promises even greater rewards in future volumes.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“The story’s setup . . .  takes next to no time to relate in Jama-Everett’s brisk prose. With flat-voiced, sharp-edged humor reminiscent of the razors his fellow thugs wear around their necks, Taggert claims to read bodies ‘the way pretentious East Coast Americans read The New Yorker … I’ve got skills,’ he adds. ‘What I don’t have is patience.’” —Nisi Shawl, The Seattle Times

“Every once in awhile, a first novel catches you by surprise. Sometimes it’s the style and sometimes it’s the pure originality or unique mixing of influences. In the case of Ayize Jama-Everett’s The Liminal People, the pleasure comes from all of the above.” —Jeff VanderMeer, Omnivoracious

“Razor. Plush. Fast.” — Tân, City Lights Books

“Ayize Jama-Everett has brewed a voodoo cauldron of Sci-Fi, Romance, Crime, and Superhero Comic, to provide us with a true gestalt of understanding, offering us both a new definition of “family” and a world view on the universality of human conduct. The Liminal People—as obviously intended—will draw different reactions from different readers. But none of them will stop reading until its cataclysmic ending.” —Andrew Vachss

“Ayize’s imagination will mess with yours, and the world won’t ever look quite the same again.” —Nalo Hopkinson

The Liminal People has the pleasures of classic sf while being astonishingly contemporary and savvy.” —Maureen F. McHugh

About the Author

Ayize Jama-Everett calls the Bay Area his home despite being born in New York City. He holds a Masters degrees in Divinity, Clinical Psychology, in Fine Arts, Creative Writing. He has worked as a bartender, a translator, a drug and alcohol counselor, a stand-up comedian, a script doctor, a ghostwriter, a high school dean, a college professor, and for a brief time, a distiller of spirits. Jama-Everett’s Liminal series began with The Liminal People and continued with The Entropy of Bones and The Liminal War. He has also written a graphic novel, Box of Bones with two-time Eisner Award winner John Jennings and has written for The Believer and the LA Review of Books, among others.