Christmas 2018: Titan Staff Picks for 2019
Published on 21 December, 2018
Authored by Titan Books
As #TitanXmas2018 draws to a close (Oh, what fun it’s been…) & the residents of Titan Towers prepare for the pinnacle of the festive season (by which we mean: last minute present shopping), we’ve asked said residents (aka staff members) to look forward to 2019 & to share which titles they’re excited to be bringing you in the new year…
Philippa (Press & Marketing Officer)
After the Eclipse by Fran Dorricott
As a huge crime fan my two picks are unsurprisingly mystery related. The first is a stunning debut novel from Waterstones bookseller Fran Dorricott. The story follows Cassie Warren who returns to a small English town to care for her grandmother. Years previously her sister disappeared from the same town during an eclipse. Cassie was supposed to be looking after her at the time and in subsequent years has been eaten up by the guilt. When another girl goes missing during an eclipse, Cassie must race against the clock to discover the truth. Told in alternating time periods by both sisters, After the Eclipse is an engrossing tale of guilt, obsession and the bonds that bind us. I implore all crime fans to read it.
The Swallows by Lisa Lutz
Back in March 2016, as some readers may remember, Titan released The Passenger by Lisa Lutz, a fast paced thriller about a woman on the run after an accident leaves her husband dead and thrusts her into the uncomfortably position of Suspect Number 1. Fast forward to 2019, Lutz returns to crime fiction with The Swallows, a suspenseful novel about a new teacher at a not-so-elite boarding school who accidentally incites a gender war among the students and staff. I cannot wait.
Jo (Assistant Editor)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
I am unbelievably excited for this book. It’s just fantastic! In it, Jane McKeene, a young black girl born in a world where the dead rose after the Battle of Gettysburg, has trained her whole life to protect rich white people from the dead. But she soon uncovers a conspiracy that pits her against far greater enemies than the restless dead. This powerhouse of a book had me on the edge of my seat – from its unforgettable protagonist to its powerful message about race and identity, I loved everything about this book. It’s electric.
Exit Wounds edited by Paul Kane & Marie O’Regan
Exit Wounds is an anthology of short stories from some of the greatest living crime writers, and I’m just so excited about it! With contributions from Lee Child, Val McDermid, Dean Koontz, Steph Broadribb, Jeffery Deaver and more, this collection of nineteen short stories is sure to blow you away. With in-universe short stories from classic crime series, rarely-seen reprints and brand-new original contributions, there really is something for everyone! This anthology brings together some of the biggest living crime authors at their diabolically twisty best and I can’t wait for people to read it!
Chris (Marketing Manager)
Alita - BattleAngel: The Art and Making of the Movie by Abbie Bernstein
James Cameron was originally set to write and direct Alita - Battle Angel with extensive work generated on the project by the mid 00's. He wanted it to live up to the original Manga and Anime based on the story by Yukito Kishiro - and said CGI needed extensive development to capture the world and character of Alita perfectly. He also felt that the script he created for the adaptation was too long and not workable. He made Avatar, planning to then move on to Alita thereafter, but Avatar became a global sensation, the highest grossing movie of all time and sequels went into planning. Alita had to be side-lined. However in conversations with Robert Rodriquez (director of Sin City and Spy Kids) Cameron felt that if Rodriquez could edit the script to a filmable length then Rodriquez should take over the project. Rodriquez succeeded and employing all of the available technology from the production of Avatar - he has produced Cameron's vision of this potentially revolutionary film. Our book takes you inside that journey, capturing the art behind the process and exploring the development of the vast future world of Alita. The film comes out Feb 14 and our book is a glorious companion to accompany its release.
Lydia (Senior Publicist)
The Migration by Helen Marshall
I’ve loved Helen’s writing since reading her short story collection Gifts for the One Who Came After and have relentlessly bothered her about what was next ever since. Happily The Migration is an outstanding debut. A story about sisterhood, transformation and loss, it’s unsettling, beautiful, heart breaking and uniquely hopeful.
The Forgotten Girl by Rio Youers
When thugs turn up at your doorstep demanding you hand over your girlfriend it is, naturally, deeply upsetting. When you don’t remember ever dating such a person it somehow just got worse. So opens one of the most unique thrillers I’ve ever read. Rio has created a page-turning supernatural read that’s both a rollercoaster of action, but also a very touching observation on the power of the father-son relationship. This book also left me with very mixed feelings about feathers.
All My Colors by David Quantick
Funny, gruesome, horrifying and unstoppable – anyone who has come across David’s previous work will be unsurprised that All My Colors is a searing blend of humour and horror. A book about the nature of writing (and so also publishing), there are definitely some lines in here that will have every publicist hiding behind their hands.
Growing Things and Other Stories by Paul Tremblay
19 short stories (both new or largely new to the UK market) from horror author Paul Tremblay. “_________” messed me up; “SWIM Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as SWIM Thinks” is possibly one the most upsetting stories I’ve ever read; “Notes From The Dog Walkers” makes me very concerned for Paul’s dog; and finally “The Thirteenth Temple” brings back Merry from A Head Full of Ghosts to give her story the happy ending she deserved, or not. Another relentlessly cheerful read from the author of The Cabin at the End of the World.
Davi (Desk Editor)
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Sky in the Deep made a big splash this year in America, becoming an instant New York Times bestseller. I’m thrilled to be bringing it to a UK audience so they can sink their teeth into this gripping story of a fierce young Viking, ready to defend her clan at all costs. When her world is ripped from beneath her, Eelyn is forced to question everything she knows, and resort to what she does best: fight and survive.
The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion
Agnes Gomillion is ready to make an entrance. The captivating Record Keeper is a post-apocalyptic debut that’s not messing around. After World War III, Earth is in ruins and nothing but a very fragile truce holds the remaining survivors together. Arika Cobane must decide if peace is worth the awful cost to her people. If you’re looking for a book with a powerful voice, a vivid world to explore, or hard-hitting themes look no further. This is one you won’t forget.
Gather the Fortunes by Bryan Camp
I couldn’t wait to return to the world of Crescent City after Bryan Camp’s stunning debut The City of Lost Fortunes. This is American Gods meets the jazz and soul of New Orleans, and the second trip is no less bombastic or fun than the first. Renaissance Raines takes centre stage here in a struggle for control between gods, sorcerers and mortals. But if there’s one person I wouldn’t want to piss off, it’s Renai. If you like myths, magic or mysteries, move this one to the top of your list.
Hannah (Marketing & Events Manager)
No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen
I'm looking forward to No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen. I really enjoyed the first in the series, The Vanishing Season, and with Ellery Hathaway, Schaffhausen has created a strong and intriguing female lead that I can't wait to read more about. The twists and turns in Vanishing Season were clever and unexpected and I'm expecting more nail-biting stuff in No Mercy.
Alien: The Blueprints by Graham Langridge
Later in the year, I'm also looking forward to Alien: The Blueprints. I'm a massive fan of the movies and the gorgeous in-depth illustrations in this book will make it a must-have for fans. Author and artist Graham Langridge has spent months pouring over concept art, photography and set designs to bring this tome to life and his research has really paid off, the images are simply stunning.
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
In the town of Four Paths, a beast lurks in the woods. A group of teenagers must fight against the darkness and find a way to save their town from the monster – or are they themselves part of the danger? This is a skillful YA debut from Christine Lynn Herman; I love the strong yet vulnerable characters she has created, and the subtle depiction of the losses they are learning to live with. They are well able to defend themselves against the otherworldly horror lurking in this small town – but they’re not immune to it. Hints of Stranger Things and Sabrina abound in this complex, exciting novel, the first of a duology.
Green Valley by Louis Greenberg
If you’re a fan of Black Mirror and True Detective, you’ll love Green Valley. Set in the city of Stanton, where digital technology has been banned, it follows the police analyst Lucie Sterling as she investigates the possible disappearance of her niece, Kira. I say possible, because Kira is from Green Valley, a shadowy semi-virtual world that lies behind a concrete wall, where the anti-tech law does not apply, and boundaries between the real and the virtual are unclear. It's down to Lucie to venture into the unknown, to uncover what's really going on in Green Valley – and to find her niece. Louis Greenberg skilfully blurs the techno-dystopian visions of Black Mirror with a heavy dose of the uncanny, and the resulting novel is unsettling, moving and frightening in equal measure.
Polly (Online Publicist)
The City in theMiddle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
I am so excited for The City in the Middle of the Night! All The Birds in the Sky was my book of 2016 (pretty sure it was my enthusiasm for this book that got me a job at Titan!) and I’ve been desperately waiting for a new novel from Charlie Jane Anders ever since. I was not disappointed! A haunting, slow-burn of a book, The City in the Middle of the Night is powerful story-telling from one of SFF’s most exciting voices.
The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
In my role, I only work on titles published by Titan in the US so I’m utterly thrilled that The Near Witch marks the first occasion we’re publishing her fiction in both territories. This was her debut novel, in print for less than two years initially, and I’m very excited to be even a teeny cog in the wheel of its return! Part fairy tale, part love story, with all the magic you’d expect in a book by V.E. Schwab, I’m sure The Near Witch will be enjoyed by her legions of fans as well as brand new readers.
Firefly: TheMagnificent Nine by James Lovegrove
Only the second original novel ever produced for the Firefly series, with Joss Whedon acting as consulting editor, and written by James Lovegrove, author of the first Firefly novel, Big Damn Hero. With book one described by The Verge as feeling like "it could be a lost episode from the show", James Lovegrove has most certainly done it again with the second book, which concentrates on Jayne Cobb, a familiar figure from his past, bandits threatening a desert world, and a mysterious child called Jane...
The Plague Stones by James Brogden
I'm currently deep in my edit on the next book by James Brogden, whose previous novel, Hekla's Children, was described by The Guardian as "a visceral, seat-of-the-pants thriller". This one is shaping up to be just as effective, with a family fleeing to a new life finding themselves persecuted by a terrifying ghostly throng, and uncovering dreadful happenings that have lain hidden for centuries.
Ruin’s Wake by Patrick Edwards
In a totalitarian futuristic world where history has been erased and individual identity is replaced by the machinations of the state, an old soldier in exile embarks on a desperate journey to find his dying son, a young woman trapped in an abusive marriage finds hope in an illicit love, and a female scientist uncovers a mysterious technology that reveals that her world is more fragile than she believed. Moving and powerful, this science-fiction tale is shaping up to rival David Mitchell and Iain M. Banks.
Julia (Press Assistant)
Other Words For Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
I’m so excited to see Sarah’s new novel venture out into the world! It’s a coming of age tale with witchcraft, a haunted house, queer romance, a talking cat, and a flesh-eating owl that lives in the walls. Intrigued yet? Plus it’s chock full of magic, evil, & the pain of first love, all bound together with truly beautiful words. At times brutal, always eerie, & totally spellbinding throughout, I hope come April you’ll join me in falling head-over-heels for Mae, Bobby, Bevan & co.
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
A dystopian retelling of Red Riding Hood? Yes please. This was always one of my favorite fairy tales, and The Girl in Red sounds delightfully dark – I can’t wait to discover the twists & turns of how Christina Henry reimagines this classic story. Knowing her, it won’t be an easy journey through the woods for Red…
Elder Scrolls Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
March will definitely see me digging into this cookbook! Including cuisines from the Nords, Bosmer & Khajit, this tome promises a wealth of diverse recipes inspired by food found in the Old Kingdom, across Tamriel, and beyond. I’m looking forward to learning how brew mead and cook a mudcrab!
Cath (Senior Editor)
Fleet of Knives by Gareth Powell
The release of Gareth Powell’s Embers of War was one of the highlights of my year. It’s incredible when a book you have loved for many months is released and others write that they love it too – wonderful for the author but pretty cool for the editor too. This February sees the sequel Fleet of Knives hit the shelves and I think I love this one even more – my affection for the characters has deepened and Trouble Dog is as witty and anarchic as ever. Chapter forty-nine is just perfect.
A Shroud of Leaves by Rebecca Alexander
Rebecca Alexander’s A Baby’s Bones introduced us to the pregnant archaeologist Sage Westerfield as she explored both a historical and present-day murder mystery on the Isle of Wight. Sage returns this summer in A Shroud of Leaves, a new mother trying a new career in forensics and once again caught between past and present mysteries. Sage is charismatic and fiercely independent and I love spending time with her.
Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Deering
Hex Life promises to be a Halloween treat. An all-female anthology, it contains seventeen witchy stories from Rachel Caine, Kelley Armstrong, Theodora Goss, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Helen Marshall and many others. In a beautiful hardcover this will be one to treasure.
Anno Dracula 1999 by Kim Newman
For me Halloween is not Halloween without a new Kim Newman novel and this one is particularly special as it sees the sixth installment of Kim’s unmissable Anno Dracula series. This time the alternate history where vampires have become part of everyday society takes us to Japan at the turn of the millennium. I haven’t read it yet but I can’t wait!
Snakeskins by Tim Major
Snakeskins is set in an alternate United Kingdom, where a meteor-strike in the nineteenth century changed the course of history irrevocably and created a long-lived group of humans known as Charmers. Every seven years, a Charmer produces a short-lived clone known as a ‘Snakeskin’… Tim Major’s novel mixes the tone of classic John Wyndham novels with an SF thriller examining the repercussions of rejuvenation and cloning on identity and society. Tim Major has the ability to explore weighty themes with a light touch, grounding his big ideas in plausible and relatable realities.
Sealed by Naomi Booth
I first read Sealed when Dead Ink Books published it in the UK, back in 2017, and I loved it immediately. The novel tells the story of heavily pregnant Alice and her partner Pete, who move away from the city in search of a better life, in a world in the grips of environmental collapse. But Alice is haunted by the rumours of an epidemic that’s starting to infect the urban population – humanity’s auto-immune system gone haywire, reacting against the polluted world we’ve created by sealing us up…
A perfect example of the emergent genre of climate change fiction (cli-fi), Naomi Booth’s debut novel is haunting, touching and deeply disturbing that deserves to be compared to Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation and Aliya Whiteley’s The Beauty.
Zero Bomb by M.T. Hill
M.T. Hill is one of the most intelligent and provocative new writers of speculative fiction. His third novel, Zero Bomb, focuses on the timely issues of automation and the looming reality of a world where machines have replaced the need for humans to work – but what happens when no provision has been made for the surplus population left jobless? Formally innovative and laced with strange and unforgettable imagery – a fox that doubles as a surveillance device, a garden of synthetic limbs – it’s beautifully written, politicised and unafraid to tackle the big issues of a disturbing future that is almost upon us.
That's all for #TitanXmas2018. Happy Christmas from all of us and we're looking forward to sharing all these books and loads more with you all in 2019!