The Eightfold Path (Hardcover)
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From bestselling and award-winning authors Steven Barnes and Dr. Charles Johnson comes The Eightfold Path, a graphic novel anthology of interconnected Afrofuturistic parables inspired by the teachings of Buddha, illustrated by Bryan Christopher Moss.
Eight strangers—looking for enlightenment from an ancient spiritual teacher—are trapped in a cave high in the mountains on their way to his temple. One of his acolytes directs them to each tell a story that the group can learn from as they wait out the horrible snowstorm that rages outside the cave’s entrance.
One by one, the travelers each share a story that, unbeknownst to them, is actually a morality tale representing one of the aspects of final enlightenment as taught in Buddhism. As the wind howls through the night, they tell symbolic stories of horror, dystopia, high adventure, cyberpunk, and urban fantasy. Each story is a spoke on the symbolic dharma wheel, and each interlocking tale gets the travelers closer to their true destiny: unveiling the future of the entire human race.
This remarkable collection borrows heavily from the traditions of pop culture morality anthology series such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, Lovecraft Country, and the publications of EC Comics. Strongly influenced by the science-fiction pulps of the 1950s and 1960s, this brilliant collection remixes classic social narratives, such as Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and The Arabian Nights, through an edgy, contemporary, yet spiritually centered lens. In The Eightfold Path, our destinies lie in heeding the lessons given in every one of these entrancing tales.
About the Author
Steven Barnes is a New York Times bestselling, NAACP Image Award–winning author of more than 30 novels. Nominated for Nebula and Hugo awards, writer of the Emmy Award–winning “A Stitch In Time” episode of The Outer Limits and winner of the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Award, he is a pioneering Afrofuturist and one of the most honored voices in the field. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, British Fantasy Award–winning novelist Tananarive Due. Barnes has taught or lectured at UCLA, USC, University of Washington (Seattle), Mensa, Pasadena JPL, the Smithsonian Museum, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and many other institutions. His books include Twelve Days (Tor, 2017).
“The Eightfold Path is a wildly original graphic novel great for fans of the medium or for those who love science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the forms of those genres heavy on big ideas. These ideas are not technological or magical at their core, but moral, and it is for that reason The Eightfold Path succeeds as it does.”
— Warped Factor
"Boldly, intelligently, and fantastically rendered . . . it is thematically perfect—in my humble opinion!—and practically impossible not to read in one sitting. I wish I could experience it again for the first time.”
“If anything can be said about Abrams ComicArts books, it’s that they are undeniably beautiful. Aside from what lies within their pages, the books themselves are works of art. They are portable museums. The colors, the weight and heft of the paper used, the end paper designs, the cover images chosen, these make the books worth looking at. The stories being told? These make the books worth buying. Their Megascope imprint? These books are worth collecting.”
— The Nerds of Color