Let’s be honest. No matter what we did, these kinds of lists are always just a sample, the tip of the iceberg of brilliance that is out there on the indie scene, but we’ve decided that’s a good thing. Like the shallow-end of the pool, our picks are designed to call you to the deep end, to spark your curiosity, and guide your journey to discovering the best in indie sci-fi and comics. These artists have given us so much joy over the past year. We hope you feel the love too! Enjoy!
All indie. All Awesome
Katharos: The Shattered World web series creator, Beverly Toole is a BEAST, writing and creating the art for the incredible world of Rahyv one weekly update at a time. With stunning graphics and a fascinating premise, Kathoros explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of being able to get exactly what you want. Get into it here.
The award-winning M.F.K. webcomic begins with the journey of a simple girl seeking a final resting place for her mother’s ashes and quickly morphs into a world of sleeping gods, a broken government, and a fragile peace held in the hands of the corrupt. From within the chaos, one youth must find the strength to stand up against evil and save humanity. Do they succeed? Find out for yourself! Episodes 1-4 are available here.
You know that feeling you get when you’ve read a book and know that you’ve discovered a classic – Bone Swans by C.S. E. Cooney is one of those books. The deeper we swam into this book, the more we thought, ‘My gods, this book sings.’ Cooney has created a collection that reminds us that reading is a pleasure – in so many ways. There’s a very good reason it won the 2016 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection. When you read it, you’ll know, too.
The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria by Carlos Hernandez is fun, sexy, surprising, intriguing – and that’s just the first story. It’s odd too, which is probably why we love it.
A piano haunted by the soul of its previous owner – Check!
Processing illegal intergalactic aliens – Check!
And…unicorns – Check!
It’s science fiction, fantasy, and magic realism all in one magnificent book. If you love to be surprised when you read (and who doesn’t?), GET IT!
Archangel by Marguerite Reed was a summer 2015 release, but it’s so good it needs to be in a “best of” list for at least the next several years. This is an intricate work of art that draws the reader into subtexts on race, conservation, violence, religion, ecology, sexuality, and the indistinguishable machinations of war and commerce destined to follow us into space. Plus, it has one of the most complex heroines we’ve ever read and if that isn’t enough to grab you, we don’t know what is.
And speaking of kick-ass heroines…Woman of the Woods by Milton Davis is (in our not-so-humble opinion) the perfect summer movie-in-a-book. With action and suspense on every heart-pounding page, this is an entertaining read as well as a perfect introduction to the world of Sword and Soul. King Conan’s got some much-needed competition.
If James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, and Bootsy Collins got together to write a science fiction/fantasy novel, The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan by Zig Zag Claybourne is the book that they would write. It’s irreverent and unconventional in the best way, as challenging and contradictory as life itself. Claybourne plays fast and loose with the English language to give us something that has both pace and rhythm, jive and soul. The narrative of two brothers slaying vampires and fairies, mad men and human clones for the greater good is sturdy, but the construction of this book is also as flexible as a Jimi Hendrix riff. If you can dig it, it will set you free. Enjoy the ride.
With There Is No Lovely End by Patty Templeton, you’re in the hands of a master storyteller. Templeton takes the old frontier, adds in ghosts, magic, and a hell of a lot of misplaced vengeance, and makes you want another book immediately from her. It’s highly unusual, which make it highly awesome. Check it out!
How far would you go to save the world? Every time we watch Martell Animation’s The OceanMaker we ask ourselves that question and push the bar a little farther out. With killer graphics and a story that nails it, we think you will, too. Be Inspired.
The Looking Planet by Eric Law Anderson offers a whole new answer to the question of how our earth came to be and the result is a whimsical revelation. The combination of incredible graphics and Kaingang, a dying South American language, make this 17-min film extraordinary. To learn about their latest project, “Star Makers”, head to http://starmakers-movie.