Watch Out For These!

If you’re anything like our team at The Publishing Planet, you’re always on the look out for new books. We can barely scroll through bookish Twitter without picking up five or six book announcements to screenshot and add to our watchlist. So, for both our sakes, we’re going to keep you up to date on upcoming titles so you don’t miss a beat. Here are five titles from early 2021 that we know you’ll enjoy…

Title summaries and copy taken from/provided by the publisher. Upcoming release dates may change.

The Forever Sea, Joshua Phillip Johnson (Titan Books, January 2021)

‘Loved THE FOREVER SEA. Loved it. Sheer joy’. Joanne M Harris, author of Chocolat and The Gospel of Loki.

A story of hope and adventure, of loss and sacrifice, of the blue-sky surface world far above, where ships sail upon the endless grasses, a story of the Forever Sea, a story of you and I…

Every story has its beginning and this one starts when a young sailor, Kindred Greyreach, hearthfire keeper and sailor aboard The Errant, receives some devastating news. Her grandmother—The Marchess, legendary captain and hearthfire keeper—has stepped from her vessel and disappeared into the Forever Sea. But the note she leaves Kindred suggests this was not an act of suicide. Something waits in the depths, and the Marchess has set out to find it.

To follow in her grandmother’s footsteps, Kindred will embroil herself in conflicts bigger than she could imagine: a water war; a mythic pirate city where monsters lurk; battles against beasts of the deep, driven to the brink of madness; and the elusive promise of a world below the grasses.

Of all this, and much more, sing, memory.

THE FOREVER SEA is a story about the beauty and threat of nature and the relationship between finite natural resources and infinite greed. It’s about leaving behind everything that is familiar and plunging into the terrifying unknown.

Horrifying Tales: An Anthology (Greenteeth Press, February 2021)

Exploring the creepy television of our childhoods, Horrifying Tales: An Anthology brings together 14 new and existing writers for a collection of horror that readers are sure to want to read with the lights on.

The third collection from Greenteeth Press, in collaboration with York Centre for Writing, evokes the grim characters that haunted our childhoods and inspired modern folk horror.

Full List of Contributors: Paul Childs, Adam Ditchburn, Rob O’Connor, Clara Barley, Sam Jacques, Harrison Casswell, Jo Brandon, Oliver J. Campbell, Errol-Graham Harsley, Alan G. Smith, Claire Hinchliffe, Stella Miriam Pryce, Sarah Barr, L Hudson. With an introduction from Dr Robert Edgar.

In partnership with York St John University and the Horrifying Children Symposium, a free virtual book launch is available to the public on 26th February 2021!

The Gilded Ones, Namina Forna (Usborne Publishing, February 2021)


The must-read new bold and immersive West African-inspired fantasy series, as featured on Cosmo, Bustle, Book Riot and Refinery 29. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice, perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther.

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in Otera, a deeply patriarchal ancient kingdom, where a woman’s worth is tied to her purity, and she must bleed to prove it. But when Deka bleeds gold – the colour of impurity, of a demon – she faces a consequence worse than death. She is saved by a mysterious woman who tells Deka of her true nature: she is an Alaki, a near-immortal with exceptional gifts. The stranger offers her a choice: fight for the Emperor, with others just like her, or be destroyed…

The Last One at the Party, Bethany Clift (Hodder & Stoughton, February 2021)


It’s December 2023 and the world as we know it has ended.

The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM (‘Six Days Maximum’ – the longest you’ve got before your body destroys itself).

But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own.

Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.

And with no one else to live for, who will she become now that she’s completely alone?

Under The Blue, Oana Aristide (Serpent’s Tail, March 2021)

A lead debut novel: a literary thriller about a pandemic, the rise of AI, and how – or why – we might save the human race.

‘A super-smart and relentlessly gripping addition to the eco-fiction genre, Under the Blue is by turns chilling, incisive, and casually hilarious. It also features one of the most convincing sentient-AI characters in recent fiction’. Sandra Newman, author of The Heavens.

A road trip beneath clear blue skies and a blazing sun: a reclusive artist is forced to abandon his home and follow two young sisters across a post-pandemic Europe in search of a safe place. Is this the end of the world?

Meanwhile two computer scientists have been educating their baby in a remote location. Their baby is called Talos, and he is an advanced AI program. Every week they feed him data, starting from the beginning of written history, era by era, and ask him to predict what will happen next to the human race. At the same time they’re involved in a increasingly fraught philosophical debate about why human life is sacred and why the purpose for which he was built – to predict threats to human life to help us avoid them – is a worthwhile and ethical pursuit.

These two strands come together in a way that is always suspenseful, surprising and intellectually provocative: this is an extraordinarily prescient and vital work of fiction – an apocalyptic road novel to frighten and thrill.

To find out more about this prescient novel, look out for The Publishing Planet’s next issue: Dreaming of Dystopia!