A book that sneaks up on you, with the twists and turns of a mystery novel and the heart of a character study. Prose pulls off a great trick here: the stakes are both small - whether one book gets published, and for what purpose - and enormous - whether truth and personal integrity will triumph over cynical propaganda. Both satirical and heartfelt, The Vixen emerges as a striking portrait of a young man finding his conscience in a world without one.
Tired of endless dystopian fiction in a time when real life isn't too far off? The Seep is something new - a downright utopian novel that still manages to be full of gripping drama and oh, so many feelings! In the world of The Seep, a microscopic symbiotic alien race puts an end to all our societal problems, but quickly discovers that they don't have a cure for the troubles of the human heart. Beautifully written, with fascinating, prickly characters, The Seep is a must-read.
If you need a world to escape to for a while, there is a strange, beautiful, stoic one in these pages. Within it, Clarke's terse, ruminative prose combines elements of shipwreck stories, literary mystery, and portal fantasy (with several nods to C.S. Lewis) into something unique - a meditative page turner whose alien world just might change how you view your own.
I know it's early, but this feels like the great modern fantasy of the decade. Ambitious, sprawling, and passionate, The City We Became does what the best fantasy does - it clearly reveals the spiritual dimensions that ripple underneath the struggles in our current culture, and does so with wit, intelligence and heart. The City We Became's expert world building, swirling prose, and compelling characters recall great modern fantasy works like Neil Gaiman's Sandman and American Gods while remaining entirely original and true to Jemisin's one-of-a-kind voice.
Searching for a superhero comic that's actually, well, comical? Look no further! Ryan North's tale of college student/mutant crime fighter Doreen Green is laugh-out-loud funny, the artwork by Erica Henderson is a brightly colored retro delight, and Squirrel Girl herself is an immensely likable heroine who's actually capable of solving problems instead of just punching them really hard. A quirky, refreshing treat for all ages. (P.S. make sure to read the hilarious footnotes at the bottom of the pages - full of bonus laughs at no extra cost!)
A collection to sit with and savor. Perillo's poems are elegant and gutsy, packing everyday incidents with portents of mortality, love, sex, and human yearning. If you're looking for a contemporary poet who examines our world with both depth and humor, Lucia Perillo should definitely be on your list.
That rare marvel, a book that manages to be an astounding feat of imagination and a heartbreaking character study at the same time. This book will thrill you with its invention and make you ache with its sad, beautiful meditation on life, mortality and what makes us human.
Seeing this play in Chicago two years ago pushed all my buttons - moved me emotionally, challenged me intellectually, made me laugh, cry, and awed me with its insanely imaginative examination of the changing nature of the American family. A bold, ambitious, but still very human work for our times, this is my favorite new play of the decade.
This book is a window into half a dozen of the most creative worlds I've encountered in a long time, rendered in just as many genres. It's also a mystery, a challenge, a story about fathers and daughters, a cautionary tale, and a contemplation of just what drives us human beings to make art in the first place. Difficult, ambitious, but ultimately rewarding, If you crave something different, this is for you.
That rare book that acts equally well as both an in-depth study for theatre folk who love musicals and an introductory primer for people who just don't get why that person on stage started singing. Viertel explores musical theatre by breaking it down into its component parts (the opening number, the "I Want" song, etc), then devoting a chapter to each to see what really makes them tick. Using examples from wide variety of Broadway shows, and peppered with juicy insider anecdotes, Jack Viertel is a fun, sometimes curmudgeonly, but always informative guide to just how and why the musical theatre developed in the way that it did.
Hands down the most addictive comics series currently running. Every ninety years, a pantheon of twelve gods take human form, inspire humanity, are worshiped as the ultimate rock stars for two years, then die. But this time something is different. A complex, riveting pop culture fantasy-mystery with dynamic art and a fascinating, diverse cast of characters that continue to show unexpected depth as the series goes on. Edgy, intelligent, full of shocking twists and reversals, this is the grown up comics series you've been looking for.
A concentrated blast of unbridled imagination. If you know Neil Gaiman mainly from his novels and short stories, you're missing out on some of his most masterful and inventive writing. Enter a world where Dream is a being and stars are capable of thoughts, feelings, and sometimes madness that can devour worlds. The Sandman Overture, being a prequel, works as an excellent self-contained entry point to a sprawling epic that can often seem intimidating to delve into. Add J.H. Williams III's mind-bending hallucinogenic art to Gaiman's dizzying amount of ideas per page, and have you a feast for the eyes and mind not to be missed.
A delicate exploration of grief, friendship, and queer identity viewed through the lens of TV fandom and pop culture criticism, this slim but powerful novel effortlessly blends styles and experiments with form while crafting characters we truly care about. A melancholy, imaginative delight.