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  • The History Of The Lord Of The Rings by Christopher Tolkien
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Architect Of Middle Earth by Daniel Grotta-Kurska
  • Cibola Burn and Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey
  • Delicious In Dungeon Volumes 3-5, by Ryoko Kui
  • Josephine Baker by Catel & Bocquet
  • Marvel Generations by Divers Hands
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur, The Unstoppable Wasp, and Ironheart by Divers Hands
  • Spider-Man/Red Sonja by Claremont, Byrne, Oeming, and Rubi
  • Wonder Woman/Conan by Gail Simone, Lopresti, Ruan, and Broome
  • Future Echoes by Al Davison and Yen Quach
  • If It's For My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat A Demon Lord by Hota and Chirolu
  • Black Panther by Christopher Priest, et al
  • Gotham City Garage by Kelly, Lanzing, et al
  • Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds
  • The Nightmare Stacks and The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross
  • Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
  • Flowers Of Luna by Jennifer Linsky
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
  • Sisters In Fantasy, edited by Shwartz & Greenberg
  • Quag Keep by Andre Norton
  • The First Swords by Fred Saberhagen
  • Seafaring Women by David Cordingly
  • Big Planet by Jack Vance
  • The Fellowship: The Literary Lives Of The Inklings by Zaleski And Zaleski
  • Vatta's War by Elizabeth Moon
  • Rise Of The Black Panther by Coates, Narcisse, Renaud, Pina
  • Weapon H v1 by Pak, Smith, Anindito, Hollowell
  • Exiles v1 by Ahmed, Rodriguez, Lopez, Reis
  • The Mighty Thor v4 by Aaron, Schiti, Gandini, Beredo
  • Delilah Dirk And The Pillars Of Hercules by Tony Cliff
  • Songs For The Dead by Fort, Heron, Beck, Bennett
  • Monstress by Liu, Takeda
  • Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk
  • Zodiac Starforce v2 by Panetta, Gancheau, Stern
  • Rat Queens v5 by Wiebe, Gieni, Ferrier
  • Bombshells United v1 by Bennett, Sauvage, DiChara, Oum
  • The Long List Anthology (v1), edited by David Steffen
  • Tess Of The Road by Rachel Hartman
  • Ciaphas Cain: Saviour Of The Imperium by Sandy Mitchell
  • Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
  • Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey
  • The Cold Ruins Of Lastlife by Brendan Conway
  • The Green Law Of Varkith by Brendan Conway
  • Fate Horror Toolkit by Divers Hands
  • Tachyon Squadron by Clark Valentine
  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  • Cadaver & Queen by Alisa Kwitney
  • Imprudence by Gail Carriger
  • The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
  • How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
  • Tatja Grimm's World by Vernor Vinge
  • Star Wars: Last Shot by Daniel José Older
  • Berserker and Berserker Man by Fred Saberhagen
  • Behind The Walls Of Terra by Philip José Farmer
  • The Lost Valley Of Iskander by Robert E. Howard
  • Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku by Fujita
  • Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
  • She Walks In Shadows, edited by Moreno-Garcia & Stiles
  • More Magic, edited by Larry Niven
  • Runaways v2: Best Friends Forever by Rowell, Anka, Wilson
  • Doctor Strange v1: Across The Universe by Waid & Saiz
  • Domino v1: Killer Instinct by Simone, Baldeon, Shefer, Aburtov
  • The Mighty Thor v5: The Death Of The Mighty Thor by Aaron, Dauterman, Wilson
  • Marvel Masterworks: Sgt. Fury v1 by Lee, Kirby, Ayers
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra: Remastered by Gillen, Spurrier, Laiso, Rosenberg
  • Mystik U by Kwitney, Norton, Bellaire
  • Jughead by Zdarsky, Henderson
  • Star Wars: Thrawn by Zahn, Houser, Ross, Woodard
  • Astro City: Broken Melody by Busiek, Anderson, Ross
That's 85, more-or-less, though many are comics I read in a single sitting. Still, that's about typical for me these days. Looking forward to reading more in the new year!
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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra: Remastered by Gillen, Spurrier, Laiso, Rosenberg

Y'know, if someone told me 30 years ago that there'd be a successful Star Wars comic where the main character had never appeared in the movies, and was an amoral Asian lesbian archaeologist, I'd have flat-out disbelieved it. In this volume, Aphra is being blackmailed by the assassin droid 000 (Triple-Zero) into assorted schemes. As she wiggles around for some way to get free, she keeps bumping into a grim female Imperial officer she finds weirdly attractive. Flirting at blaster-point ensues. Recommended.

Mystik U by Kwitney, Norton, Bellaire

Written by my friend Alisa Kwitney, this is a continuity-adjacent story of Zatanna's college days, where Dr. Occult is on the faculty, and her dorm-mates are Sargon, the Enchantress, and Sebastian Faust. Dark deals, dark demons, and really gross dorm bathrooms are some of the challenges she faces. Fun, offbeat, and spooky. Highly recommended.

Jughead by Zdarsky, Henderson

A spinoff of the current "realistic, but still fun" Archie title, in this volume Jughead must save the school cafeteria from the nefarious plans of a new principal who seems to be turning the school into a spy training academy... or is that just Jughead's fevered imagination? (Said imagination pops up once an issue in the form of dream sequnces mocking Game Of Thrones, time travel SF, pirate movies, etc.) Mildly recommended.

Star Wars: Thrawn by Zahn, Houser, Ross, Woodard

This is a close adaptation of the recent novel by Timothy Zahn, reintroducing Admiral Thrawn to the new Star Wars universe. It's serviceable, but I'd recommend sticking with the novel.

Astro City: Broken Melody by Busiek, Anderson, Ross

Man, someone needs to keep Busiek away from writing about racial issues, 'cause despite his best intentions, his white @$$ is showing here. This volume is about a superhero who reappears once a generation in a different form inspired by popular music -- which, since most popular music in America was invented by African-Americans, usually means he appears to be black, and fights for civil rights, in one form or another. It could have been a much better and less-awkward story, but [eh] here it is.
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Runaways v2: Best Friends Forever by Rowell, Anka, Wilson

The reunited Runaways deal with relationship issues, Doombots, evil destinies, and time travel. Delightfully inclusive, deals very interestingly with issues of disability, and recommended.

Doctor Strange v1: Across The Universe by Waid & Saiz

I do like it when writers put heroes outside their comfort zones. Dr. Strange loses his magic, and borrows a spaceship from Tony Stark to go looking for more power out among the stars. He hooks up with an arcanologist, gets in lots of varied trouble (such as fighting the Super-Skrull for an Infinity Stone), and compromises his ethics more than once. Plus, a surprising twist ending! Recommended.

Domino v1: Killer Instinct by Simone, Baldeon, Shefer, Aburtov

The lusty, laughing, lucky mutant merc hangs out with her girlfriends, gets a dog, learns a little more about her origin, gets an archnemesis, learns kung fu from the (damnfine) master thereof, and generally has advenutres well worth the read. Recommended.

The Mighty Thor v5: The Death Of The Mighty Thor by Aaron, Dauterman, Wilson

We all knew, of course, that Jane wouldn't stay Thor forever. The conflict shaking the Nine Realms reaches its peak, the Mangog walks again, and Thor makes a final sacrifice. Recommended.

Marvel Masterworks: Sgt. Fury v1 by Lee, Kirby, Ayers

It's 1963, and Lee and Kirby are writing some of the hottest superhero comics in the world. So, they take the time to do something different: A war story, based in part on their respective military careers, and with a constant refrain of the evils of bigotry and the strength of America as a diverse land. Fury's Howling Commandos include Irishman Dugan, WASP Jonathan, African-American Gabe, Jewish Izzy, Italian Dino, Southern Rebel, and Englishman Percy, and their day is not complete unless they've all punched some Nazis. While dated in some ways, the message had never been more timely.
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Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku by Fujita

A manga series, about a group of office workers/otaku (geeks)/friends in Japan, dealing with the stigma of being otaku, and their different ways of approaching geek-dom. In the opening chapter, Narumi enters into a relationship-of-convenience with childhood friend Hirotaka, so they can both stop fielding awkward questions about their relationship status, and be geeks together. They spend the rest of the volume completely failing to communicate their actual feelings for each other, whilst bickering about different genres of manga, and who can get the highest scores in video games. Their far-cooler friends come out of the closet to them about their geekiness, and hidden relationship, and two more corners are added to the fan-wars. Mildly recommended, mostly as an interesting window into Japanese otaku subculture.

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Third in the Binti trilogy, in this volume our teen protagonist, an alien from her birth culture in spirit and in genome, very nearly brokers a peace between warring factions, and learns a great deal about the universe, and her place in it. Books in which authority figures are grossly unfair to kids are very rough for me to read, so this took me a while to get through, but it was worth it. Recommended.

She Walks In Shadows, edited by Moreno-Garcia & Stiles

An anthology of Cthulhu Mythos stories by and about women, providing a much-needed alternate perspective. Varied, and quite good.

More Magic, edited by Larry Niven

A short anthology of stories in Niven's The Magic Goes Away universe, where magic is a consumable resource, and follows something resembling physical laws. A bit dry, but still worth the read.
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Tatja Grimm's World by Vernor Vinge

Interesting SF novel about technological development and first contact on an alien world. Our protagonist is a teenage girl from a "barbarian" tribe, who makes her way to "civilization" in search of someone her intellectual equal, because she's a genius beyond measure, and is desperate to find someone who understands her. She fails, and decides to bootstrap her world into a space program, and damn the cost. Interesting questions of ethics arise. Recommended.

Star Wars: Last Shot by Daniel José Older

A Han and Lando novel by famed SFF author Older. This story interweaves between four different timeframes (three pre-A New Hope, one post-Return Of The Jedi) showing us the rise of a galaxy-spanning threat. It takes time to give us character development for Han and Lando, though Han's realization that he's not a great father is alternately funny and tragic. Recommended.

Berserker and Berserker Man by Fred Saberhagen

A collection, and a novel, set in Saberhagen's Berserker-verse, where ancient machines scour the stars seeking to eliminate all life. The tone varies a lot, from military SF to teen coming-of-age to cosmic weirdness. They have also dated in a tiresome manner.

Behind The Walls Of Terra by Philip José Farmer

Fourth in his World Of Tiers series, this is one not set on the Tiers, but rather on Earth, in the 1970s. About half the plot is our hero sneering at how the world has changed since the 1940s, and half is discovering that an interdimensional god with access to superscience can't seem to buy decent security for his California hacienda. Kind of tedious.

The Lost Valley Of Iskander by Robert E. Howard

Three adventures of one of Howard's minor creations, Francis Xavier Gordon, in the Middle East. Solid adventure, though often racist and predictably sexist.
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Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Award-winning first book in an SF series about a starship AI who has been reduced to a fraction of what she was. Dark politics and weird mind control ensue in the Empire of Radch. Highly recommended.

Cadaver & Queen by Alisa Kwitney

Delightful steampunk horror romance from my friend Alisa, in which American Elizabeth Lavenza, the first female medical student at an English school, falls in with assorted Frankensteins and the question of undead personhood. Entertaining, highly recommended.

Imprudence by Gail Carriger

Also on the horror-steampunk-romance spectrum, this is 2nd in the "Custard Protocol" series, and Nth in Carriger's overall "Soulless" series. Our hero Rue is in the doghouse with the Queen due to her unilateral handling of last volume's events in India, and also needs to deal with her immortal werewolf father getting old. The best solution seems to be a trip to Egypt, with attendant romantic complications and zeppelin pirates. Recommended.

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

Sequel to The Collapsing Empire, in this volume our heroes continue to deal with the ongoing collapse of interstellar travel, and the following risk of mass starvation, as almost everyone lives on interdependent space stations. Plus, the noble house that failed to secure the Imperial throne last volume does damage control, and contact is made with another civilization. Recommended.

How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

A collection of 20+ short stories from famed, award-winning author Jemisin. They are quite varied, with a tendency toward urban fantasy, and a direct approach to issues often avoided by the white, male old school of SF&F. Highly recommended.
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The Cold Ruins Of Lastlife by Brendan Conway

A setting for Dungeon World, this is a fantasy world after all life has perished, leaving nothing but the restless undead. Your characters are desperately, exhaustedly, searching for some shred of hope in the dregs of creation, while around you everything grows cold. Creepy, interesting, recommended.

The Green Law Of Varkith by Brendan Conway

Companion to Cold Ruins, this is another setting for Dungeon World, in which you are inhabitants of a vast city where everyone is required, by law, to be a member of guild. Individual action is prohibited. Rules for competition between guilds (both violent and non-) are included. Interesting political roleplaying, recommended.

Fate Horror Toolkit by Divers Hands

Another entry in the Fate Toolkit series, this one covers issues like trauma aspects, body horror, doom-building, and a great chapter called "Horror Is The New Pink". Recommended, even if you don't play Fate.

Tachyon Squadron by Clark Valentine

A space opera starfighter setting for Fate, featuring a nifty dogfighting system, some interesting rules for stress and blowing off steam, and flexible mechanics for SF gadgets. Recommended.
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The Long List Anthology (v1), edited by David Steffen

The 2015 Hugo Awards were dramatically affected by the politically-motivated machinations of the pathetic Sad & Rabid Puppies, and a lot of deserving works didn't make it onto the ballots. This book gets some of them out there in one handy volume. As it is a bunch of stories with no theme or common author, their only similarity is high quality. I particularly remember "A Year And A Day In Old Theradane" by Scott Lynch and "The Vaporization Enthalpy Of A Peculiar Pakistani Family" by Usman T. Malik. Recommended.

Tess Of The Road by Rachel Hartman

Quests and dragons, but not as we knew them. Young Tess has to deal with the (frankly awful) religious and sexual politics of her culture, and ends up falling afoul of them. The results are dire enough that she runs away. The book deals unflinchingly with the problems she faces, and actually shows her growth and rough education, on many levels. Highly recommended.

Ciaphas Cain: Saviour Of The Imperium by Sandy Mitchell

Comprising the 7th, 8th, and 9th novels in the Cain series. these are explicit satire within the implicit satire of the Warhammer 40,000 franchise. Cain is a decorated hero who claims to be an abject coward, but unreliable narration abounds. Fun, light military adventure.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

A heavily-illustrated novel about a girl and a boy, in different eras, learning about family, museums, and New York City. Recommended.

Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey

Sixth in the Expanse series, this is a continuation of the conflict from the previous volume, which has left huge swaths of humanity dead, and the fragile peace of the Solar System shattered. Can our reunited heroes save the day? The series has stepped away from the mysteries of the protomolecule and the gates for a while, and I frankly hope they get back to them soon, but this book still kept me entertained. Recommended.
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Delilah Dirk And The Pillars Of Hercules by Tony Cliff

Third in the series, in this volume our heroine goes in search of a lost subterranean city, and possibly... respectability? The series has had an on-again/off-again relationship with its fantasy elements, and this volume tries to thread the middle, to some success. Adventure ensues, recommended.

Songs For The Dead by Fort, Heron, Beck, Bennett

A young bard, with an unfortunate case of necromancy, teams up with a sword-wielding ex-bandit, to try and do some good, and find a place where necromancers aren't summarily executed. Plays with fantasy tropes, and the difference between legend and reality. Recommended.

Monstress by Liu, Takeda

Hugo Award-winning series about politics, magic, monsters, and family, in which our hero has to decide exactly how much of a monster she wants to become... and how much she already is. Dark, with extra body horror, but recommended.

Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk

Our young hero tries to navigate ordinary life, and henching for a B-list supervillain, in a deconstruction of superhero tropes. Along the way she finds complicated friends, complicated superpowers, and maybe a path to good? Recommended, though the art may not be to your taste.

Zodiac Starforce v2 by Panetta, Gancheau, Stern

The continuing adventures of a group of ordinary American teens who get hit with magical girls powers, and learn that the universe is way darker than they expected. Another deconstruction, dealing with friendships which don't necessarily survive the stresses of world-saving, the implications of all those bad guys lurking out there in the dark, and, hey, maybe we're not the first Starforce? Recommended.

Rat Queens v5 by Wiebe, Gieni, Ferrier

The dysfunctional, hard-drinking, chaotic-neutral-with-an-option-on-evil adventuring party is back. This volume deals with family issues among the extended cast (druid reproduction is apparently weird) before turning its attention back to the recent "squishy reboot" that saw a lot of the plot of volumes 1-3 wiped away. Turns out, in this world, reboots have consequences... Recommended.

Bombshells United v1 by Bennett, Sauvage, DiChara, Oum

I confess, I sometimes find Bennett's plot and dialogue hard to follow. It's a little more stream-of-consciousness than I'm used to. That said, this series is still worth picking up, as it turns its attention to more home front issues of WW2. This isn't the first Wonder Woman-meets-Clayface story I've read, but it's a good one (and the first to aggressively work with dirt-as-metaphor-for-homeland). Recommended.
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Rise Of The Black Panther by Coates, Narcisse, Renaud, Pina

Interesting story of T'challa's early years, including formative encounters with Namor, Dr. Doom, and Storm. Recommended, as are all of the current family of Panther books.

Weapon H v1 by Pak, Smith, Anindito, Hollowell

A spinoff from Totally Awesome Hulk, Weapon H is the result of a government project to combine Hulk and Wolverine's origin story, resulting in a Hulk with adamantium claws. This story is much more about the man inside, a veteran who would really rather be home with his family, than on the run from everyone who wants to exploit him. Classic Hulk stories with a new spin. Recommended.

Exiles v1 by Ahmed, Rodriguez, Lopez, Reis

This is probably the first mainstream superhero team I've encountered where the majority are women of color! The team consists of returning Exile Blink (who, it turns out, would be brown if she wasn't hot pink), an apocalyptic version of Ms. Marvel, Valkyrie from the Cinematic Universe, a cartoonish Li'l Wolvie, and Iron Lad. Together, they jump from dimension to dimension, trying to stitch the multiverse back together. As is typical for the Exiles, someone dies, but nevertheless: recommended.

The Mighty Thor v4 by Aaron, Schiti, Gandini, Beredo

The tale of Jane Foster as Thor is careening toward its conclusion, and in this volume another Thor shows up, the violent and angry War Thor, who is secretly a different long-standing member of Thor's supporting cast. Interesting character development, recommended.
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Big Planet by Jack Vance

I like "road trip" type stories, and one set on a titanic planet, where a stranded group of high-tech protagonists try to make their way through a series of low-tech nations, seemed up my alley, but I eventually figured out this novel is more of a Swiftian series of satires, without the epic scope I like, so I didn't finish it.

The Fellowship: The Literary Lives Of The Inklings by Zaleski And Zaleski

I made it through the first couple chapters on Tolkien and Lewis before concluding that their feet of clay were putting me off (Lewis' hypocrisy is vast and tawdry), and their attitude toward privilege doesn't come off well in the 21st century. Didn't finish.

Vatta's War by Elizabeth Moon

A five-book space opera series, comprising Trading In Danger, Marque And Reprisal, Engaging The Enemy, Command Decision, and Victory Conditions. Our hero is a young woman from a wealthy family, who falls into disgrace and is sent off with a crappy trading ship to get out of the way and, maybe, redeem herself. She ends up falling backwards into leading a war against a viciously organized group of pirates, and saving civilization. Ky Vatta is clearly skilled and noble, but her success depends a little too much on coincidence, and being friends with the right people. That said, I greatly enjoyed the books, the handling of space battles was pretty good, and the occasional dropped plot threads didn't bother me too much. Recommended.
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Artemis by Andy Weir

From the author of The Martian, this is another hard-SF adventure, this time set in a lunar colony. The hero is a young criminal (fairly obviously inspired by several Heinlein heroes) who gets caught up in assorted capers, and ends up pivotal in the future of the colony. I do rather wish Weir had gotten a wider variety of beta readers. The problem with his "using the same water repeatedly over the course of the shower" notion might have been obvious to some of them. Nevertheless, fun, and you can't fault the science.

Sisters In Fantasy, edited by Shwartz & Greenberg

A collection of fantasy stories by women authors, most of them quite good. "Hallah's Choice" by Clayton and "The Way Wind" by Norton both stand out for me, possibly because they're untraditional stories set in somewhat-traditional fantasy worlds.

Quag Keep by Andre Norton

This is usually considered to be the first Dungeons & Dragons novel. Norton played or observed a session of D&D sometime in the mid-70s, went home, and wrote an interesting interpretation of the experience. The protagonists are explicitly people from our world who are transported into a fantasy world by the game, where they each wear a bracer with tiny dice on it that determine their luck. They are gathered together by a wizard to go on a quest to to the titular Keep. But all is not as it seems... Far from the best D&D novel, and farther from Norton's best, but mildly historically interesting.

The First Swords by Fred Saberhagen

An omnibus volume of the first three Books Of Swords, a lengthy series of stories and novels. In them, Vulcan forges a set of twelve swords, each with a unique power, and sends them out into the world. To the shock of the rest of the gods (who expected to have fun watching humans play with these weapons), the swords can also kill gods... The second novel reads a lot like a D&D adventure, and the "fantasy world that is secretly post-apocalyptic" only adds to that. But, certainly, fun and imaginative.

Seafaring Women by David Cordingly

A nonfiction book about "women sailors and sailors' women" including several historical women pirates, women who went to sea disguised as men, captains' wives, and the women who waited at home for their husbands' return. Interesting, recommended.
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Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds

Set in Reynolds' Glitter Band universe, this is a novel about wealth corrupting, leading to murder mysteries and conspiracies in an alliance of space habitats. Creepy, but for Reynolds it's a bit "more of the same".

The Nightmare Stacks and The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross

Stross' Laundry Series was in danger of becoming "more of the same" as well, but these two volumes start to ring changes on the setting, what with an otherworldly invasion that's impossible to cover up. Unfortunately, in this world, the more obvious the magic is, the closer it is to the end of all things. Bonus points for including a kettenkrad.

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

It must be very interesting to be told to go back and reboot the story of one of your greatest creations. Thrawn is an Imperial Admiral in the Star Wars universe, and one of the best-written villains of that setting. Zahn first created him decades ago, but those stories are no longer canon. This retelling of his origins is intriguing and ties in strongly to the Rebels TV show.

Flowers Of Luna by Jennifer Linsky

A delightful novel of love, fame, fashion, and duels on the Moon. A young woman accidentally insults another on her first day at a prestigious fashion school, and promptly falls in love with her. Secrets abound, heartbreak ensues. (On the Moon.) Reads a bit like a less fraught Revolutionary Girl Utena.
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Marvel Generations by Divers Hands

A collection of one-shots in which assorted legacy characters travel through time to bond with the previous holders of the mantle. Includes Wolverine, Thor, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man and others. Generally good, and they do some interesting spins on the concept. (E.g., Ironheart travels forward in time to meet Tony Stark, Sorcerer Supreme.) The most touching one was Wolverine (Laura)'s meeting with Wolverine (Logan), in which she gives some advice on family. Mildly recommended.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur, The Unstoppable Wasp, and Ironheart by Divers Hands

Marvel is publishing a lot of comics starring young women these days (Ms. Marvel should also be on this list!), and most of them are pretty good! Ironheart is a little Bendis-y, and Moon Girl occasionally seems to lack focus, but I'm enjoying all of them.

Spider-Man/Red Sonja by Claremont, Byrne, Oeming, and Rubi

Back in the 1970s, an issue of Marvel Team-Up featured the She-Devil With A Sword being teleported to the present day, and teaming up with the Wall-Crawler to defeat the sorcerer Kulan Gath. It was fun, had some repercussions for the X-Men when Gath reformed New York into a dark fantasy world, and is collected in this volume. The bulk of the book, however, is the more recent five-issue miniseries which basically expands the same plot quite a bit, with many members of Spidey's supporting cast turned into fantasy monsters and heroes. Entertaining.

Wonder Woman/Conan by Gail Simone, Lopresti, Ruan, and Broome

Ah, Gail Simone, can you do wrong? In flashback we learn of young Conan's budding romance with a girl named Yanna from an all-woman island off the coast. In the present, he and an amnesiac Diana are thrown into the gladiatorial pits, chained together. They survive the fights, slavery on a pirate ship, and the hostile attention of the Corvidae before defeating evil in bloody combat. Recommended.

Future Echoes by Al Davison and Yen Quach

A ghost/time-travel love story, with intersectional diversity, published by my friend Alisa Kwitney. Recommended.

If It's For My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat A Demon Lord by Hota and Chirolu

A cute manga series set in a Dungeons & Dragons world, in which a doughty young hero adopts a demon girl he finds orphaned in the woods. Volume 1 is mostly setting up the premise, in which she charms everyone she comes in contact with. The problems of her ancestry will presumably be dealt with in future volumes...

Black Panther by Christopher Priest, et al

Priest's run on Black Panther was the first time the character had been written by a black man, and is considered one of the definitive eras for the character. Many of the elements of the recent movie come from this era. (And some have even been improved in translation.) While the title is a little chaotic (many stories are told in aggressively anachronic order), it's intensely good stuff.

Gotham City Garage by Kelly, Lanzing, et al

Following up on the success of DC's Bombshells alternate universe (setting modern DC heroines in WW2), Garage sets them in a dystopian future divided between the hyper-surveilled, drugged-into-complacency megacity of Gotham, and the wastelands around it, filled with girl biker gangs as the resistance. Frankly, my biggest complaint is that they didn't get anyone on the book who was seriously into motorcycles. The mechanical designs are a bit dull, and the cycles seem a bit of an afterthought. The core story is certainly interesting, and the revamped characters are cool. Mildly recommended.
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The History Of The Lord Of The Rings by Christopher Tolkien

Being volumes 6-8 and part of 9 of The History Of Middle-Earth, bundled separately. It is fascinating the degree to which Tolkien was making it up as he went along. The epilogues with Sam's family were quite moving, though I see why they were cut. It's also interesting how little of the assorted notes and plans pertain to character development as such. It's far outweighed by JRRT musing about distances, geography, and calendars. If you're interested in this sort of thing, recommended, but it's specialized fare.

J.R.R. Tolkien: Architect Of Middle Earth by Daniel Grotta-Kurska

An early, unauthorized biography. Not lengthy, and lacks the personal touch, but useful for understanding the outline of Tolkien's life.

Cibola Burn and Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey

Being 4th and 5th in the Expanse series. There are moments when the grinding tragedy of the Expanse books gets to me, but they're gripping, and I like that our heroes maintain hope. These volumes cover the Roci's trip to one of the first colony worlds, and the (fairly by-the-numbers) Precursor-technology-related problems that follow, while the second is about a new war, and Naomi's past. Highly recommended.

Delicious In Dungeon Volumes 3-5, by Ryoko Kui

The continuing adventures of our D&D-style heroes as they delve deeper into the dungeon and eat wyverns, tentacles, and dragons. An interesting (and often hysterical) deconstruction of the gaming notion of "megadungeons", and how they would affect the local economy and society. Recommended.

Josephine Baker by Catel & Bocquet

A thick graphic novel chronicling the history of this remarkable woman. I can't speak to its accuracy, but it was engaging, often funny, and occasionally moving. Recommended
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A small announcement: Starting with my most recent royalty check, and for the foreseeable future, all royalties I earn through sales of my books will be donated to Kids In Need of Defense, with a 9:1 match. (I.e., for every $1 I earn in royalties, I will donate $10.)

KIND: https://supportkind.org/get-involved/

My royalty-earning books: http://www.warehouse23.com/products?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=jonathan+woodward

(Note: In the event I find a better charity serving the same purpose, I may switch.)
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Apocalypse World 2e by D. Vincent Baker and Meguey Baker
Dungeon World by LaTorra & Koebel
Farflung: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark by Wallebhaupt et al
Scooby Apocalypse by Giffen, DeMatteis, and Porter
X-Men: Lonely Are The Hunted by Thomas, Roth, Heck, and Tuska
Batman And The Outsiders by Barr and Aparo
Pathfinder Tales: Pirate's Honor and
Pirate's Promise by Chris A. Jackson
The abc's Of Model Railroading
The Darksword Trilogy: Forging The Darksword by Weis & Hickman
Blades In The Dark by John Harper
D&D: Tales From The Yawning Portal
The Last Convertible by Anton Myrer
Worlds For The Taking by Kenneth Bulmer
The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum (illus. by Shanower)
Told Under The Christmas Tree, compiled by Frances Cavanah
By Spaceship To The Moon by Jack Coggins and Fletcher Pratt
Weirdworld: Warriors Of The Shadow Realm by Doug Moench et al
Mister X: The Archives by Dean Motter et al
Grass by Sheri S. Tepper
The Tawny Man Trilogy by Robin Hobb
The Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobb
The Fitz & The Fool Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
Key Out Of Time by Andre Norton
The Warlock In Spite Of Himself by Christopher Stasheff
Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp
A Private Cosmos by Philip José Farmer
Stormbringer by Michael Moorcock
The Totally Awesome Hulk v3: Big Apple Showdown by Pak, Ross, et al
She-Hulk: Deconstructed by Tamaki, Leon, Milla
The Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Kraven's Last Hunt by Owsley, Michelinie, DeMatteis, Romita, et al
The Nameless City v1 & v2 by Faith Erin Hicks
Bandette v1 & v2 by Tobin & Coover
Agent Of Vega by James H. Schmitz
Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson
Beyond The Aquila Rift: The Best Of Alastair Reynolds
Planet Mercenary: The Role-Playing Game by Bahr, Tayler, & Tayler
Seventy Maxims Of Maximally Effective Mercenaries by Howard Tayler
Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey
Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer
Winter Witch by Elaine Cunningham
Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny
Venus Equilateral by George O. Smith
The Haunting Of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
The Dwarves by Markus Heitz
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
The Chronicles of Conan v1 and
The Savage Sword of Conan v1 by Roy Thomas et al
The Silver Age Doom Patrol Omnibus and
The Bronze Age Batgirl Omnibus
Ninefox Gambit and
Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee
How To Read Water and
How To Read Nature by Tristan Gooley
The Ventifact Colossus and
The Crosser's Maze by Dorian Hart
Manners & Mutiny and
Prudence by Gail Carriger
101 Things I Learned In Culinary School by Eguaras and Frederick
The Emperor's Finest by Sandy Mitchell
Abaddon's Gate by James S.A. Corey
Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb
Master And Commander by Patrick O'Brian
Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
The Mammoth Book Of Dieselpunk, edited by Sean Wallace
In The Forests Of Serre by Patricia A. McKillip
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Gentlemen Of The Road by Michael Chabon
Pirate's Prophecy by Chris A. Jackson
The Stories We Tell, edited by Tobias S. Buckell
Dichronauts by Greg Egan

By raw numbers, that's 85 books, but many were RPGs, comic collections, or unfinished, so let's call it 60 or so. Comparable to the last few years.
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The last of 2017!

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Very different from the movie, but still a lot of fun. Recommended.

Gentlemen Of The Road by Michael Chabon

An attempt to do a swords & sorcery novel, but in the real world, with mixed success. I enjoyed it, but it's a bit tame. Note: Chabon's original title was "Jews With Swords", which is both entirely accurate and probably giving you the wrong mental picture. (And the art by Gary Gianni is a delight.) Recommended.

Pirate's Prophecy by Chris A. Jackson

Third in the "Pirate" trilogy, set in the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and a lot of fun. I continue to admire Jackson's close fidelity to the rules of the RPG. Recommended.

The Stories We Tell, edited by Tobias S. Buckell

On our last trip to Bermuda, we popped into a local bookstore. Predictably, almost everything was identical to what you'd find in the US, but this "Bermuda Anthology of Science Fiction, Fantasy And Horror" hit my sweet spot with laser accuracy. It's got some predictable duds, but also some gems. Recommended.

Dichronauts by Greg Egan

Egan continues his explorations of arcane physics and biology in this universe where there are two dimensions of space, and two of time. This doesn't mean that the future lies in two different directions, but it does mean that if you turn too far to the left, your body will rip itself apart from the torque. Plus, the alien residents are two symbiotic species, with one living in the other's head, and the relationships between the pairs are terribly fraught. Not to mention the looming possibility of their city being burned to ash by the approaching sun. Recommended.
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Still clearing the deck of 2017:

Master And Commander by Patrick O'Brian

On the whole, I prefer Hornblower.

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

With infinite respect for Sir Terry, his last few Discworld novels are a bit rote and meandering. Still, I love a good train story.

The Mammoth Book Of Dieselpunk, edited by Sean Wallace

A solid anthology, with a streak of PTSD among the diesel fumes.

In The Forests Of Serre by Patricia A. McKillip

A fairy tale of curses, identities, and politics. Recommended.

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Second in the Binti series, and very much the middle of a two-part trilogy. Binti returns home, changed by more than aliens and education, and encounters the usual problems of family, plus the unusual problems of her (and the Earth's) heritage. Recommended.
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Manners & Mutiny and Prudence by Gail Carriger

Being the last book in one series, and the first book in another, both set in Carriger's "steampunk with vampires and werewolves" world. Both are full of antics, action,and arch dialog. Also, zeppelins. Recommended.

101 Things I Learned In Culinary School by Eguaras and Frederick

Part of the "101 Things" series, the bits I best recall are the explanation of why chef's jackets are made that way. Nevertheless, mildly recommended.

The Emperor's Finest by Sandy Mitchell

Seventh in the Ciaphas Cain series (a satire stacked atop a satire), in this volume our hero's protestations of cowardice are even less believable than usual, as he throws himself into fighting Tyranids and Orks with abandon.

Abaddon's Gate by James S.A. Corey

Third in the "Expanse" series, this one feels a little more focused than its predecessors, with most of the time spent in one isolated place where everyone is trying not to get killed by the place, or indeed by everyone else. Recommended.

Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb

In general, I love Hobb's work, but this series is proving very tough going for me, what with its constant emphasis on our hero getting treated unfairly. Which, y'know, isn't anything new for Hobb's heroes, but it's depressing me more, here. I recommend the Fitz books, first.
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