Carla Speed McNeil describes her work as “indigenous science fiction”, which I take to mean both “science fiction that looks at the place of indigeneity within a high-tech society” and “science fiction that considers people’s working and living relationship to their environment”. This volume collects four stories that were published over 15 issues of the monthly Finder comic, featuring concepts like virtual reality environments that exist inside a man’s head, college professors who are sentient feathered dinosaurs, and techno-weeds that grow into ever-broadcasting televisions. These high-sci-fi elements blend into plots that range from romcom to murder mystery. It’s a testament to McNeil’s storytelling that she pulls off both of these genres without breaking the boundaries of the world she’s created. Her art’s masterful depiction of body language and facial expression adds convincing layers to her characters’ dialogue. There’s no ambiguity about what’s being said (or what’s going unsaid), even in panels with no dialogue. Finder is smart, insightful, playful, fun and sexy. If you’re not reading it, you damn well should be.
Follow Carla Speed McNeil on Twitter or Tumblr. Read her comics for free on her site. Buy her books from Dark Horse.