Books I’m Querying

Though I’ve written four books over these last twenty years, I currently have two polished, beta-read, and heavily revised novels I’m querying: A near-future, high-concept Frankenstein retelling, and a character-driven, dark literary fantasy.

Body Insurance, the near-future Frankenstein retelling, was my MFA thesis and has received praise from editors, authors, and agents while being represented by my first agent.*

The Undying, the character-driven literary fantasy with crossover appeal, was my next novel, which I wrote while on sub with the previous novel.

For any agents or acquisition editors interested, below I’ve detailed information on both books.

*My novel Body Insurance was only submitted to a few large publishers back in 2020 and has since undergone extensive edits to layer in more interiority. I have that small list of editors upon request.


Body Insurance

SFF,Fantasy,Literary Fantasy,Literary SF,Science Fiction,SF,Speculative,Querying,AmQuerying,WritingCommunity,Agents,Literary Agents,Acquisition Editors

Logline:

The world’s first assembled human threatens to shatter a nascent utopia.

Genre:

High-concept literary science fiction set in the near future.

Target Audience:

Primarily adult readers ages 35-55 compelled by the works of Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Isaac Asimov.

Pitch:

ROSE is the world’s darkest secret not thought possible—the first assembled human. This threatens our utopia, where most live in their 100s by harvesting grown organs. Captive and ailing, Rose must escape to survive and reveal her truth.

Media Comps:

BODY INSURANCE is a near-future Frankenstein epic that blends the meta-human introspection of Blade Runner with the intractable determination found in Gattaca.

Book Comps:

Rose’s story is steeped in recent discoveries of organ growth that, ultimately, melds the grounded reality found in Station Eleven by Emily St. Mandel with ideas of how our actions today determine our fate tomorrow, as revealed in The Great Transition by Nick Fuller Googins.

Info:

Our hero, ROSE, used to be an interconnected unit of individual body parts that were harvested, and, unknowingly to everyone else, she was fully aware. In this regard, please consider my novel Body Insurance, a standalone 113k high-concept science fiction tale with plenty of series potential.

Pre-Publication Blurbs:

“Body Insurance is an express train of a science fiction novel, equally thrilling and scary. Judah Mahay does a beautiful job in making us believe the unbelievable. A book for and about the troubling future, which is already here.” – NYT Bestselling Author Roger Rosenblatt.

“A moving, disturbing science fiction tale, as if Frankenstein met Flowers for Algernon and explored the continually evolving possibilities of what life can be in the 21st century.” – Jason Sanford, Nebula Award Finalist, Philip K. Dick Award Finalist, and Nominee for the BSFA Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Pushcart Prize.

“BODY INSURANCE is the spinechilling story of “Rose” whose fragile, neo-Frankensteinian existence depends on her ability to provide human organs for privileged candidates. Mahay cleverly blends his science fiction tale with an insidious touch of horror, leaving the reader to question the very definition of humanity.” – Jeannine Garsee, author of The Unquiet.

Synopsis Tease:

Awakening to a life trapped in an experimental lab, Rose learns that as a biopod, her heart had been harvested and swapped to stave off the cancer that killed her DNA sister. A dying organ now beating in her chest, Rose attempts to escape, but is thwarted by Viacorp, which never lets her out of sight as they wait for her to quietly die. As Rose’s hope for freedom and survival diminishes, she befriends one of the nurses, Lilly, who funnels messages to the outside through a famous blogger, Signclocke. These recordings reveal a horrifying truth. Despite Viacorp’s assurances, biopods are complete humans. Rose is the proof, and her memories of living a compartmentalized, fractured life of being harvested threaten the very structure of society’s dependence on organ growth.

Soon thereafter, Rose is secretly contacted by the Archi, an anarchist, pro-bionics group. They promise aid if she can meet them at the Blood Trap, an underground black market of flesh—the byproduct of “body insurance” where the leeches of society prey on the organs of those in need. The Archi’s message offers her a palatable, if illegal, solution—a bionic heart—but only if they are who they say they are. Now, Rose must put aside any reservations about the Archi to pursue her only hope for survival by venturing into the unknown.

Excerpt:

Behind the viewing glass, half-assembled, the biopod twitches with the promise of life unintended, twisted into this manifested vulgarity. Baked in fluorescent glare, a handless arm is knitted to the torso by a countless number of white-cloaked surgeons and medical techs. A web of thin crimson tubes snakes down from the ceiling interconnected, pumping life into a cadre of yet-to-be-assembled organs, limbs, and digits as if the panoply of flesh hopes to be made whole.

Body Insurance by Judah Mahay

The Undying

SFF,Fantasy,Literary Fantasy,Literary SF,Science Fiction,SF,Speculative,Querying,AmQuerying,WritingCommunity,Agents,Literary Agents,Acquisition Editors
Original artwork by the incredible Odobenus on DeviantArt.

Logline:

Who else could love an abandoned god’child that eats souls?

Genre:

Dark character-driven literary fantasy.

Target Audience:

Primarily crossover audience of 18-35 year holds. Can fit in the YA, NA, or adult categories. Will appeal to readers of Philip Pullman, Susanna Clarke, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Pitch:

LUNITH did not intend to slay the dragon god she worshipped nor adopt its sickly, soul-eating child. Now hunted by her deity’s enraged spirit bent on eating the infant’s soul to reclaim immortality, Lunith must flee to survive and search out a cure for her ailing god’child.

Media Comps:

THE UNDYING is a character-driven, literary fantasy that weaves the introspection of Earthsea into the thought-provoking magic of His Dark Materials.

Book Comps:

This story fuses themes of a mother’s strife found in Gabriela Houston’s The Second Bell with the grounded myth in The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winters.

Info:

The Undying is a 129,000-word standalone fantasy novel with series potential and crossover appeal that leans literary.

Synopsis Tease:

A past she wishes to forget. Five years ago, a fourteen-year-old, gifted soul’weaver, Lunith, found herself with no way to save her brother except to bind his soul to his dying flesh—cursed to an unlife. Now determined and desperate, Lunith ventures to the drækynth’s temple and infiltrates the sisterhood beholden to the divine, the gestating god, the first in well over a hundred years. All the while, she must hide her dark intent, planned for the forthcoming time of resurrection and Rebirth: to slice a sliver of her god’s soul. Just a thread of the divine. Not too much to ask, she hopes. Betray the sisters who invited her into their family, save the brother she accidentally cursed, and now she must convince a god to give up its soul or steal its Rebirth if she must.

As the drækynth prepares to reclaim her divine mantle, Lunith breaks into the lair—her brother’s soul-tethered corpse in tow. She needs a sliver, no more, no less, of her god’s soul. Yet failure and folly meet her ill-advised conceit as the Rebirth fizzles in flame and fury, a dræk’child is unexpectedly born, her brother, consumed in the maelstrom, perishes, and Enitheria’s bodiless spirit is unleashed to haunt the lands. Lunith flees the lair’s desolation with the orphan godchild cradled in her arms. Soon after, Enitheria’s spirit returns to her lair, driven by vengeance to possess the corpse of Lunith’s brother, and rises, transformed as undead, voidtorn, and terror. Now, Lunith must save her adopted dræk’child, escape capture, and defeat the darkness she inadvertently created.

Excerpt:

Too often, Lunith has scraped blood from her fingers, harvested souls even, to keep her dead brother tethered to this life, but why was this time different, strangely…difficult? Not in a physical sense. She had learned well the artcraft of mortality and deception these few years. Especially, the latter. Yet, something felt different this time, as if her spirit chaffed with each killing, twisted and grew into something dreadful while the culmination here that will end these deaths arises a kind of morbid yearning for what is about to be lost.

The Undying by Judah Mahay

Promo Reel: Watch on YouTube


Land of a Thousand Ashes (WIP)

Land of a Thousand Ashes, Urban Fantasy, Alaska, Alaskan, myth, 1990s
Disclaimer: No AI was used in the creation of this moodboard. All images derived from Pexels.com and Canva Image Gallery.

Logline:

A bounty hunter stalks the mythic warzone of Alaska to solve his parent’s murder and hunt down the killers.

Genre:

A bounty hunter dark urban fantasy.

Target Audience:

Primarily adult readers ages 25-55 compelled by the Dark Tower Series, the Witcher Series, and anything written by Zane Grey.

Overview:

I’m currently working on a novel that pulls from my Alaskan upbringing where my parents homesteaded and actually lived off the land (dirt floor and all). I also take a bit form my time as a jet boat captain for the family business navigating uncharted river whitewaters in this rather unforgiving but enthralling land.

The novel is a gunslinging monster hunter set in an alt-history, 1990s, Alaska military state where myths roam free.

Additional Works Percolating

The Sky Gilded Gray

I’ve also written a YA urban fantasy book that explores a world that is unknowingly after the Ragnarök where the gods have died and something sinister is trying to crawl into that vacuum of power.

Beyond that, I have numerous other novel ideas in the works, along with complete short stories, a novelette, and more that are pending at various markets on submission.

The novelette is entitled The Sky Gilded Gray is a romantic tale about a lightning harvester whose infatuation with a princess almost gets him killed. Until he’s saved by another woman, only to be trapped with his savior on a desolate island.

In tandem with this, I have a comprehensive Marketing Plan to assist in the launch of debut and further novels that pulls from my education, contacts, and background in business as well as my many years as an English professor. For more information on me, please check out my Short Biography.

Once again, for any agents or acquisition editors interested in my works, I have ready for each novel a synopsis, marketing plan, excerpts, and of course, the complete manuscript. Please reach out to me through my contact form or any of my social profiles. Thank you all in advance.

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