In the hands of a science fiction writer, each discovery of a physical phenomenon, planetary body, or biological quirk offers inspiration for imaginary worlds of strange beauty. These four exceptional graphic novels show us alternate realities and give us new ways to envision our present. And who knows—some of those realities might become our future.

One-of-three: X’ed Out

Masterful Storytelling

Book one of a surreal trilogy. Amazon

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If the cat you were told had been run over years ago suddenly appeared in your bedroom, would you follow it into a mysterious hole in your wall? You’ll find out what’s on the other side if you turn the pages of this richly colored and unsettling tale—perfect for people who ponder the connections between reality and dreams.

Tale of space: On a Sunbeam

Over 500 Pages

2019 Hugo Award Nominee. Amazon

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This 2018 Eisner Award winner (like the Oscars of the comic book world) brings us a critically acclaimed love story between two young women across space and time. Readers will enjoy a split timeline delineated by different colors and more than 500 pages of illustrations.

Must-read: Octavia Butler’s Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Science-Fiction Masterpiece

Illustrated Afrofuturism. Amazon

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If you’ve never read Octavia Butler before, this adaptation of her 1979 classic created by John Jennings (illustrator) and Damian Duffy (script) is a powerful place to start—then go read the original. This monumental work is an examination of American slavery through the eyes of Dana, a young black woman who travels between the pre-Civil War South and her present life as a writer in California in the 1970s.

Epic journey: A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

New Take On A Classic

Believing takes practice. Amazon

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Adults may remember the captivating Meg Murry from their own childhoods, and note her influence on modern-day heroines like Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen. Younger readers may have seen the 2018 film directed by Ava DuVernay, or read the book for a class assignment. This 2012 adaptation by Hope Larson brings Meg, Charles, and Calvin’s epic journey across worlds into a new medium for all to enjoy.