The Impossible Fortress

“A sweet and surprising story about young love... The Impossible Fortress celebrates and subverts ‘80s nostalgia and rom-com tropes.’

—The A.V. Club

A trio of awkward teen boys... and one brilliant geek girl with a shattering secret.

An unexpected romance born on 8-bit computers and 5¼-inch floppy disks.

A daring and dangerous heist to steal the May 1987 issue of Playboy Magazine, featuring scandalous photographs of Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White.

All of these elements collide in The Impossible Fortress, a coming-of- age crime caper that explores the timeless and ever-confusing realities of male adolescence. Jason Rekulak’s hilarious debut novel offers a nostalgic celebration of old-school computer programming, 1980s pop culture, and the last great days of Life Before the Internet.

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“A quirky, endearing, full embrace of the late 1980s... the clever plot is driven by surging teen hormones, fumbling first love, bad adolescent choices, and a struggle for redemption.”

—USA Today

“Full of clueless boys [and] generous helpings of adolescent humor, all served up with a kind smile... you relish the book’s countless callbacks to the 1980s.”

—Washington Post

“A charmingly vintage take on geek love, circa 1987 in New Jersey... a fun ride that will appeal to all.”

—Publishers Weekly

“The plot manages to magically subvert the time period while also paying homage to it. An unexpected retro delight.”

—Booklist (Starred Review)

“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.”


Play the Game

In The Impossible Fortress, Will Marvin & Mary Zelinksy create a Commodore 64 game called “The Impossible Fortress.” Indie developers Holy Wow Studios have created a web game that mirrors the one found in the novel.


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About the Author

Jason Rekulak has worked for many years as Publisher of Quirk Books, an independent book publisher, where he has acquired and edited multiple New York Times bestsellers. He has ghost-written several books but THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is his first novel to be published under his own name; it has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lives in West Philadelphia with his wife, two children, one dog, and one so-old-we-can't-believe-she's-still-alive cat. Jason is represented by Doug Stewart at Sterling Lord Literistic, and by Shari Smiley and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein at the Gotham Group.