John Baker (he/him) joined the agency in 2019 where he is focusing on building his own small, cultivated list, shaped around his passion for Science Fiction and Fantasy, alongside providing administrative support across the agency. John also leads the film & TV desk for the wider agency and is on the Association of Author’s Agent’s Bridge Committee.
John is building a small but unique list of authors, who all share a passion for subverting expectations and creating rich new worlds of adventure. John is focusing on authors writing in the Adult, New Adult and YA space, though will read the occasional middle-grade if there isn’t a more suitable agent at the agency.
John is looking for anything under the broad church of SFF, from literary to pulpy, high fantasy to gritty urban, but he would especially love to hear from anyone under-represented in the genre, particularly neurodiverse writers. John is also keen to grow his horror list, but definitely in the vein of psychological terror more than straight gore-fest.
In particular, John is looking for lush and inventive YA/NA fantasy, science fiction and horror, especially stories that challenge the tropes and expectations of the genre.
He would love some near-future sci-fi or speculative, in the vein of Black Mirror‘s more uplifting episodes, (e.g. San Junipero), or a high-concept rom-com like Palm Springs. He’s also on the hunt for some grounded speculative takes on modern-day professions, such as medicine, law, policing, politics, espionage, and international relations.
After falling head over heels for his first romantasy, John is keen to see more cosy low-stakes, high-charm stories, or sweeping fantastical love stories (not adverse to a bit of spice), especially from under-represented backgrounds.
John has his first beefy epic fantasy, but he is keen for more that break the mould in some way, Sanderson will always be the best at being Sanderson. Anything building from a Non-Anglo-Christian cultural background would be a great start.
Horror-wise, gothic will always be a favourite and he loves a mythologically inspired scare-fest. He’s keen to read an intelligent creature feature from the POV of the monster or even something with a strong romantic element amongst all the gore.
He’s open to projects at the more literary end of the spectrum, a rich magical realism or something character-led yet supernatural and would love a high-concept mystery, in the vein of Stuart Turton.
He’s not the best agent for military sci-fi or hard SF, and he rarely enjoys biblical “character wakes up in purgatory/heaven/hell” stories, and the right comedic fantasy has yet to hit his inbox, (please don’t comp Douglas Adams or Sir Terry).
John has also been branching out into specific talent-led projects, following his own interests.