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Heroes of an Unknown World: a novel

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

ISBN-13: 9781618731975

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Small Beer Press

Publication Date: 02-14-2023

Pages: 352

Product Dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Series: The Liminal People , #4

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 Liminal War and The Entropy of Bones. 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.

Read an Excerpt

An excerpt from Chapter 3 of Heroes of an Unknown World Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica Prentis Moon come and the wind goes quiet. Still hidden from prying eyes, but a fire is good for heat and light. No need for the shelter of the little Rasta cabin. Shadow world heat warms flesh well enough. Just not soul. All are fed but one of the crew is still Know Taggert better than he knows himself. All trained, responsible like. Forgets the importance of instinct. Not I. Animals wouldn’t let me forget the lesson of reflex. Know when Tag sees this Bingy bloke turned to a sense of normal that his next instinct will be his lost love, currently cuddled up with his brother. Samantha. “So this the plan?” He says right on cue. “We go around gathering up allies then take the fight to the Alters?” “Any of your allies know how to stop the universal entropic shift?” A.C. asks. “Cause if not, we’ll be wasting our time.” “There’s only one entity we know that could help on that score.” Mico chimes, high on the return of his bestie. “Your shit talking tuber god?” Tam snaps. “Last I checked the God of connections was disconnected from everything.” “I said I couldn’t feel it,” Mico chat back. “But I bet he can.” “Bingy ain’t Liminal.” A.C. says. “Exactly. The Alters have gone out of their way to defend against Liminals, either by recruiting or destroying them. They’ve wiped all traces of true Manna vassals out of existence, but not humans…” “Not yet.” Bingy say. “How’s that?” Tag asks. “If dis Alter as you say is the power, the Babylon power then I and I see their approach for the end of humanity. It’s for why Babylon lock I man up.” “Translation? Someone? Anyone?” Tam asks. “I speak of the Decimation.” Tag gives her the silent go ahead and Tam does a quick search of everyone in Jamaica’s mind for the word. Takes a lot to shake Tamara. A lot. When she gasps, I come close. “Doesn’t make a lick of sense.” She tries to say. “Tell it to me.” I say back, trooping up army ants around us for protection. “It’s exactly what it says. A decimation. 10% of the world’s population to die. To reduce population explosion, to clear prisons, to ease water demands. They’ve made it sound…It’s perverse, but they’ve made it sound rational.” “They’re going to kill ten percent of the world?” I ask. “No pretty P. Ten percent to commit suicide. All the same day. The same time. You volunteer, you live like a king or queen on any island of your choice for this entire year. No rules apply to you, everything’s free, the best medical care to make you as comfortable as possible if you’re dying. The incarcerated get let go and get a free pass to do whatever if they’re chosen by lottery. They’re using the islands like party central, Babylon incarnate....” “To speak against this heresy is a imprisoning offense.” Bingy man says, confirming what Tam knows to be true. “That’s…” Mico can’t find the words. “Who would agree to…” Tag starts. “The overpopulated, spiritually morosely weakened collection of 7 billion souls known as the human race,” A.C. chimes in. Beginning to see the source of his irritation. “Remember, all their music is for shit, all their religious readers are for hire. Their sciences are all oriented towards the depletion of more resources and their collective imagination is a static filled cocoon, where the God of connections used to do its best work. Get it right people. We are fighting against the entropy in all things.” Taggert gives Tam the ability to get high back. Soon as she’s done with her massive toke, he takes one. See someone else in need. “How long has it been for you?”Ask the wind boy as he makes small whirlwinds by the outside ashes of the fire. “What?” “That you’ve known? That you’ve seen humanity giving up?” “I move,” Tells me after a minute. “That’s what the wind does. We keep moving. As things get still, less mobile, I’m talking thought and ideas as well as the material world, I feel it. It’s…things have been slowing down for a while…” “And with Liminals being hunted down to conversion or death and Mico gone, you’ve been riding solo with this info.” Put an arm around him and call up four hill dogs, not yet a year old to nuzzle beside him. Wind man tries to wiggle free but who says no to a puppy pile on? Dogs nudge him from his purposeful squat to his ass. “You’re not alone anymore,” Tell him. “It’s easy to feel like you’re separate when you’re by yourself. But you’ve got crew now, wind boy. And that forgetting thing you do? Doesn’t work on animals. They forget and remember every second of every day. They’ve seen the work you’ve done, fighting against the Alters and they like you mate. So don’t go getting morbid, yeah? We ain’t done yet.” “How come he gets a puppy pile?” Tam crawls over how I taught her to join in dog play. Tell her about the fleas later.