Featured new additions to DPL’s Science Fiction and Fantasy collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.


All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders – Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families. But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.


81JLIh6bQCLMorning Star by Pierce Brown – The conclusion of the Red Rising trilogy, Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within. Finally, the time has come.

 


91VUYTvyFOLBarsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen – In the future, humans have vanished; what remains are the anthropomorphic animals from the former Earth, who have spread throughout the universe bringing with them their own cultures and prejudices. The exiled Fants (elephants) on Barsk are even more separated than the other animal species. Their only contact is through the trade of koph, a special plant that gives certain creatures the ability to speak with the dead. It is this plant that is at the heart of the conflict that will test the resolve of two Fants as they uncover a shameful truth that the most powerful in the universe will do anything to keep secret.


81HKI8ZoecLThe Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson – Since leaving his homeland, the earthbound demigod Demane has been labeled a sorcerer. With his ancestors’ artifacts in hand, the Sorcerer follows the Captain, a beautiful man with song for a voice and hair that drinks the sunlight. The two of them are the descendants of the gods who abandoned the Earth for Heaven, and they will need all the gifts those divine ancestors left to them to keep their caravan brothers alive. The one safe road between the northern oasis and southern kingdom is stalked by a necromantic terror. Demane may have to master his wild powers and trade humanity for godhood if he is to keep his brothers and his beloved captain alive.


the-wildings-original-imadkvejnmzzmfbuThe Wildings by Roy Nilanjana – In the labyrinthine alleys and ruins of Nizamuddin, an old neighborhood in Delhi, India, lives a small band of cats. Miao, the clan elder, a wise, grave Siamese; Katar, loved by his followers and feared by his enemies; Hulo, the great warrior tom; Beraal, the beautiful queen, swift and deadly when challenged; Southpaw, the kitten whose curiosity can always be counted on to get him into trouble. Unfettered and wild, these and the other members of the tribe fear no one, go where they will, and do as they please. Until one day, a terrified orange-colored kitten with monsoon green eyes and remarkable powers lands in their midst–the first in a series of extraordinary events that threatens to annihilate them and everything they hold dear.


81Ete5lFP2LOversight by Thomas Claburn – Disgraced detective Sam Crane would do anything to help his comatose daughter recover. But when he’s told to turn a blind eye to the murder of a reclusive scientist, he refuses, seeing his resolve as atonement for failing his family and his colleagues. Sam’s determination to persevere endangers his friends, even as it reveals a secret sought by a deluded advertising magnate, a set of look-alike terrorists, and government agents: a way to alter the visible world. If only he could have seen the truth through his own eyes. Confronting a deceptive, hyper-commercial world amid a pandemic of blindness, Sam realizes he must embrace the artifice he resents to maintain his integrity. He plays his adversaries against each other in a gamble that puts his investigation at risk but offers a way to mend his fractured life-if he can survive.


9780802124647The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo –  Finlandia Award-winning author  Johanna Sinisalo’s reputation as a master of literary speculative fiction and of her country’s unique take on it, dubbed “Finnish weird.” Set in an alternative historical present, in a “eusistocracy”–an extreme welfare state–that holds public health and social stability above all else, it follows a young woman whose growing addiction to illegal chili peppers leads her on an adventure into a world where love, sex, and free will are all controlled by the state.

star-wars-the-force-awakens-book-coverWhile the movie is still in theaters, the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by SF veteran Alan Dean Foster, has arrived at DPL!

Set years after Return of the Jedi, this new action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters. Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges.

So return to that galaxy far, far away, and prepare yourself for what happens when the Force awakens…

Featured new additions to DPL’s Science Fiction and Fantasy collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

twilightcompanycover Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed – Twilight Company (men and women, human and nonhuman–of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry) gives the Rebel Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence as they strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.
24237785
Planetfall by Emma Newman – Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown. More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi. The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart.
51O1mJp3lFL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
Word Puppets by Mary Robinette Kowal – Celebrated as the author of five acclaimed historical fantasy novels in the Glamourist series, Mary Robinette Kowal is also well-known as an award-winning author of short science fiction and fantasy. Her stories encompass a wide range of themes, a covey of indelible characters, and settings that span from Earth’s past to its near and far futures as well as even farther futures beyond. Alternative history, fairy tales, adventure, fables, science fiction (both hard and soft), fantasy (both epic and cozy)-nothing is beyond the reach of her unique talent.
Bowen_WakeofVultures-HC2 Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen – Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She’s a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don’t call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand. And just like that, Nettie can see. But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn’t understand what’s under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding — at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead to her true kin… if the monsters along the way don’t kill her first.
51zz-siUuBL__SX332_BO1,204,203,200_ A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe – It is perhaps a hundred years in the future, our civilization is gone, and another is in place in North America, but it retains many familiar things and structures. Although the population is now small, there is advanced technology, there are robots, and there are clones. E. A. Smithe is a borrowed person. He is a clone who lives on a third-tier shelf in a public library, and his personality is an uploaded recording of a deceased mystery writer. A wealthy patron, Colette Coldbrook, takes him from the library because he is the surviving personality of the author of Murder on Mars. A physical copy of that book was in the possession of her murdered father, and it contains an important secret, the key to immense family wealth. It is lost, and Colette is afraid of the police. She borrows Smithe to help her find the book and to find out what the secret is. And then the plot gets complicated.
51o10BQRKeL__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_
If, Then by Matthew De Abaitua – In IF, the people of a small English town cling on after an economic collapse under the protection of the Process. But sometimes people must be evicted from the town. That’s the job of James, the bailiff. While on patrol, James discovers the replica of a soldier from the First World War wandering the South Downs. This strange meeting begins a new cycle of evictions in the town, while out on the rolling downland, the Process is methodically growing the soldiers and building the weapons required to relive a long-lost battle. In THEN, it is August 1915, at the Battle of Suvla Bay in the Dardanelles campaign. Compared to the thousands of allied soldiers landing on this foreign beach, the men of the 32nd Field Ambulance are misfits and cranks of every stripe: a Quaker pacifist, a freethinking padre, a meteorologist, and the private (once a bailiff) known simply as James.  One night they stumble across an ancient necropolis, disturbed by an exploding shell. What they discover within this ancient site will make them question the reality of the war and shake their understanding of what it means to be human…
9781481429689_custom-ed5e79b25fe333c54751dfc3c88f2639199f28ba-s400-c85 Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman – Inadvertently trained by the Devil to see the clues in and manipulations of human desire, sixteen-year-old Izzy is raised to be his left hand and travel circuit through his territory west of the Mississippi.

the goddess of buttercups and daisiesDo you like reading about ancient gods and goddesses like Aphrodite, Athena, Zeus, etc? I know I do. One thing I found lacking when I was reading about them was that there was never any story about their day-to-day lives. Sure, everyone knows the Athena sprung whole out of her father Zeus’ head after he swallowed her mother to try to keep her from being born, that Aphrodite rose full-formed out of the sea foam, and that Zeus was a philandering God who had many different girlfriends and illegitimate children despite the fact that he was married to Hera, the goddess of weddings and marriage, but what about their everyday lives?? Martin Millar has attempted to tackle this question in his new book, The Goddess of Buttercups and Daisies.

In The Goddess of Buttercups and Daisies, Martin Millar looks at both the daily life of the gods and goddesses, but also at the lives of the people who relied on them to make their lives work. (Admittedly more attention is paid to the citizens than to the gods, but interesting tidbits and stories are thrown in for good measure.) In this fantasy epic, the lives of Athenian citizens are in dire straits as the city is in its 10th year of war with Sparta. In hopes to end the war, a peace conference is being held around the time of the festival of Dionysus, the Greek god of fertility and wine who was also known as a patron of the arts.

Aristophanes is struggling to get the necessary funds to guarantee his play’s success and to make up for the fact that he didn’t win first prize at last year’s festival. His rival playwrights are receiving any and everything they could possibly want, while the politicians and festival sponsors seem to be conspiring to make sure his play fails gigantically. One group in town wants peace, while the other group wants war to continue. Aristophanes’ play about peace will never succeed without money, so he is forced to make some deals with some less-than-reputable people in town. Add in various people praying to the gods and asking for help and soon Athens finds itself the center of attention of some meddlesome gods who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the outcome they desire.

This funny, compelling, and witty adventure into the lives of average Athenian citizens and the gods they turn to for help will have you eagerly turning the page to see what destruction and mayhem could possibly come next.

killjoysIn The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, Better Living Industries, a megacorporation with a ruthless and tyrannical leader, is working to take over more of the world and to cut off the freedoms and emotions of everyone living on the planet. This has been going on for years with revolutionaries and groups popping up every now and then trying to save what they can of the life they used to live and the people that they used to know. A group of four said revolutionaries became THE group of revolutionaries in this world with their likenesses splattered all over the news. Sadly over ten years ago, they were all killed while trying to save the life of a mysterious young girl that Better Living Industries, aka BLI, was trying to kill. This young girl becomes one of the main subject lines of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Follow along as the Girl works to figure out why BLI tried to kill her, what BLI is doing to all the defunct robots around the world, how these rogue groups are surviving and getting their news, and how the system BLI has set up is really affecting the civilized people in the world and how BLI is able to control the world and its employees.

The writers, Gerard Way and Shaun Simon, along with artist Becky Cloonan, have crafted a very strange, mysterious, and science fiction heavy graphic novel that is rich in details and colors that pop into your subconscious as you follow along with the characters. This graphic novel does not have a traditional linear structure, in the sense that readers will have to pay attention to context and art clues to figure out the difference between the past and the present, but the ideas presented are so intriguing and seemingly plausible that the quick transitions between past and present and also between different characters’ storylines only serve to add to the complex and supremely creative nature of this graphic novel. I highly recommend reading through this graphic novel more than once.

Featured new additions to DPL’s Science Fiction and Fantasy collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

WTNV_Version BEST 2.27 Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor – From the creators of the wildly popular “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live. Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge. The audiobook is, of course, narrated by the same cast of the podcast!
517FZqyUbGL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
 Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie – Fleet Captain Breq, once ancillary to the Justice of Toren and last seen in Ancillary Sword , is still on Atheok station. She’s trying to improve life for the residents of the Undergarden, but the brewing conflict between rival aspects of Anaander Mianaai finally arrives on her doorstep. Breq’s desire for revenge against Mianaai burns as bright as ever, but her plan to oppose the Lord of the Radch will change not only the political landscape but all human and AI relations.
 city-of-death-book Doctor Who: City of Death by Douglas Adams & James Goss –  4 billion BCE: The Jagaroth, the most powerful, vicious, and visually unappealing race in the universe disappears from existence. Few are sad to see them go. 1979 CE: The Doctor, his companion Romana, and his cybernetic dog, K-9, arrive for a vacation in Paris only to discover that they have landed in a year in which the fabric of time has begun to crack. It is once again up to the Doctor to uncover an audacious alien scheme filled with homemade time machines, the theft of the Mona Lisa, the resurrection of the Jagaroths, and the beginning (or possibly the end) of all life on Earth. Based on the “Doctor Who” episode of the same name by Douglas Adams.
A_Knight_of_the_Seven_Kingdoms  A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin –  Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name is hidden from all he and Dunk encounter. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two, as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
 51K-KsvBa1L__SX326_BO1,204,203,200_ Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong – In a future world where anyone can have the powers of a god or the fame of a pop star, in which human achievement soars to new heights while its depravity plunges to the blackest depths. A world in which at least one cat smells like a seafood shop’s dumpster on a hot summer day. This is the world in which Zoey Ashe finds herself, navigating a futuristic city in which one can find elements of the fantastic, nightmarish and ridiculous on any street corner. Her only trusted advisor is the aforementioned cat, but even in the future, cats cannot give advice. At least not any that you’d want to follow.
25279716  Not on Fire, But Burning by Greg Hrbek – Twenty-year-old Skyler saw the incident out her window: Some sort of metallic object hovering over the Golden Gate Bridge just before it collapsed and a mushroom cloud lifted above the city. Like everyone, she ran, but she couldn’t outrun the radiation, with her last thoughts being of her beloved baby brother, Dorian, safe in her distant family home. Flash-forward twelve years later – Dorian dreams about his sister—even though Dorian’s parents insist Skyler never existed. Are they still shell-shocked, trying to put the past behind them . . . or is something more sinister going on?

 

hugo_sm_custom-7834b7af955f641ec6cac4fb6d7a793070491ea0-s600-c85Earlier this week, the Hugo Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy were announced. This year’s Hugo Ballot, and the year leading up to the event, were rife with controversy, leading some SF and Fantasy readers and prominent authors to declare the 2015 Hugo Awards invalid.

First, some background. The Hugo Awards are organized by the World Science Fiction Society and the awards are given each year at the annual World Science Fiction Convention. To be able to nominate and vote, all that needed is to be a supporting member of the World Science Fiction Convention. There are no written rules as to which works qualify as science fiction or fantasy, and the decision of eligibility in that regard is left up to the voters. For each category, the voter may rank “No Award” as one of their choices. Voters are instructed that they should do so if they feel that none of the nominees are worthy of the award, or if they feel the category should be abolished entirely.

Last year’s award winners (find them here), were to some, a sign that the genre was finally opening up to a more diverse perspective. Others felt that an agenda was being pushed and that the awards were sacrificing literary quality over popularity and fandoms. This year, a concerted effort on the part of the latter group (calling themselves “Sad Puppies”) was made to stuff the ballot box with votes and “No Awards” for books the Puppies thought were being ignored. Another group, calling themselves “Rabid Puppies” did the same. Two SF authors, Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet, withdrew their works from the ballot. George R.R. Martin held his own awards ceremony after the Hugo, handing out “Alfies” to authors who would have won at the Hugo Awards if not for the efforts of the Puppies.

For an thorough exploration of the issues, read io9’s “Eight Books You Need To Know About to Understand The Hugo Awards Snafu” by Charlie Jane Anders and Wired’s “Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards and Why It Matters” by Amy Wallace. There is also a good breakdown of the 2015 votes on the blog Chaos Horizon.

With all that in mind, here are the 2015 Hugo Award winners and nominees in seven major categories, winner in bold. Click on the title to find it in DPL’s catalog, if available. The complete list is here.

Read More →

Featured new additions to DPL’s Science Fiction and Fantasy collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page

jacketIZEC32YB
The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher – Butcher’s new series “The Cinder Spires” beings when an airship’s crew become humanity’s lone defenders when an ancient enemy reawakens and threatens the world with monstrous creatures and perpetual darkness.
jacketLD5EKB9B The World of Poo by Terry Pratchett – Putatively written by Miss Felicity Beedle, Discworld’s premier children’s author, but of course by the recently deceased Pratchett, this is a book for all ages that Discworld hero Vimes is given for young son Sam. And that really is Poo, not Pooh: “But interspersed with the scatology was actually quite interesting stuff about septic tanks and dunnakin divers and gongfermors and how dog muck helped make the very best leather.”
jacketFFI646XR
Finches of Mars by Brian Aldiss – It’s been 10 years since humans went to Mars, and in that time none of the children born on the Red Planet has survived. Desperate to figure out why, the colonists are forced to confront a disheartening reality: back on Earth, not many people seem to care what happens to the Mars colony. The survival of the colony could depend on the sacrifices the colonists are forced to make.
jacket9PWTG1W8
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickenson – Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people–even her soul. When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire’s civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free. But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.
51AgV-KtEvL__SX326_BO1,204,203,200_
Blood Call by Lilith Saintcrow – Anna Caldwell has spent the last few days in a blur. She’s seen her brother’s dead body, witnessed the shooting of innocent civilians, and been shot at herself. The story Anna’s stumbled into is far bigger than even she suspects. Anna wants to survive, her ex Josiah wants Anna back, and the powerful people chasing her want the only thing worth killing for — immortality.
jacketBXKUK6UH
The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu –  The sequel to “The Three Body Problem” finds Earth reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion–in just four centuries’ time. The aliens’ human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access toall human information, means that Earth’s defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike.
jacket
 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – After the empire Sanze collapses and the vast continent Stillness becomes ravaged by a red rift which darkens the sky, Essun, whose daughter has been kidnapped by her murderous husband, crosses Stillness in a desperate attempt to save her daughter.

Featured new additions to DPL’s Science Fiction and Fantasy collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page.

armada Armada by Ernest Cline – Struggling to complete his final month of high school only to glimpse a UFO that exactly resembles an enemy ship from his favorite video game, Zack questions his sanity before becoming one of millions of gamers tasked with protecting the Earth during an alien invasion.
scalzi The End of All Things by John Scalzi – The sequel to The Human Division finds Colonial Defense Forces lieutenant Harry Wilson investigating a series of alien attacks that are threatening Earth’s survivors and an increasingly under-sourced Colonial Union.
ghost Ghost Fleet by P.W. Singer and August Cole – The United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. The fighting involves everything from stealthy robotic–drone strikes to old warships from the navy’s “ghost fleet.” Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future.
mirror The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley – Forced into a mirror universe as soldiers overran her village, Lilia, the orphan of a blood witch, begins making unsettling discoveries about her past and the nature of the dark star Oma, which has not been seen for two thousand years.
22381326 Half a War by Joe Abercrombie – Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships no god but Death. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.
moments Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Mieville – London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure but violent purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse’s bones designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to . . . what? Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the twenty-eight stories in this collection many published here for the first time.
smug The Good, the Bad and the Smug by Tom Holt – Mordak isn’t bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he’s locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely part of a calorie-controlled diet. Helped by an elf with a background in journalism and a masters degree in being really pleased with herself, Mordak sets out to discover what on earth (if indeed, that’s where he is) is going on. He knows that the truth is out there. If only he could remember where he put it.

Long ago and far away, I was unaware of the rise of the webcomic. That was until, a coworker (two, actually) began sending me links to blogs and Tumblrs they thought might fit my odd reading preference. And boy, did they create a monster!

For the uninitiated, a webcomic is exactly what you think it is – a comic on the web. Some are ongoing, newspaper-like strips, others tell a story that may or may not have a ending, some are even interactive! What is great about webcomics is that by their online nature, they are not limited to the printed page, nor must they conform to traditional storytelling standards.

Some webcomics, having been successful online, have published their webcomics as books. Some, like Noelle Stevenson’s “Nimona” or Kate Beaton’s “Hark! A Vagrant!” were picked up by major publishers. Others are printed using funds raised from Kickstarter, like “Derelict” by Ben Fleuter or “Ava’s Demon” by Michelle Czajkowski. Either way, it’s a fantastic trend and exposes webcomics to an even larger audience.

Here are some of my favorite web-to-print collections:

aumokd6pfdtuhq4dvfax_0Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – Set in a futuristic medieval world, Nimona, a young and impulsive shape-shifter joins up (well, forces her way in) with the supervillian Lord Ballister Blackheart. Blackheart, who was once a knight and lost his arm in a joust with Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, the kingdom’s champion. As Nimona and Blackheart pit themselves against the Director of the evil Institution, it becomes clear that no one and nothing is at it seems, especially Nimona.

You can check out the full comic from DPL (which I highly recommend) and see Stevenson’s other work on her blog and Tumblr. It’s especially worth it for the occasional non-canon “Nimona” mini stories she draws, and her obsession with “Hulkeye.”

 

 

Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks –  Canadian cartoonist Hicks’ “The shgcoverAdventures of Superhero Girl” follows our young superhero as she leaps tall buildings and clashes with the ninjas that seem to infest her otherwise boring city. She also faces the very ordinary challenges of being young and broke, social awkwardness and unfortunate cape-shrinkage.  The blending of superhero and the mundane creates a very funny and relatable story, winning Hicks an Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids. You can check out the print book from DPL here, or read the whole comic online here (in black and white). Hicks creates several other webcomics, which you can check out on her blog here and on her Tumblr.

 

51tccYo6VVL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Hark! A Vagrant! by Kate Beaton – History nerds unite! Hark! A Vagrant is a collection of strips previously published on Beaton’s website, plus author commentary and a handful of previously unseen strips. Mixing both the historical and the contemporary, Beaton’s deceptively simple illustrations cast an erudite and witty eye on history, literature and pop culture. I will admit to needing to look up more than a few of the historical characters and events that appear in this collection ( especially those that had to do with Canadian history), but one needn’t be a history expert to enjoy the sheer silliness of the characters’ expressions and one-liners. Beaton also lampoons Nancy Drew, Aquaman, 1980s business women and her younger self, to name a few more modern targets, and the collection includes some singularly hilarious non sequitur strips to boot.

Beaton as two new collections coming out soon, “Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection” and “The Princess and the Pony.” Check out her website here, and her Tumblr, too.

Here are some more webcomics  that I enjoy, some in print and some only online:

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosch – Brosch has a deceptively simple illustration style and a talent for hilarious story telling. Her stories are taken, more or less, from real life and some, especially those about her Simple Dog, will give you stomach cramps from laughter. Brosh has also illustrated her own battle with depression with her signature style. Very much worth reading.

Ava’s Demon by Michelle Czajkowski – A young girl is possessed by a vengeful demon. To free herself, Ava must make a pact with her demon and carry out her plan for revenge and restoration. The art is absolutely stunning, especially when displayed digitally.

Derelict by Ben Fleuter – In a far future, the Earth is flooded and overcome with an alien fog which hides the “Miasmic Races.” Scavenger Dang Thu Mai is simply trying to get by, but her past, and the Miasma, continue to haunt her.

Apothecia by Taz Muir and Shelby Cragg – Eleven-year-old Jessie finds something horrific in the woods. What she does next will change her, and the world.

Red’s Planet by Eddie Pittman – From the animator of “Phineas and Ferb,” the comic begins with ten-year-old “Red” (because she has red hair, you see) as she runs away from yet another foster family. This time, though, it isn’t the police so find her, but aliens! Abducted and taken across the galaxy, she soon finds herself stranded with other abductees – a veritable menageries of strange (and grumpy) aliens.

One Way by Christopher Baldwin – What if the crew of a starship was, instead of being like “Star Trek,” a little bit more like “The Real World”? Sent on a first contact mission from which there may not be a return trip, Captain Francisco tries to keep his crew from killing one another (when you book a one-way trip, you don’t waste your A-team on it). The comic is mostly an on-going gag, but you can’t help but like this crew of total jerks.