Adam Peter Johnson is the author of the novel Branches and lives in Minnesota, USA, with his wife, son and golden basset. He worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for 10 years, in the U.S. and Australia. He now writes science fiction stories about the ways in which people and societies influence one another.


Under normal circumstances, stories about parallel worlds are an opportunity for fun “what-if” riffs that let readers safely visit fantastical dystopias where familiar events played out differently. The Nazis won World War II and now we all speak German and Darth Vader's the hero in Star Wars, etc. etc.

But, to put it lightly, these are not normal circumstances. How are we supposed to enjoy these stories when reality itself has descended into the kind of dystopia we'd never have believed a few short years ago?

If you were given the opportunity to leave in favor of a different reality—right now, today—would you take it? The question no longer feels so abstract. And if you did leave, what might you find on the other side?

If the pandemic had never happened, would things be better . . . or worse?

NEW! Listen to the opening chapters of Branches, followed by a discussion of Adam's inspiration for the novel, on the Stories on Stage Davis podcast:

Buy Branches at:


Books: The Road, Lord of the Flies, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Everything That Rises Must Converge, Exhalation, The Stars My Destination, A Brief History of Nearly Everything

Movies: Children of Men, Brazil, Back to the Future, Road to Perdition, Strangers on a Train, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Big Lebowski

TV: LOST, Dark, The Prisoner, Arrested Development, The Leftovers, Stella, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Albums: Kid A, Abbey Road, Gimme Fiction, Lonerism, Keep It Together