As 2020 draws to an end (and what a year it’s been…) we’ve been happy to look forward to what’s in store for the year ahead! We’ve asked members of Team Titan to share why they’re excited about some of the incredible fiction titles we have coming out in the first half of the year. Settle in folks, it's pretty epic!
George, Managing Editor:
Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
In the grand scheme of things, 2020 straight up sucked; I think we can all agree on that. But at the same time, there's a feeling that maybe things can change, that we can do better than we have before. Grab that feeling, give it a healthy coat of neon paint, crank up the IG filters, stage lights up and hit it! This is a wild ride across the universe, crammed full of Charlie Jane Anders' unique energy and charm. Think Becky Chambers, Star Trek: Discovery, Alex White - space opera reborn. It's big, it's charming and it's a trip.
Ten Low by Stark Holborn
A badass crew of women and non-binary ex-cons, smugglers and deposed generals? Check. A lawless desert moon, where people kill for a glass of water? Check. Super weird alien creatures feeding off probability, who just love it when things go south? Check. Ten Low grabs you by the face, smacks a kiss on your forehead then shoves a mescal in your hand with a wink. It's a whip-smart race for freedom, bursting at the seams with sharp characters and straight up the most fun thing I've read all year. You're gonna dig it, I'm sure.
Birds of Paradise by Oliver K. Langmead
Oliver K. Langmead is one of those writers who makes the audacious look easy. This story about Adam, the first man, hunting down the scattered pieces of Eden with the help of the first Magpie, Crow, Pig, Butterfly, Crab and more brings classic Gaiman to mind - and I don't say that lightly. It's an all-encompassing tale of love and loss, a clarion call to embrace nature and protect the natural world, and kickass fantasy adventure. The sequence at London's Pride Parade is a thing of pure beauty as well.
Lydia, Senior Publicist:
The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland omnibus by Paul Tremblay
Before he was subverting tropes and upsetting people with his horror fiction Tremblay was, well, subverting tropes and upsetting people with his crime fiction. This omnibus edition of his 2009/2010 novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep to Wonderland brings these novels to the UK for the first time and should be a must-have for fans for his work. Following the investigations of Boston’s top narcoleptic PI they are twisty, clever, surreal, and darkly funny explorations of the genre that carry the emotional charge of the author’s later works. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably hire a different detective (sorry, Mark Genevich).
Such Pretty Things by Lisa Heathfield
Such Pretty Things is a stunning and deeply unsettling character study of modern gothic horror, sitting somewhere between The Turn of the Screw and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Without wishing to give too much away about the plot, as the expectations and realities of the characters start to clash Heathfield leads us merrily through an increasingly slippery exploration of grief, family, and childhood. It also made me very hungry, but I think that’s mostly on me. One of my favourites for next year, this is an exciting new voice you do not want to miss.
Jo, Assistant Editor:
All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace
All the Tides of Fate is the thrilling follow-up to last year’s All the Stars and Teeth, the New York Times-bestselling YA fantasy debut. Catch up with Amora Montara and the crew of Keel Haul as they embark on a desperate quest for a mythical artefact that could save them all – but it comes with a terrible cost…
Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite edited by Zoraida Córdova & Natalie C. Parker
Sink your teeth into this collection of diverse vampire stories from YA’s leading voices! These eleven short stories are sure to delight anyone who’s looking for something a little bit different from everyone’s favourite creatures of the night. This collection brings fresh blood to the vampire mythos, including stories from VE Schwab, Dhonielle Clayton, Rebecca Roanhorse, and many more…
The Forever Sea by Joshua Johnson
There are some novels that just transport you away the moment you start reading them, and this is one of them. Wth echoes of Earthsea and Pirates of the Caribbean, The Forever Sea sucks you in and takes you for a wild ride with a story that will make you want to walk through a field and run your fingers through the grass. Just make sure you keep a weather eye out for giant, ship-eating wyrms slithering up from the deeps! If there's ever been a time to feel like you're in a different world, it's now.
Polly, Online Publicist:
Hall of Smoke by H. M. Long
Warrior priestesses? Check! Squabbling gods? Check! Exhilarating fight sequences? Check! …Sinister owls? Check and check! All this combined with Hannah’s beautiful writing and a rich and distinctive mythology adds up to something really special. It falls squarely into my favourite sort of speculative fiction, where the world is fantastical and unfamiliar but there is real human emotion at its heart. I just adored Hall of Smoke and cannot wait for the world to meet Hessa!
Alien: Into Charybdis by Alex White
A new Alien novel is exciting enough, but I’m particularly looking forward to our new Alien outing from author Alex White! In their Alien debut – Alien: The Cold Forge – Alex managed that rarest of things: a tie-in novel that perfectly captures the tone of the source material whilst remaining fresh and dynamic. In Alien: Into Charybdis, Alex continues to impress, taking readers on a thrilling journey to a rogue colony where terror lurks in the tunnels of an abandoned Weyland-Yutani complex. With all the hallmarks of their original fiction – compelling characters, formidable enemies, stakes that just keep climbing higher and higher – Alex secures their place in the firmament of Alien lore!
Wendy, Darling by A.C. Wise
Wendy, Darling is a gorgeous literary take on what happened to Wendy after Neverland. It's dark, so rich with emotion it left me sobbing and absolutely genius. Wendy is the feminist icon we need right now and this retelling will become an instant classic.
The Swimmers by Marian Womack
Marian Womack continues to floor me with every word that she writes and The Swimmers is no exception. A claustrophobic, Gothic dystopia set in the luscious landscape of Andalusia, The Swimmers is a fever dream of a novel that questions the future we are building for ourselves. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Julia, Press & Promotions Officer:
The Seep by Chana Porter
You’ve never read a debut like this before! Get ready to be entranced by Chana Porter’s vision of a future where an entirely gentle alien invasion has fundamentally changed the human experience, and life on earth. Strange and compelling, this tale of love and loss reimagines alien takeovers, utopias, and what it means to move on, and will stay with you long after the final page.
Witherward by Hannah Mathewson
Prepare to enter the Witherward, and a London that’s not quite like the one you know, split between six magical factions who are all at each other’s throats. With an amazing magic system & a cast of loveable characters, who are not all what they seem, this is an incredible debut which will utterly enchant you! Welcome to the Witherward – you belong here…
The Archive of the Forgotten by A. J. Hackwith
Last year in The Library of the Unwritten we fell in love with a world of unfinished stories, and their keeper, Claire the librarian. In February we get the sequel, The Archive of the Forgotten. Dealing with the fallout from the previous volume, as well as seeing our protagonists confronting a new threat – this time from within the library itself – this book will have you falling even harder for the characters contained within its pages!
Cat, Senior Editor:
Near the Bone by Christina Henry
Mattie can't remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes there’s something in the woods that wasn’t there before: something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws… A spine-chilling and darkly disturbing read from Christina Henry which had this reader fumbling desperately for the light switch!
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this fierce, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse myth. Angrboda's story begins where most witch tales end: with being burnt. Injured and powerless, she flees into a remote forest, where she is found by trickster god Loki. Distrust grows into a deep and abiding love, and produces a trio of peculiar children; yet as Angrboda recovers her prophetic powers, she sees a disastrous fate for her family and all of existence. Epic, heart-breaking and hilariously funny by turns, this fierce reimagining of Norse myth cannot be put down.
Stolen Earth by J.T. Nicholas
Environmental disasters and uncontrolled AI weapons have caused the population of Earth to flee. They lie scattered across innumerable space stations and colonies, overcrowded and suffering, while their home is cut off by the Interdiction Zone: a network of satellites to prevent anything getting on or off the planet. The crew of the Arcus live on the fringes of society and take whatever work comes their way. When offered a huge payoff for a trip to their forbidden homeworld, they put into motion events that will not only seal the fate of Earth, but of mankind as a whole. A poignant reminder how close humanity is to the knife-edge of ecological disaster, Stolen Earth’s vivid worldbuilding and character camaraderie tug right at the heartstrings. Perfect for fans of Firefly and The Expanse!
Sarah, Press & Marketing Officer:
The Cottingley Cuckoo by A.J. Elwood
This dark, chilling fairy tale is an eerie reimagining of the famous Cottingley fairy photograph hoax of the 1920s. Flashing between the past and present day, the story follows Rose, a young attendant at a care home, who is shown an old stack of letters about the Cottingley Fairies by one of the residents, Charlotte Favell. When Rose falls pregnant, and the letters become increasingly more menacing, she begins to entertain dark thoughts about her baby… The Cottingley Cuckoo is an atmospheric and enthralling read, dripping with a sinister edge that will keep readers gasping until the final, disturbing conclusion. You have been warned.
Fable by Adrienne Young
This spectacular high-speed seafaring escapade has recently been endorsed by Reese Witherspoon herself, described as ‘an incredible, adrenaline-filled adventure’, and it isn't hard to see why! With Young’s signature grit and attention to detail, Fable is an exhilarating voyage, wrought with danger and intrigue, as the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows courageously steps out on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. Armed with only her wits, and a special gemstone ability to guide her, how will she fare in the treacherous unknown?
Cath, Fiction Editor at Large:
The Seed of Cain by Agnes Gomillion
Agnes Gomillion's Afro-futurist debut The Record Keeper was one of our most original and powerful books of 2019 and her return to this world in The Seed of Cain in every way lives up to its predecessor. In the aftermath of the rebellion Arika is still fighting, fighting for the truth about the Kongo's dark past, fighting for its future - and fighting her own personal demons. With searing insight Arika's struggle exposes the struggle Black women face in an often hostile and indifferent society. Essential reading.
Dark Lullaby by Polly Ho-Yen
No matter how many times I read Dark Lullaby (and I have read it many times!) it never fails to ensnare me. Set in a totalitarian society where parenting is strictly monitored, Polly's insights into the acute fear and fierce love that characterise early parenthood are knife-sharp. This is a book about motherhood but also about sisters and family, marriage and grief. It's written with an almost poetic intensity, but with the pace of a thriller. It's an incredible adult debut from children's writer Polly Ho-Yen.
Davi, Desk Editor:
The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson
The Loop is one of the most exciting, exhilarating books I read this year. I couldn't put it down and didn't want to. Action-packed and with enormous heart, Lucy's struggle to survive the night in a sleepy mountain town overrun with out-of-their-mind violent students will stick with you. It's a cocktail of fun and gore with more than a twist of gut-punching emotion – Jeremy Robert Johnson has delivered one of the best horror novels in a year of stand-out horror novels.
Later by Stephen King
A new Stephen King novel is always an event, and Later delivers on everything you'd want and expect from one of the masters of storytelling. Perfectly blending the pulpy crime novel that Hard Case Crime champions with King's inimitable voice, Jamie Culkin, the young boy at the heart of this novel who can see dead people, tells you straight up, 'This is a horror story'. He's not wrong. What he doesn't say, but I am, is that it's a story you won't want to miss.
Natasha, Editorial Assistant:
All the Murmuring Bones by A. G. Slatter
A.G. Slatter is a born storyteller, and All the Murmuring Bones is a magical must-read in 2021. Slatter had me swept away out to sea in this spellbinding gothic fairy tale and enchanted by the mythical creatures she transforms with her rich molten prose. I couldn’t put it down, and you won’t want it to end.
The Book of the Baku by R.L. Boyle
The Book of the Baku is the debut that made me ugly-cry (in a good way). This poignant psychological horror encapsulates both sinister nightmares with emotionally driven prose that delves into the truth about a family’s heartbreaking past. YA readers will find themselves captivated by this compelling story of a boy dealing with a dark tragedy on the rough estate where he grew up, and the nightmarish Baku that plagues his grandfather. Perfect for fans of A Monster Calls and The Dream Thieves, this is a book will haunt you in 2021.
We hope that wherever you are that you have a happy & healthy festive period, and we look forward to bringing you more incredible reads in 2021!