Jason Rekulak was born and raised in New Jersey. He has worked for many years at Quirk Books, where he edits a variety of fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children. The Impossible Fortress is his first novel. To learn more and play a version of The Impossible Fortress game, visit JasonRekulak.com.
* MOST ANTICIPATED NOVELS OF 2017 SELECTION BY * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * BUSTLE * INSTYLE.COM *
PRAISE FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS
"Revel in 1987 nostalgia in this debut about a teen boy, a coveted copy of Playboy, and a computer-nerd girl."
"Need a sanctuary book right about now? Maybe a retro escapist read about simpler times that lets you laugh out loud, not overthink, indulge in nostalgia? Well, here you go. The Impossible Fortress is a quirky, endearing, full embrace of the late '80s. Set in those promise-filled, early years of the Computer Age, its clever plot is driven by surging teen hormones and fumbling first love, by bad adolescent choices and a struggle for redemption."
"Full of clueless boys, consequence-free adventures and generous helpings of adolescent humor, all served up with a kind smile...you relish the book's countless callbacks to the 1980s."
"Infused with 1980s music, pop culture, and plenty of the BASIC computer programming language, Rekulak's debut offers a charmingly vintage take on geek love, circa 1987 in New Jersey... Rekulak's novel will have readers of a certain age waxing nostalgic about Space Invaders and humming Hall and Oates, but it's still a fun ride that will appeal to all."
"Rekulak layers in nostalgic eighties references, like a mixtape created by Mary's recently deceased mother, an oblique nod to Beetlejuice, and the wacky group of misfit friends with a 'really good' plan. Despite all that, in the end the plot manages to magically subvert the time period while also paying homage to it. An unexpected retro delight."
--Booklist (starred review)
"Set against the backdrop of 1980s New Jersey, Jason Rekulak's charming coming-of-age debut about a 14-year-old computer nerd who schemes to steal an issue of Playboy from a local store and meets a girl who can code in the process will invoke pangs of nostalgia."
"A sweet and surprising story about young love."
"There are few things in this life more satisfying than a book that truly grasps what it's like to be a nerd--and what makes it so much damn fun. The Impossible Fortress is about video games, first crushes, idols and adolescence--and it's a thoroughly escapist joy in its most pure form."
"Fans of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One -- or anyone who grew up as a nerd in the '80s -- will be sure to find something to love in Philadelphia-based author Rekulak's debut novel, about a 14-year-old Commodore 64 aficionado whose life changes when he encounters a Playboy photo spread and meets a computer programmer."
"This debut novel by the publisher of Quirk Books feels like a sort of spiritual prequel to Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, with a young protagonist adrift in a sea of pop culture and new technology, trying to figure out his future."
"The Impossible Fortress strikes the perfect balance of strangeness and relatability; it's nostalgic in all the right ways. It reminds us that sometimes relationships are like video games, where small actions have big consequences and we have to fail a few times before we succeed."
"This book is Stranger Things meets Halt and Catch Fire, to be enjoyed by those (like me) who have a soft spot for 8-bit games and the teenage antics of a more innocent time. "
"A love letter to the 1980s, adolescence, technology, nerd-dom, and Vanna White, The Impossible Fortress will make you laugh and remind you of how much is possible when you're fourteen."
--David Ebershoff, bestselling author of The Danish Girl
"The Impossible Fortress reads like a newly-unearthed Amblin movie--a sweet, funny and moving tribute to nerds and misfits everywhere, set in a magical time when cassettes were king, phones had cords and Playboy was the pinnacle of smut. Fans of Ernie Cline and Chuck Klosterman--this is your next favorite book."
--Seth Grahame-Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
"The Impossible Fortress is hilarious, compulsively readable and surprisingly poignant, a teenage caper novel set in a time where U2 could still be considered a one-hit wonder and pornography was as close and as unobtainable to a 14-year-old boy as a Playboy magazine kept behind the counter at an office supply store. I absolutely loved it."
--Carolyn Parkhurst, New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel and Harmony
"Part love story, part coming-of-age tale, and part heist picture, The Impossible Fortress is an endlessly clever novel about friendship, heartache and computers--all rendered with the bright colors and buoyant spirit of Q*bert for the Commodore 64."
--Ben H. Winters, author of the Edgar-award winning Last Policeman trilogy, and Underground Airlines
"A tenderly crafted and charmingly spot-on debut novel....surprising and nostalgic in the best possible way."
--Denise Kiernan, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls of Atomic City
"Touching and gut-wrenching; an uplifting tribute to anyone who was ever a high school outcast. Trust me, you're welcome."
--Andrew Smith, award-winning author of Grasshopper Jungle and Winger
"Anyone who was a nerdy 14-year-old in the mid '80s (like me) will love this hilarious and nostalgic book."
--John Boyne, author of The Heart's Invisible Furies