The Brilliant Abyss

My latest book, The Brilliant Abyss, is published in the UK by Bloomsbury in March 2021.

In it I explore the majesty and mystery of the deep sea.

This is the single biggest habitable space on the planet. It’s home to fantastic creatures — from furry, dancing crabs to glowing worms swimming elegant pirouettes — that have all evolved unique ways to survive in extreme conditions of super-high pressure, little food or company, and permanent darkness.

Revealing the hidden secrets of the deep is illuminating not only more about life on earth, but hints at the potential for life on other planets.

The deep has a huge effect on our daily lives. It captures vast quantities of carbon keeping it away from the atmosphere; novel chemicals hold the promise of new medicines.

Yet the deep also holds huge mineral riches lusted after by many nations and corporations; mining the deep seabed could ultimately devastate the planet, compounded by the deepening impacts of ubiquitous pollutants and rampant overfishing.

I chatted about the book with Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week, which you can listen to again here.

If you’d like to order a copy, do please consider ordering from my book shop at I am donating all proceeds from sales via Bookshop to the ocean conservation charity Sea Changers.

You could also buy direct from Bloomsbury and get a 20% discount with the code OCEAN20.

The cover art is my third collaboration with California-based artist Aaron John Gregory. He also created the covers and interior illustrations for Spirals in Time and Eye of the Shoal, and I continue to be humbled, fascinated and honoured to work with him.

The Brilliant Abyss will be published in the US and Canada in July 2021 by Grove Atlantic.