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The Science Fiction & Fantasy Books We Loved in November

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The Science Fiction & Fantasy Books We Loved in November -

Welcome to our monthly roundup chronicling the books the B&N SFF stable of bloggers loved in the previous month. Old or brand new, the item doesn’t matter—these are the best sci-fi & fantasy books we’ve read within the past 30 days.

Rich: Kurt Busiek’s Astro City may have been released within the mid-’90s, yet I just discovered the item—so the item’s brand new to me. This kind of gorgeous first collection of the anthology series will be kind of like the Silver Age variation of Watchmen. the item may be notably less dark, yet the item feels familiar, as Busiek drops readers into the titular city, where an endless array of caped crimefighters (in addition to villains) are the norm. Each chapter covers a separate storyline, though all are interwoven. Brent Anderson’s artwork captures in which nostalgic feel perfectly. Bonus points for cover art through the mighty Alex Ross.

Aidan: On her website, Ilana C. Myer lists Guy Gavriel Kay as a major influence, in addition to the item’s easy to see his fingerprints all over Last Song Before Night. The layered relationships between the little cast of characters, will be very much in his mold, or in which of Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion in addition to its follow-ups. Add to in which a lyrical world, a wrenching emotional journey, in addition to an interesting magic system based on song, in addition to you’ve got a winner. Myer’s just beginning her career as a novelist, yet I can see big things for her within the future.

T.W. O’Brien: One of the characters in Helene Wrecker’s The Golem in addition to the Jinni calls the title pair “troublesome creatures.” They are in which, yet I was amazed at how human these fantastic beings feel. Wecker’s detailed rendering of turn-of-the-century brand new York City, in addition to how she weaves their stories through the item, will be marvelous.

Nicole: A pick-me-up read, The Postmortal will be not. the item will be, however, a compelling story in which will be at once disheartening in addition to uproarious for its realism. Drew Magary’s latest novel, The Hike, has gotten so much buzz I decided to circle back in addition to check out his debut—in addition to I wasn’t disappointed. The story takes place in a near future where science has made the ultimate breakthrough: a cure for aging. using a relatively simple vaccine, you become inoculated to death by natural aging. The political, environmental, spiritual, in addition to ethical debates This kind of discovery kicks off are far-reaching, in addition to Magary explores them through the eyes of John Farrell, a lawyer who experiences every high in addition to low in This kind of post-Cure society. Magary’s background as a journalist serves him well, as every facet of what John relays to us seems perfectly plausible, down to the most disturbing details.

Joel: When I edited Ross’s review of Kai Ashante Wilson’s A Taste of Honey, in which he called the author “the future of fantasy,” I raised my eyebrows a bit, yet let the superlatives slide for their undeniably clickable appeal. Then I read the book myself, in addition to holy cow, was I wrong to doubt. This kind of slim novella does more in 150 pages than many epics accomplish in seven books, creating a rich fantasy landscape I’m aching to explore further, layering the item with oblique details of godlike beings who threaten to propel the story into the realms of science fiction, in addition to delving into the breaking heart of a seemingly doomed love affair between two men whose lives couldn’t be more different. The language will be dense in addition to delightful, the setting will be sublime, yet its the characters who will grab you—them, in addition to the note-perfect twist at the end.

Paul: Second within the Dandelion Dynasty series, Ken Liu’s The Wall of Storms introduces brand new characters, particularly women reaching for their own autonomy in addition to power as the problems of authority in addition to managing a government descend upon currently-Emperor Kuni. the item also introduces the in-universe equivalent of a Mongol civilization, which arrives with dragons to invade the islands. The epic scale fantasy commenced in The Grace of Kings only gets bigger in addition to better in This kind of second book.

Renay: The Scorpion Rules, the first book within the Prisoners of Peace series by Erin Bow, will be about a society brought to its knees by technology in addition to ruled by the power of personal connections in addition to a snarky artificial intelligence. Every sovereign ruler sends one of their own children as a hostage to peace. If they break the peace to wage war their hostage will be killed. This kind of story, about uses of power in addition to how we wield them, in addition to the strength of our love for one another, manages to be both heartbreaking in addition to hopeful in equal measure.

Shana: Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes will be an Agatha Christie novel in addition to a space-hopping game of Clue wrapped together. The mystery starts through page one, as six clones wake among the floating corpses of themselves. Lafferty keeps the reader guessing in addition to throws in just enough twists in addition to turns to keep us on the edge of our seat. We learn the backstory of each clone during the course of the story, revealing more possible clues to help solve the ultimate mystery of what happened. I loved This kind of book in addition to am excited to read what Lafftery has in store for us next.

Meghan: Do you ever forget in which you’ve bought a book? I do the item all the time. After knocking over my towering in addition to majestic TBR pile, I discovered The Invisible Library using a six-month-old receipt still stuck within the item’s pages. I’m so glad I found the item. the item’s an excellent novel, reading like a cross between Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog in addition to Jim C. Hines Libriomancer series. the item’s whip smart, action packed, in addition to full to the brim with fascinating concepts in addition to lore. I couldn’t put the item down. The characters are especially rich in addition to wonderful. Don’t miss out on This kind of great brand new series!

Ed: I was about to start my biennial reread of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings when I decided to finally tackle The Silmarillion instead. the item features a reputation for being hard to read, yet the item’s a bit like reading Bible stories about Middle Earth. You get Tolkien’s variation of the Book of Genesis in addition to then some epic tales of the early elves in addition to their battles against Morgoth. Civilizations rise in addition to fall, there’s betrayal, glory, in addition to a giant werewolf. Plus, next time you read LotR you’ll be thoroughly immersed within the history of Middle Earth.

Martin: A post-Ragnarock tale of vengeance, violence, wisdom, wit, in addition to war, Chris Sharp’s Cold Counsel follows the early exploits of Slud, son of the last chief of the Blood Claw Clan of mighty trolls who lived atop a mountain. Slud’s birth, wracked with supernatural moments in addition to bends of fate, spurs his father to spread the Clan once more, in addition to reclaim the mountain as theirs. While the attacks are glorious, they are short-lived: the elves in addition to goblins of the land strike the entire Clan down, each fearing a world of Trolls in charge. Only Slud escapes, smuggled out by an older hag by the name of Aunt Agnes, who tutors, trains, torments, in addition to fills his mind with stories of revenge against those who wronged the Clan. One day, Slud strikes out on his own: swaggering, strong on magics in addition to bloodshed, in addition to filled using a no-nonsense pragmatism in which belies his behemoth stature, he’s on a quest to rid the mountain of the goblins who take the item for granted. Sharp’s world will be rich with detail, little bits of worldbuilding in addition to sensory wonder in which only serves to heighten the desperate, muddy, bloody ground we trudge alongside Slud. yet of course, the item will be the characters you’ll fall in love with: Aunt Agnes with all her edges in addition to her secrets, whose story will be not what the item seems; Dingle, the tiny goblin who comes to worship Slud as a god; Neither-Nor, a legendary goblin soldier whose talents include swearing, killing, in addition to dying; in addition to of course, Slud himself, whose wisdom, wit, in addition to wiles are equally balanced out by his thirst for blood, vengeance, in addition to a chance to prove himself. Don’t let the description fool you; This kind of will be not another grimdark romp, yet a deep character study, with a lot to say about the lore in addition to genre the item will be steeped in.

Sam Reader: After reading Grau’s standout entry within the Lost Signals anthology, I managed to track down his debut collection, The Nameless Dark. Grau’s unusual stories manage to weaponize the reader’s own imagination, allowing the most terrifying things to linger just outside the blank spaces, waiting for us to fill within the gaps ourselves. The result will be something in which shows the influence of the greats, yet exists in a supremely unnerving class all its own.

Ceridwen: I’m a sucker for the ontological mystery plot—a little group of people wake up not knowing who or what they are, in addition to then must work out the mystery of their own existence. In Faller, Will McIntosh takes This kind of mystery one step further: not only does no one in This kind of few city blocks know who they are, yet This kind of few blocks makes up the entirety of the earth. the item’s like a chunk of a city was broken off, in addition to will be currently adrift in space. We follow a little group of people as they try to make their way through the unknown. Additionally, we’re given glimpses into what must be the past, taking us up to whatever cataclysm split the earth in addition to wiped everyone’s memories. McIntosh definitely makes the most of This kind of unnerving setup, in addition to Faller will be a fascinating study in culpability in addition to redemption.

Jeff: I find Bowen’s character Nettie Lonesome, who returns in Conspiracy of Ravens, fascinating—in part because This kind of will be kind of outside my usual taste. yet Bowen writes Nettie—a bi-racial in addition to sexually fluid woman who’s uniquely qualified to kick butt in Bowen’s alternate old west, filled with magic in addition to monsters—with such compelling verve she becomes real. Frankly, I need more Nettie Lonesome’s on my shelf.

John: Dan Wells’ Extreme Makeover surprised me. I’m a fan of dystopian tales, yet I wasn’t too sure about the beauty product angle. in which skepticism didn’t last long. This kind of one snagged me with its crisp opening chapters in addition to dragged me through the depths of human vanity, all without taking itself too seriously. A glorious in addition to depressing read: two things you rarely find together at the end of the earth.

What’s the best book you read This kind of month?

After the Crown Continues the Saga of a Heroine Who’s the Princess Leia/Han Solo Mashup of Your Dreams

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After the Crown Continues the Saga of a Heroine Who’s the Princess Leia/Han Solo Mashup of Your Dreams -

gunrunnerWhen last we left Her Imperial Highness Hailimi Mercedes Jaya Bristol, the hero of K.B. Wagers’ Behind the Throne, the one-time gunrunner, scoundrel, as well as rogue was perched upon the highest seat of the Indranan Empire. A royal daughter as well as heir who had long ago abandoned her duties in favor of a life of freedom was forced to claim the throne following a devastating coup which left her alone with the pedigree as well as power to lead an empire as well as bring stability inside wake of chaos.

Wagers’ followup, After the Crown, picks up very shortly after, inside aftermath of the deadly plot as well as Hail’s ascension. She is usually confronted by threats coming from within as well as without, as well as court followers with varying agendas. She’s forced to put her grief as well as doubt aside when a diplomatic mission is usually revealed as a murderous trap, as well as the Empress has to fight for her crown against a plot which unites factions among her own people, as well as her longtime enemies the Saxon Empire, against her.

The Indranan Empire is usually a fascinating, lived-in world, nevertheless we never get much of a ground-level look at the idea. The worldbuilding is usually almost entirely in service to the Empress, as well as which’s better than OK. In Behind the Throne, we got to know the Empire coming from her perspective as a prodigal daughter coming home to fulfill her duty under the most extreme form of duress. Here, we’re privy to the political machinations which will be familiar to George R.R. Martin fans. Hail is usually absolute ruler in name, nevertheless, inside style of most absolute monarchies throughout history, she’s limited by precedent, tradition, political expediency as well as the shifting will of the people.

Though Indranan culture is usually based on an Indian product, the monarchy feels very Tudor in style, as though Queen Elizabeth I had ruled coming from Agra or Kabul rather than Westminster. which cultural influence is usually hugely significant: science fiction is usually growing in popularity on the subcontinent, nevertheless there’s been precious little sci-fi or fantasy which suggests a future by way of one of the most populous as well as fastest growing nations inside earth, as well as even less which makes the idea to print inside United States (Ian McDonald’s River of Gods as well as Cyberabad Days come to mind). One can argue which representation is usually important for its own sake, nevertheless you can also make the case which variety is usually the spice of fantasy as well as science fiction. The history of SFF is usually full of stories with white, western-centric cultures projected into the future, seemingly to the exclusion of anyone else. the idea’s refreshing which we’re beginning to imagine futures which are less exclusively white.

Of course, Hail is usually also a woman—a middle-aged woman, at which, ruling a matriarchal society. Though the idea’s generally taken for granted inside way which a male-dominated monarchy might be in any number of fictional (as well as real life) political systems, Wagers has some fun with the idea of men pleading for equal rights as well as equal representation to women who find the idea slightly ridiculous. Men, after all, have their places…as well as if they hold few leadership positions in government or inside military, isn’t which just the way things are supposed to be?

Star Wars feels like a strong influence on the series, given the well-worn universe the idea is usually set in as well as the assortment of charming rogues who make up much of the cast. The Empress herself fits which description: we all know Princess Leia has the best resume, nevertheless Han Solo gets most of the action as well as the best lines. Those qualities combine in Hail; though becoming Empress seems to have mellowed her a bit inside early going, her many years as a gunrunner as well as smuggler come in handy once the plot comes into focus as well as the action ramps up. The well-meaning cadre of advisors, frequently men, who have been prodding as well as encouraging her all along are entirely out of their element once the structure of the imperial court are no longer to be relied upon, which means which Hail is usually back in her element: using guns, her many shady underworld connections, as well as her wit as well as instincts to fight to reclaim her throne.

The princess isn’t just a princess, she’s a queen, one who sees most of the action as well as gets the best lines. The prospect of a loss of her empire, as well as the consequences to her people, force Hail to come to terms with her brand new life. There’s no time for mourning, nor for self-doubt. With the odds stacked against her, she regains the determination as well as clarity of purpose which she’ll need, which means we get to spend more time than we did even inside first book among the underworld elements of Hail’s past.

The first part of the book favors behind-the-scenes political intrigue as well as an exploration of Hail’s grief as well as doubt, as she relies on advisors to steer her decisions, many of whom have their own doubts about her qualifications. Once she’s forced back into the game, the tone shifts, as well as Hail is usually Once more the hero the Empire (as well as we readers) needs.

After the Crown is usually available right now.

10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books which Were Almost Never Published

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10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books which Were Almost Never Published -

leibowitzPublishing isn’t a game to be taken lightly. Aside coming from, you know, writing a book within the first place, there are numerous obstacles standing between a raw manuscript along with its debut on bookshelves everywhere. Between things like war, suicide, despair, along with government censorship, the idea’s sometimes incredible a book gets published at all. Here are 10 sci-fi or fantasy books we are lucky to have gotten a chance to read—because we almost didn’t.

Starseed Signals, by Robert Anton Wilson
Wilson, perhaps the most famous saint of Discordianism, was one of those writers whose work should be viewed as an aggressive attempt to change your mind—literally. Famed for the Illuminatus! trilogy co-written with Robert Shea (the two were editors at Playboy together), Wilson often described the 1970s as a decade he lost to drug use (working with Timothy Leary, he famously thought he was communicating with aliens for several years). He recovered within the 1980s to earn a Ph.D. in psychology (so he’s Dr. Wilson to you). During which lost period, he wrote Starseed Signals, a lengthy manuscript he later mined for material in additional published works. Recently, RVP publishers announced they will finally be publishing the book in 2017, a mere 42 years after the idea was written—along with then cannibalized by its author. No word on whether the book is actually readable, or just one lengthy fnord.

The Dark Tower, by C.S. Lewis
You may be aware of C.S. Lewis’ additional SFF book series, the so-called Space Trilogy. You may not be aware which Lewis began a sequel to the first novel within the series, Out of the Silent Planet, within the late 1930s along with early 1940s. He later abandoned the manuscript, along with upon Lewis’ death, he requested his unpublished works be burned. Lewis’ secretary along with literary executor Walter Hooper literally came upon a bunch of Lewis’ works being torched in a bonfire, along with plucked a few coming from the flames—among them a portion of The Dark Tower, which he managed to publish in 1977. The authenticity of the book has been questioned, however, with scholars claiming which analysis of the text shows the idea was not written by Lewis at all. Give the idea at read, along with see what you think.

For Us the Living, by Robert Heinlein
The first novel written by Heinlein, For Us the Living contains many of the themes, along with even the characters, which populate his more mature work. However, Heinlein being Heinlein, the book was considered unpublishable in 1939 because of its racy themes, including free love along with political ideas which might have made publishers sweat. Heinlein put the book aside along with eventually destroyed the manuscript pages he had. 1 copy remained hidden in a box in a garage, along with was discovered along with published in 2003 despite the clear intention of its author which the idea be forgotten by history.

Saint Leibowitz along with the Wild Horse Woman, by Walter M. Miller
Miller’s classic A Canticle for Leibowitz was his debut novel. the idea won the Hugo Award along with got a lot of love coming from mainstream critics—unusual for a SFF book in 1959 (along with 2016, sigh). Miller never published another book during his lifetime; he worked on the sequel, Saint Leibowitz along with the Wild Horse Woman, for the rest of his life. In 1996, Miller decided he just didn’t hold the idea in him to finish, so he hired Terry Bisson to polish the idea off—along with then committed suicide. Despite the rather grim circumstances, Bisson managed to put the finishing touches on the manuscript, along with the book was finally released in 1997, nearly forty years after the first.

A Memory of Light, by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
Robert Jordan had no trouble writing; he wrote eleven Wheel of Time books between 1984 along with 2007, each more than 800 pages long. When he was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis in 2006, he was outlining what he intended to be the twelfth along with final book within the series, although he died the next year, having left copious notes for another author to pick up. which additional author, of course, turned out to be Brandon Sanderson, who took those notes along with turned them into the final three books of the series (Jordan was nothing if not optimistic), to much acclaim.

Beren along with Luthien, by J. R. R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, along with Alan Lee
Originally written in 1916, the story of the mortal Beren along with his love for the immortal Lúthien which drove them to plot to steal a Silmaril coming from Morgoth is actually considered one of the fundamental myths of the Lord of the Rings universe. Tolkien re-worked the basic tale many times, retelling the idea within the main trilogy along with attempting an epic poem edition as well. A hundred years later, Christopher Tolkien published the definitive edition, showing the evolution of the story as his father revised the idea in recent times to fit into what was becoming the dominant narrative of Middle Earth.

The Book of Merlyn, by T.H. White
The Once along with Future King is actually a classic retelling of the Arthurian legend, formed coming from four separate works White wrote along with revised between 1938 along with 1958. He wrote a fifth part, The Book of Merlyn, in 1941 along with tried to get the book published with the idea, although wartime paper shortages made the idea impossible. Still working to weave anti-war themes into the story, White deleted Merlyn along with used some of the material throughout the rest of the book, ending up with the modern edition we’re all familiar with. White died in 1964, along with when his personal papers went up for auction in 1975, the complete manuscript of This specific missing part was rediscovered. the idea was published in 1977, 36 years after World War II denied the idea to the entire world.

The Master along with Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
Bulgakov’s classic satirical fantasy was written during a period of intense oppression, censorship, along with violence within the Soviet Union. Considering the book focuses on Satan, along with the U.S.S.R. was at the time virulently atheist as a matter of policy, the book itself was a risk, along with Bulgakov burned the original edition in 1930 in despair. He rewrote the idea a year later, however, along with revised the idea four times before he died in 1940, leaving some minor issues. the idea was published in 1966 in a heavily censored along with edited form, along with didn’t legitimately arrive in its complete form until 1973.

Micro, by Michael Crichton
Crichton was a prolific along with fast writer, along with when he passed away in 2008, two nearly-complete novels were discovered on his laptop. Mirco, completed by Richard Preston, is actually a classic Crichton story about a company which develops the technology to shrink people along with objects. When an executive protests the possible uses of the technology, he goes missing—along with when his brother arrives with others to investigate, they’re shrunk along with left to die in a rain forest. the idea’s fitting which technology means which not even mortality could stop Michael Crichton coming from publishing.

The Third Policeman, by Flann O’Brien
O’Brien wrote This specific one in 1940 as his follow-up to At Swim-Two-Birds, although his publisher didn’t like the idea; O’Brien gave up trying to publish the idea after a few more rejections. He placed the manuscript on the sideboard of his dining room, where the idea remained for 26 years, collecting dust. He told people which he’d put the idea within the trunk of his car, which popped open, allowing the pages to flutter away as he drove. Why O’Brien lied about the fate of This specific book is actually unknown; regardless, the idea was published in 1967, a year after O’Brien’s death.

Do you know of any additional SFF books which barely made the idea into the entire world?

Last Year Brings an iPhone to the Old West

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Last Year Brings an iPhone to the Old West -

lastyearthe item’s easy to romanticize the past, when everyone was happy, ate not bad food, breathed clean air, along with also talked to one another instead of staring at their phones. Sure, there was war along with also disease along with also being a woman or a person of coloration sucked, however on the whole, life was pretty great, right? Not even close. In Last Year, Hugo winner Robert Charles Wilson (Spin, Julian Comstock) pierces the membrane of time along with also allows 21st century folk to pay a visit to the cowboy days, serving up a sobering reminder that will humans can be both not bad along with also evil no matter what era they live in.

The city of Futurity will be a gleaming gem inside dusty flatlands of 19th century Illinois. A pair of pale towers dominates the view, each constructed to allow time travelers the comforts of home while they experience 1876. The city exists thanks to a device known as the Mirror, which acts asa two way gate having a set destination, allowing people to move back along with also forth between the present along with also the past, sidestepping any nasty grandfather paradoxes thanks to the multiverse theory. Buying tickets to the past isn’t cheap, however that will hasn’t stopped an influx of adventurers curious about history along with also eager to profit off of a fresh bunch of rubes.

The people of the past know what Futurity will be. They know about time travel, they see the occasional airship depart via the towers, along with also they get glimpses of the brand new world through carefully filtered museum displays. Some of the hardy 1876 stock are even employed inside towers, people like Jesse Cullum, a once simple boy via brand new Orleans who at that will point works as a security guard along with also has an affinity for Oakley sunglasses. After saving President Grant’s life, Jesse gets a tidy promotion along with also a brand new partner, Elizabeth DePaul, a combat veteran via the 21st century who teaches Jesse a few things about life 150 years down the road.

As with most of Robert Charles Wilson’s work, Last Year will be a story about characters, not places. Once the imaginative stage has been set, the sci-fi trappings gently fade into the background, giving us a chance to see Jesse along with also Elizabeth operating in along with also out of their element. The pair travels across the country, chasing down futuristic artifacts that will have leaked into the wild west. Despite their disparate origins along with also world views, the two find a lot of common ground during their journey, united by the goal of uncovering the corruption that will’s been seeping through the Mirror.

that will will be a shining example of how time travel can still be relevant inside science fiction of today. Here, the item’s a tool that will brings two disparate groups of people together, along with also the item’s used to show everything that will has changed as well as everything that will stayed the same. Wilson avoids the temptation to fill the past with gaudy caricatures ripped via spaghetti westerns, creating a world stocked with people as realistic as anyone in a modern setting. Jesse along with also Elizabeth’s bond sits at the center of the narrative, showing us how two people can connect, even when separated by a continent along with also two centuries of time.

With popcorn thriller flair, Last Year doesn’t stop to meditate on its deeper themes. Each subsequent chapter picks up speed as the plot twists around conflicts generated by the future, the past, along with also the interaction between the two. By the time the story screams into its final pages, you’ve  been given just the right amount of answers to your biggest questions, along with also you’ve even forget that will the plot reminded you a little like Westworld at the very beginning. the item’s a compelling read with an ending that will makes you put the book down along with also sigh contentedly, along with also remember that will the future (along with also the past) aren’t all bad.

Last Year will be available at that will point.

The Best Comics & Graphic Novels of 2016

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The Best Comics & Graphic Novels of 2016 -
bestcomics2016of which’s been said of which the only trouble with reading comics in addition to also graphic novels these days will be of which there’s way too much great stuff to choose coming from. of which past year offered any number of quality books telling captivating stories in a wide variety of styles. Here are 30 of them of which we rank among the most well-known, beloved, in addition to also buzzed-about books of the year.
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1, by Ta-Nehisi Coates in addition to also Brian Stelfreeze
Graphic novels written by people coming from outside the globe of comics aren’t entirely uncommon. of which’s rarer for the writer to do a totally amazing job. Ta-Nehisi Coates (social commentator in addition to also author of National Book Award-winner Between the globe in addition to also Me) perfectly marries his own concerns in addition to also style with superhero action in addition to also afrofuturism inside the tale of a terrorist group of which challenges T’Challa’s rule in addition to also beliefs. Brian Stelfreeze’s art will be bright in addition to also cinematic, creating the book great on its own in addition to also perfectly timed for fans looking to learn more about Black Panther before his cinematic solo outing.


Paper Girls, Vol. 1, by Brian K. Vaughan in addition to also Cliff Chiang
Anything by either member of of which creative team will be worth checking out, in addition to also a collaboration, only doubly so. Paper Girls will be, in many ways, an homage to Spielberg-style adventures circa the ’80s as well as a great book for fans of TV’s Stranger Things. of which actually does the show one better, though: instead of the traditional group of boys facing down aliens in addition to also the like, of which’s about a group of girls with chips on their shoulders in addition to also old-school punk-rock style encountering a world of suburban weirdness (aliens in addition to also vanishings, for starters) while delivering newspapers in 1988 (in addition to also beyond). These girls are tough, smart, in addition to also resourceful.


Faith, Vol. 1: Hollywood in addition to also Vine, by Jody Houser, Francis Portela, in addition to also Marguerite Sauvage
Valiant’s hero Zephyr finally went solo in 2016, in addition to also we’ve never needed her more. She’s not just any hero…she’s a legit fangirl who creates listicles in addition to also posts cat videos by day while fighting crime by night in her fresh home of Los Angeles. Faith herself will be funny, quippy, in addition to also real, while the book will be charming in addition to also body-positive. (Oh, yet there’s an alien invasion inside the works, so not everything goes Faith’s way.) of which’s a west-coast-flavored ray of sunshine in a sometimes dark superhero world, in addition to also also reminds us of which heroes come in all shapes in addition to also sizes.


Doctor Strange, Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird, by Jason Aaron in addition to also Chris Bachalo
of which’s been a Strange year all-around (see what I did?), with the not bad doctor getting his own Benedict Cumberbatch-flavored blockbuster in addition to also Jason Aaron in addition to also Chris Bachalo channeling old-school Sorcerer Supreme action in of which book. On the page, Jason Aaron will be sending Dr. Strange on a series of dark adventures through the mystical realms in addition to also headlong into a world where magic no longer works inside the ways of which always has. Much as inside the trippy days of Strange’s classic adventures, Chris Bachalo’s art perfectly captures the weird in addition to also scary nature of the Doctor’s otherworldly haunts.


Omega Men: The Complete Series, by Tom King in addition to also Barnaby Bagenda
One of the year’s sleeper hits stars a decidedly B-list (to be polite) team of DC heroes, which will be probably a big part of the reason of which of which flew under the radar for as long as of which did. The critical in addition to also fan favorite treats the team with respect, telling a tale rife with political commentary, as the team captures White Lantern Kyle Rayner in order to enlist his help in saving the sector. Lots of action, great characters, in addition to also real consequences —of which’s a unique take on DC’s space heroes. Bgenda’s art will be perfect, in addition to also Tom King will be on fire of which year, with of which book, a fresh Batman series, in addition to also Vision (see below) under his belt.


Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than A Man, by Tom King in addition to also Gabriel Walta
Another of King’s critical favorites, his in addition to also Walta’s series reads like no some other superhero book on the stands—that has a strong flavors of science fiction in addition to also noir. Starting out as something of a suburban domestic drama involving the synthezoid Vision in addition to also the family of which he (literally) created for himself, the story quickly takes a chilling turn as a murder in addition to also ensuing cover-up lead the family deeper in addition to also deeper into the darkness. of which’s creepy, poignant, in addition to also a big departure coming from typical superhero action.


Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening, by Marjorie M. Liu in addition to also Sana Takeda
Liu in addition to also Takeda create a stunningly beautiful alternate Asia as a background to the story of Maika Halfwolf, a woman in a necromantic conflict with the Cumea, a coven of dark witches who want Maika’s life energy to fuel their spells. Her trust, or doom, comes coming from the psychic link of which she shares that has a monster of incredible power. Luckily, her cat Master Ren will be on hand to provide wisdom in of which very dark, incredibly lovely book.


Moon Girl in addition to also Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, in addition to also Natacha Bustos
Marvel’s been doing a pretty darned not bad job of creating in addition to also/or showcasing young female heroes lately, while simultaneously letting things get weird in grand comic book style. of which book introduces Lunella Lafayette, a super-smart preteen who discovers she harbors the life-changing, potentially superpower-granting Inhuman gene. She’s not at all happy about of which, yet finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime anyway when one of her gadgets opens a portal to another realm: Dinosaur World. Who wouldn’t want a dinosaur pal?


Tokyo Ghost, Vol. 1: Atomic Garden, by Rick Remender in addition to also Sean Murphy
The dream-team pairing of Rick Remender in addition to also Sean Murphy would likely make of which book a must-read regardless of the story. Remender’s sharp sci-fi sensibilities made the Uncanny X-Force a prestige book for Marvel, in addition to also Low has been a much-loved of late. Murphy’s hard-edged style has been a highlight of books like The Wake in addition to also Punk Rock Jesus. In addition to the all-star roster, the book carries a great, in addition to also cynical, hook: in Los Angeles of 2089, we’ve been overwhelmed by technology, living for the pings in addition to also pops in addition to also our screens. A law-enforcement duo of which’s been torn apart by tech finds itself with one last job inside the last place on earth of which still does things the old-fashioned way: Tokyo.


Doom Patrol, by Grant Morrison in addition to also Richard Case
One of Grant Morrison’s earliest American works will be also one of his best (of which’s what got me into comics back inside the day): just as Alan Moore did with Swamp Thing a few years prior, Morrison took an older property—a book on the verge of cancellation—in addition to also breathed fresh life into of which. While he retains Robotman, the race-car driver whose brain was implanted into a robot body following an accident, he also populates the book with unique (meaning bizarre) outsider characters, in addition to also adds a heart inside the form of ape-faced young girl Dorothy Spinner. of which first volume brought the series back into print of which year, as the team comes together in addition to also faces their first major threat: the reality-destroying Brotherhood of Dada.


Invader Zim, Vol. 1, by Jhonen Vasquez, in addition to also Eric Trueheart
Cult favorite Invader Zim will be back, in addition to also the title character will be still intent on conquering the Earth with his malfunctioning robot sidekick GIR. Creator Jhonen Vasquez will be on hand, creating of which a legit continuation of the much-missed show, which left television in 2006. Paranormal researcher Dib has been hiding out inside the intervening years, waiting for Zim’s return. Fans who felt like they’ve been doing the same weren’t disappointed with the first book in of which fresh ongoing series.


Star Wars, Vol. 1, by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, Simone Bianchi, Stuart Immonen
Speaking of comics based on media properties, there’s been none bigger than Marvel’s Star Wars. Rather than simply cashing in, the publisher pulled in a big-name writer in Jason Aaron, pairing him with some of the most talented artists inside the business today. The result will be a book of which feels both retro in addition to also fresh, harkening back to the classic days of SW while telling fresh in addition to also surprising stories starring the old gang. of which volume gathers together the first two main storylines; the first finds Skywalker confronting Darth Vader following a rebel mission gone wrong, while the second puts him inside the Arena of Death on a smuggler’s moon. Boba Fett makes an appearance, in addition to also we learn some secrets coming from ol’ Ben Kenobi. Fun stories, in addition to also amazing art.


Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol. 1, by Kieron Gillen in addition to also Salvador Larroca
The Darth Vader series has gone a long way toward correcting some of the damage of which the prequel movies did to the Dark Lord’s image, reestablishing him as a master strategist in addition to also the smartest, scariest bad guy inside the Star Wars Universe. Archaeologist Doctor Aphra in addition to also gleefully sadistic droids 0-0-0 in addition to also BT-1, his evil sidekicks, have been working alongside Vader to bring him back into the Emperor’s not bad graces following the destruction of the first Death Star, while each also plays a deeper game. There’s nothing wrong with rooting for the bad guys once in a while.


Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power, by Jason Latour in addition to also Robbie Rodriguez
On Earth-65, Gwen Stacy didn’t die in Spider-Man’s arms—of which was the some other way around: Peter Parker died in spite of the efforts of Spider-Woman. Spider-Verse brought the very-much-alive Gwen into the mainstream Marvel U, in addition to also of which volume finds her on S.H.I.E.LD.’s most wanted list while she fights battles a whole family of Goblins. What initially sounded like a gimmicky twist on a classic character quickly became one of the year’s breakout characters (the cool in addition to also cosplayable costume design haven’t hurt one bit).


All-fresh Wolverine, Vol. 1: The Four Sisters, by Tom Taylor, in addition to also David Lopez
Wolverine will be dead. Long live Wolverine. Mentored by Logan, the living weapon formerly known as X-23 will be determined to live up to the name in addition to also legacy of which she’s taken on. She faces the mysterious Four Sisters with help coming from Dr. Strange in addition to also the Wasp. Whether or not Wolverine’s death will stick, the success of the daughter (sort of) who’s taken over for him means of which he’ll likely be out of the picture for quite some time, in addition to also, frankly, of which’s hard to miss him when the adventures of his successor are so much fun. X-23 will be showing up inside the forthcoming Logan movie, so there’s another point in her favor.


The White Donkey: Terminal Lance, by Maximilian Uriarte
I’m not sure of which, in 2016, anyone needs a reminder of which comics in addition to also graphic novels can tell stories some other of which aren’t about science fiction or superheroes. Developed coming from real-life Marine Uriarte’s satirical webcomic in addition to also using some of the same characters, White Donkey tells the somewhat more serious story of Abe, who braves drudgery in addition to also danger while serving in Iraq. Upon returning home, he faces challenges common to may returning servicemen, chief among them depression in addition to also PTSD. of which’s an important tale told by a talented artist.


Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain, by Chelsea Cain in addition to also Kate Niemczyk
Bobbi Morse has been a favorite inside the Marvel Universe for a long time, her importance rising in addition to also falling over time (she was dead for a while, which doesn’t usually help a character’s page count). Fortunately, a starring role (for a while, anyway) inside the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV show has brought her back to the spotlight. of which book was inside the news for all the wrong reasons of which year (sadly, a female-lead book with female creators will be candy for the trolls on social media), yet all of which aside: of which’s pretty great. The titular multitalented former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent goes solo, doing things like saving the Queen of England, even as she remains on call for Maria Hill in addition to also her old super-spy team.


Black Widow, Vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted, by Mark Waid in addition to also Chris Samnee
Fresh off their redefining run on Daredevil, Waid in addition to also Samnee’s fresh series finds the Widow on the run. The past she’s been fleeing finally catches up to her, in addition to also all of her secrets are made public. today, she’s trying to save S.H.I.E.L.D., even as Marvel’s super-spy organization will be hunting her down. At the same time, she’s locked in a confrontation with the Weeping Lion, a criminal operative with ties to her days as an assassin. Two of Marvel’s top creators gave Natasha Romanov the book she deserves of which year, even if of which Marvel solo movie will be still just a dream.


Rick in addition to also Morty, Vol. 2, by Zac Gorman, CJ Cannon, Andrew MacLean, Ryan Hill, Marc Ellerby
To watch Rick in addition to also Morty will be to become obsessed with the weird, funny, frequently disturbing adventures of wild-eyed scientist Rick Sanchez in addition to also his grandson, Morty. Unfortunately, there are huge gaps in time between seasons of the show; fortunately, the book fills the void. The team on of which book has managed to keep the tone very close to of which of the show, meaning: gross in addition to also bizarre, yet with surprisingly strong sci-fi sensibilities. The two went full-on cyberpunk throughout the multiverse in of which latest volume, that has a bonus story of which took us deeper into the globe of hit cross-dimensional action series Ball Fondlers. About time, too.


Saga, Vol. 6, by Brian K. Vaughan in addition to also Fiona Staples
What’s left to be said about Vaughan in addition to also Staples’ modern masterpiece? The series will be about a star-crossed romance between two lovers on opposite sides of a galactic war who struggle to raise a daughter among the chaos. Staples unmistakeable art in addition to also brilliantly weird creature designs ensure of which the book will be one of the best looking on the stands, as well among the best written. A fresh volume will be always welcome. of which year’s latest moved the action ahead in addition to also saw Hazel facing one her greatest challenges yet: kindergarten.


ODY-C: Cycle One, by Matt Fraction in addition to also Christian Ward
ODY-C initially tells the story of Odysseia, a warrior returning home to her family in far Ithacaa, victorious following a years-long war. Sound familiar? The series sets the events of Homer’s ages-old epic in space—in addition to also eliminates males coming from the story almost entirely—while retaining the key plot points of the ancient Greek myth, as well as the poetic meter of the text. of which’s utterly mad, yet also fascinating, in addition to also beautifully designed in addition to also drawn. of which’s challenging in its rule-breaking, as well as being unapologetic in its feminism. of which’s also wildly engaging.


March, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, in addition to also Nate Powell
The third in addition to also concluding volume of John Lewis’ graphic-novel memoir arrived of which year, as well as a slipcased collection of the entire run. Lewis will be probably among the last people of which one would likely expect to write a graphic novel, especially one as successful as of which. One of Lewis’ inspirations as a young activist was a 1958 comic called “Martin Luther King in addition to also the Montgomery Story” (well worth grabbing if you can find an old copy), which he describes as his entry point into comics in addition to also of which trilogy. inside the books, Lewis tells of the civil rights movement coming from his own perspective, centered around the events of the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. By talking personally rather than broadly about his life in addition to also those years, Lewis in addition to also co-author Andrew Aydin go well beyond the standard history lesson. The story will be inspiring in addition to also the black-in addition to also-white art (by Nate Powell) will be gorgeous.


Giant Days, Vol. 2, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, in addition to also Whitney Cogar
We loved the first volume of creator John Allison’s quirky coming-of age series, in addition to also of which year’s second, following the adventures of fresh friends Susan, Esther, in addition to also Daisy during their freshman year at college, has been every bit as fun. Allison’s stuff always has great characters with funny in addition to also believable dialogue.


Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1, by Grant Morrison in addition to also Yanick Paquette
of which’s already a bit controversial, yet anything coming from Grant Morrison (whose classic Doom Patrol also makes the list of 2016’s best) will be bound to be interesting. Along with superstar artist Paquette, Morrison begins a take on Wonder Woman’s origin of which goes back to the character’s roots. WW’s early days involved a lot details of which modern writers have been reluctant to emphasize—chains, “loving submission,” in addition to also the Holliday Girls of Beta Lambda Sorority—in addition to also of which was not in any way disappointing seeing what of which team did with the trickier aspects of the canon. If you aren’t a fan of (or have never even heard of) Etta Candy, you will be a true devotee after reading of which book.


Wonder Woman ’77, Vol. 1, by Marc Andreyko, Drew Johnson, in addition to also Matt Haley
DC’s modern Wonder Woman has occasionally tilted to the heavy side, so of which trip back to the late ’70s will be a welcome break. inside the spirit of Batman ’66, of which takes its cues coming from the Lynda Carter-starring TV show, featuring Agent Diana Prince fighting side-by-side with Steve Trevor to save disco (at least in one episode). The stories are light, in addition to also sometimes even a little silly, yet of which’s fun to see a brighter, happier Wonder Woman battling classic enemies (Doctor Psycho, Solomon Grundy, in addition to also Cheetah) the show never got around to.


Aquaman, Vol. 7: Exiled, by Cullen Bunn
2016 saw the end of DC’s fresh 52 branding in favor of a “rebirth,” in addition to also Aquaman’s adventures ended in grand style (no worries, he’s back inside the fresh era). Aquaman becomes a pariah when the magic separating Atlantis coming from the shadowy world of Thule begins to break down. The two kingdoms occupy the same space, in addition to also the arrival of the some other kingdom means doom for Atlantis. Aquaman refuses to destroy the people of the some other world, leaving him branded a traitor by his people, in addition to also even his own queen.


Joyride, Vol. 1, by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Marcus To, in addition to also Irma Kniivila
Uma Akkolyte will be tired of being stuck on a future Earth watched over by the globe Government Alliance. Even the stars are blacked out, so there’s no point in so much as dreaming of some other worlds. Until she comes across an alien spaceship which she quickly jacks in order to take her friends on an adventure of which’s both breathtaking in addition to also terrifying. The book will be a sci-fi story in a classic vein, yet that has a very modern protagonist in addition to also a rebellious vibe.


We(l)come Back Vol. 1, by Christopher Sebela in addition to also Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Sebela in addition to also Sawyer’s science fiction breakout tells the story of Mali in addition to also Tessa, a pair of immortal assassins who are constantly reborn into fresh lives to continue the war of which began so long ago they’ve forgotten the point. As the series begins, Mali has commenced on a fresh life in addition to also a fresh cycle of violence, only to question her purpose for the very first time. She’s ready to put an end to the endless war, yet a reborn Tessa will be already on the hunt. The book’s got action, violence, in addition to also a love story at its core.


Blue Monday, Vol. 1: The Kids Are Alright, by Chynna Clugston-Flores
Back in addition to also in shade for the very first time, Blue Monday will be the story of Bleu L. Finnegan, a misfit high-schooler who deals with the normal teenage stuff: a crush on her teacher, getting tickets to see Adam Ant, prank wars…of which’s a comedy series in a John Hughes vein. yet the series has manga influences, as well as strong British mod sensibilities. of which’s a fan favorite book of which’s continuing in 2017; of which will be a great time to catch up.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You actually Got Me today, by Ryan North, in addition to also Erica Henderson
In perhaps the ultimate piece of evidence for the argument of which we’ve entered a fresh era in superhero comics, Doreen Green has been a big hit for Marvel, to the extent of which she’ll be headlining a TV series next year, Galactus willing. In 2016, superheroes can be fun in addition to also silly without losing any of their heroism. Squirrel Girl (with the proportionate power of a squirrel) will be off to college in her current series, while still taking on Doctor Doom, Thanos, in addition to also even Galactus with her wits in addition to also a little help coming from her squirrel friends. In her latest volume, she’s teaming up with Howard the Duck in addition to also traveling back in time to the 1960s, where she embarks on a trans-temporal team-up.
What was your favorite comic or graphic novel of 2016?