Looking ahead to 2020 - fiction
Published on 23 December, 2019
Authored by Titan Books
Today we’re looking ahead to the great books that we have coming out next year, focusing on fiction, and we’ve asked some of Team Titan to tell us what they’re most looking forward to. Read on for a preview of what’s coming your way in 2020…
Cat, Senior Editor
The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith
Join the library and raise hell in this twisty and poignant fantasy adventure. Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing, where all the stories never finished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of keeping an eye on restless tales that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero breaks out of his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must capture him, beginning a breakneck and thrilling journey through myth and legend, this world and the next, where what began as a simple retrieval goes horrifically wrong...
Re-Coil by J.T. Nicholas
Death no longer holds sway over a humanity that has spread itself across the solar system: consciousness can be downloaded into a new body, or coil, straight after death, giving people the potential for immortality. When Carter Langston is murdered whilst salvaging a derelict vessel it is a major inconvenience, as he's downloaded into a brand-new body on the space station where he last backed himself up, several weeks’ journey away. But events quickly slip out of control when an assassin breaks into the medbay and tries to finish the job, sending Carter on a desperate journey to solve a conspiracy that threatens humanity as he has come to know it. Altered Carbon meets The Expanse in a headlong, pacey thriller that explores intriguing and timely implications of technological on identity, gender and immortality itself.
Lydia, Senior Publicist
Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay
Sure happiness and laughter are all good fun, but a novel from Paul Tremblay is always an event, and now two years on from his last - The Cabin at the End of the World - he’s back to ruin your summer once again, with the brand new, standalone horror Survivor Song. New England is in lockdown following the outbreak of a super viral, super fast-acting rabies like virus and staying inside is the only way to stay safe. Tough luck for paediatrician Ramola Rams whose pregnant best friend Natalie has been bitten by an infected man and is now in a rundown against the clock to get help. Will the two friends make it? Will *anyone* make it? An absolutely page-turning and beautifully written road trip of a novel, this one will truly stay with you, I promise. Or caution?
A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill
Another light-hearted summer reading recommendation for you is A Cosmology of Monsters, the debut novel from Shaun Hamill, who is rapidly going to become your next must-read in horror. A family haunted by their own personal monsters struggle to keep the legacy of their haunted house attraction alive in the wake of death, poverty and precarious finances. As the shadows of their individual demons draw ever closer unbeknownst to the rest of the family youngest son Noah comes face-to-face with the monster in real life. A refreshingly modern take on Lovecraftian mythos, this is a poignant and powerful read about family, grief, and the wisdom of allowing wolf-like creatures with glowing orange eyes to climb through your bedroom window. To quote Stephen King’s reaction to this book (whose opinion, let’s face it, is the one that has you clicking the pre-order link for this – no, go ahead, we’ll wait right here for you): “I loved it, and I think you will too."
The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab
This last one is a slight cheat as I haven’t actually read this yet, but indulge me anyway: after what feels like a personal eternity of waiting, the year of Addie La Rue is finally cometh. A young woman in a Faustian bargain to live forever is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets; this is a love story about a girl, a boy and the devil over 300 years as told by V.E. Schwab. Forget poor Addie (ha?) you have until Autumn 2020 to prepare for what this book will do to *your* soul.
The Golden Key by Marian Womack
For me, it’s not winter without a beguiling Gothic novel. Spooky, unsettling and beautifully written, The Golden Key is a mesmerising debut from BFS award-winner Marian Womack, about a female detective in Victorian England solving a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of three sisters on the Norfolk Fens. I guarantee this novel will bewitch you from the first page.
Cursed edited by Marie O’Regan & Paul Kane
Continuing my love of all things spooky is Cursed – a fantasy anthology curated by masters of the genre Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane. Full of unique twists on curses, from fairy tale classics to new hexes of the modern world, this short story collection – expertly crafted and brimming with imagination – has a curse for everyone.
George, Managing Editor
The Breach by M.T. Hill
Nina Allan called M. T. Hill, 'the most innovative and outspoken new writers of British science fiction'. Nina Allan is, as always, right! The Breach is a uniquely strange and gripping novel of unexpected consequences. It's the tiniest of tears in an otherwise perfect fabric - say, reality - that grows and grows until suddenly the truth of everything is revealed. It's full of Philip K Dick's fascinating paranoias and Jeff VanderMeer's dextrous grasp on genre ideas, but with both feet firmly in our very recognisable world today.
Hope Island by Tim Major
If you want a story of redemption and compassion, wrapped up in a glorious love letter to John Wyndham, then Hope Island is the book you've been waiting for. Tim Major brings us Nina, a workaholic live TV news producer who is trying to save her fracturing family by taking her daughter to visit the in-laws she barely knows on the remote Hope Island, Maine, USA. Channeling The Chrysalids, The Stepford Wives and an uncanny sense of being the outsider Jordan Peele definitely needs to film, the journey to Hope Island is too beautifully uncanny to resist.
Sarah, Press & Marketing Officer
Bone Harvest by James Brogden
Dark, haunting, and terrifying – this upcoming new fiction looks like everything you would expect in an edge-of-your-seat horror story. The idea of an ancient cult wreaking bloody havoc on the modern world just screams to be read. Knowing this critically acclaimed author, you’ll be sure to get a lot more than what you’re anticipating, and if Brogden’s previous works are anything to go by then Bone Harvest promises to be a truly eye popping, spine-chilling, visceral thriller.
She Lies Close by Sharon Doering
Who doesn’t enjoy a gritty psychological thriller? Throw in a newly divorced mother of two, a neighbor on suspicion of kidnapping, a small town layered with secrets, and you’ve got yourself the perfect set up for a gripping crime story. Not to mention, numerous twists and turns that even the most ardent investigator would find hard to decipher. Compulsive, unpredictable, and dangerously addictive, with just the right dose of humour, Sharon has succeeded in creating a deeply unsettling psychological page-turner that looks to rival crime hits such as The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.
Jo, Assistant Editor
The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher
The Twisted Ones is a spine-tingling horror novel which will leave you breathless. It’s the story of Mouse, a young woman who agrees to clear out her dead grandmother’s house and finds that something monstrous is waiting in the woods behind it. A refreshing new take on the classic Arthur Machen short story, ‘The White People’, and hands down the scariest book I’ve read this year.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
I am unbelievably excited for this book! It’s the story of Hesina, Princess of Yan, who finds herself unexpectedly thrust into power when her father dies in suspicious circumstances. With a richly detailed Chinese-inspired setting, a compelling protagonist and a twist I never saw coming, I’m hugely excited for readers to meet Hesina next year!
Polly, Online Publicist
Night Train by David Quantick
David Quantick's new novel is a hugely inventive sci-fi horror like nothing you've read before! In Night Train, a woman wakes up, frightened and alone with no idea where she is. Definitely in a room but it's shaking and jumping like it's alive. Stumbling through a door, she realises she's in a train carriage. A train carriage full of the dead...and that's about as much as you'd want to know in advance! I can't wait to unleash it on the world. All My Colors led Neil Gaiman to declare David Quantick 'one of the best kept secrets in the world of writing' and I'm delighted that we've got another Quantick novel to let lots more people in on that secret.
The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway by Una McCormack
I'm looking to the stars for this exploration into the life and times of one of Star Trek's most inspirational figures: Captain Kathryn Janeway, who took the Federation further than anyone had gone before...and back again! Expect tales from Janeway's life including her early days at Starfleet, how she explored the Delta Quadrant and beat the Borg. The truth will finally be revealed as to how she united her crew of Federation officers and Maquis renegades, and returned them to Earth while facing seemingly impossible odds. Do not miss out!
The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez
Sometimes a novel comes along that just takes your breath away, and you realise you’re reading something special. When it’s a debut it’s that much more of a delight. When it’s a rip-roaring space adventure that calls back to classic space opera written with a lyrical sensibility and featuring characters that will break your heart, it’s more than a delight, it’s phenomenal. This is The Vanished Birds: the story of a young boy who was born with the ability to Jaunt - an ability that challenges the corporate hegemony over space travel by making it possible for anyone potentially to travel when and where they want – and the two women who will travel to the ends of the universe to protect him. This is a novel that lingers in your mind long after you finish it. I challenge you to read the first chapter and not feel compelled to read just one more page, and then another.
The Nobody People by Bob Proehl
You think you know this story. You don’t. Not this story. Set in modern day America this is the superhero story we need. Like a masterchef, Bob Proehl takes all the ingredients you love and blends them together into a dish unlike any other. Following a group of teenagers as they develop special abilities, learn and grow into adulthood while suffering discrimination and oppression, this novel is a future history that is relevant to everyone. With masterful prose, Bob Proehl tells the story of outsiders who are seen as ‘not like us’, yet shows they are imminently human and suffer and struggle just as we all do; showing that amongst the love, sex, drugs, heartbreak, and superpowers are just a group of people doing their best to figure out how to live surrounded by a hostile world. This is a story that everyone will connect with and a diverse cast of characters you won’t easily forget.
Davi, Desk Editor
Alpha Omega by Nicholas Bowling
If Aldous Huxley wrote an episode of Black Mirror, the brilliant, twisted result would be Alpha Omega. A near-future society is obsessed with a virtual world that provides every form of escape imaginable; anything to distract from the endless admin and corporate control that governs and surveils every aspect of their lives. Nicholas Bowling's biting satire is equal parts hilarious and harrowing, and will leave you laughing, crying, and possibly wanting to burn the whole thing down (in a good way).
Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma & Susan Lehman
A new story by Brian De Palma is always a treat, and his first foray into novels, alongside former New York Times editor Susan Lehman, is no exception. Are Snakes Necessary? is the fast-paced, Hollywood-via-hardboiled mystery that fans of the Scarface director's work will know and love. A clever thriller that hits notes of dark humour without ever skipping the suspense, this is one to keep an eye on.
Julia, Press Assistant
Echo Cycle by Patrick Edwards
Echo Cycle is a near-future sci-fi thriller that feels uncannily plausible (particularly in the wake of a certain recent election), not pulling any punches in a vision of a not-so-United-Kingdom, 50-years post Brexit. Both dystopian Britain and the liberal metropolises of Europe are vividly realised, and standing against ancient Rome, these settings form a disturbing triptych of societies that are markedly different, yet often mirror each other in odd ways. Not only will Echo Cycle sweep you up in its whirlwind trip across time, it’ll also have you reflecting on where we are now…
Dracula's Child by J. S. Barnes
Landing on bookshelves in May, Dracula’s Child details events thirteen years after the bloodsucking Count’s supposed demise in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula… but evil never truly dies, and something sinister is stirring. Capturing the voice, tone, and characters of the original, and utilising its epistolary format to great effect, J. S. Barnes’ novel is spine-tinglingly unsettling. Whether you’re a devotee of the Stoker novel, or know the Count through his various film and TV appearances, this is an absolute must-read - and with a BBC mini-series adaptation kicking off in January, 2020 is set to be the year of the Vampire!
Cath, Editor at Large
Eden by Tim Lebbon
It feels like the world is finally beginning to wake up to the fact that we're in the midst of a climate catastrophe, and in supernatural thriller Eden, Tim Lebbon employs his rich dark imagination to terrifying effect as he imagines a possible future of rising oceans, islands of refuse and extinction. In an attempt to mitigate the effects of climate change thirteen vast areas of land, the Virgin Zones, are made off-limits to humanity and given back to nature. When a team of adventure racers enters Eden, the oldest Virgin Zone, they discover nature has returned in an elemental, primeval way and it's no longer humanity's friend. Beautiful and horrifying, Tim skilfully taps into our deepest fears as the planet bites back.
Looking Glass, & The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry
I remember reading Christina Henry's wonderful Alice in one gripped, horrified sitting, and I'm so thrilled that she is returning to the world of Alice and Hatcher in Looking Glass, a collection of four dark novellas, which promises to be every bit as magical and terrifying.
Fans of Christina are spoilt this year as 2020 also sees the publication of The Ghost Tree in the autumn. Not a retelling this time, rather this is a stand-alone horror novel about a town that is haunted by something... something that demands the sacrifice of one girl from the town every year. A compelling premise which promises to be disturbing as hell in the hands of the brilliant Christina Henry - you have been warned!
Hannah, Marketing & Events Manager
You Again by Debra Jo Immergut
I love a good, twisty psychological thriller and You Again certainly promises to be that. Immergut impressed me with her prison-based thriller The Captives, and her new book is set in New York - where our protagonist, Allie, seems to be haunted by her younger self. I'm hoping to find echoes of Before I Go To Sleep and The Girl On The Train, where we're not sure what is real and what is imagined, as we embark on a thrilling ride to discover the truth.
Nat, Books Designer
The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman
The Deck of Omens is the upcoming sequel to Christine Lynn Herman's 2019 debut novel The Devouring Gray. A Riverdale-addicted fan, I absolutely loved The Devouring Gray's haunting storyline featuring a range of interesting and conflicted characters, complete with a staple hang-out - The Diner. Just like the end of every Riverdale season, that last chapter left me with unanswered questions and wanting more! The Deck of Omens delivers everything that I loved about the first book, plus new threats, more adventure, greater suspense, and most importantly - more Issac.
Fil, UK & Export Sales Executive
The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis
At first glance, The Lights of Prague presents a secret order of protectors defending Prague from the vampiric creatures that would feast upon its unsuspecting citizens. But page by page the full tableau unfolds, revealing layers of pain and experiences that don't fit in a good-bad dichotomy. As lamplighter Domek gets increasingly tangled with the alluring Lady Ora, their struggles reveal a conspiracy that threatens everyone in Prague, and forces them to face their long-held preconceptions.Nicole Jarvis crafts a breathing world, inhabiting Prague with a sense of optimism in the face of growing irrelevancy, of dignity in turmoil, and bravery towards change. She sidesteps many of the genre's usual shortcomings by expanding the creature menagerie beyond the story's confines. By allowing for doubt and debate that ring true for her city, The Lights of Prague is imbued with a rare spirit, a liveliness that cannot fade, a flame that burns brightly.
Tomorrow we’ll be shining the spotlight on our 2020 non-fiction offerings, so make sure to stop by the website then. And don’t forget you can follow all of our festive content on Twitter – head to our account @TitanBooks, or follow the hashtag #TitanXmas2019!