February is upon us, and geeks have a lot more than Valentine's Day to look forward to. In this month's 28 short days, we've got local sci-fi authors and comics creators releasing new books, a gaming convention and even some delightfully geeky musical options lined up. No matter how you like to get your geek on, you'll find something to enjoy in this list of ten of February's best geek events.
10) Warren Hammond: Tides of Maritinia In his excellent KOP series, local sci-fi author Warren Hammond managed to fuse classic science fiction tropes with the rhythms and energy of hard-boiled detective pulps. Now he's doing the same sort of thing with the espionage and science fictions genres in Tides of Maritinia, and kicking off a new series in the process. On the distant backwater planet of Maritinia, a rebellion is brewing, and despite the relative meaninglessness of the planet to the Empire at large, no dissent will be tolerated. A novice spy is sent to sabotage the uprising, but his supposedly simple mission gets complicated in no time at all.
Hammond will read from and sign Tides of Maritinia at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 3 at the Tattered Cover Colfax. Admission is free; the book is $6.99. For more information, visit the Tattered Cover website. [UPDATE: The February signing has been moved to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 7 at the Broadway Book Mall.]
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9) Nerd Music Night Geeks love music, too. Just ask Jonathan Coulton, or anyone involved in the nerdcore scene. Now Denver geeks are getting a night to get their groove on from the same people who brought you Rock Comic Con. Local geek musicians and comedians will be front and center for a night of songs about Dothraki, human centipedes, Star Wars and, of course, Batman. Hosted by members of H2Awesome and Daenerys and the Targaryens, this premiere event kicks off a monthly series, giving you a place to get down without ever needing to remove your pocket protector.
8) Genghis Con XXXVI There's not much geekier than tabletop gaming, and man is tabletop gaming awesome. Get together with a bunch of other fanatical gamers for four days of geek majesty at Genghis Con XXXVI. Whatever your gaming fancy -- board games, role-playing games, tactical games, card games and more -- it'll be there. That means for these four days you won't have to try to con your disinterested roommate into being the fourth player for a sweet Settlers of Catan game, which will be a nice change of pace. It's also over Valentine's weekend, so if you're forever alone, or just give zero fucks about that particular Hallmark holiday, this will keep you safe from the hearts and candy bullshit happening everywhere else.
Get your game on between Thursday, February 12 and Sunday, February 15 at the Radisson Hotel Aurora. Passes start at $20 for a single day. For more info and to register, visit the Denver Gamers website.
Continue for more great geek events in February.7) Valentine X: 13th Floor Haunted House
A haunted House themed for Valentine's Day? Sure, why not? It beats the usual dinner and a chick flick shtick, anyway, and scaring your date is usually a good way to get them excited. Valentine X brings us the Bear Butcher, who carves X's into victims' foreheads and sounds like a way more fun Valentine character than a cupid. Plus, it's a candlelit haunted house for that romantic ambiance!
What better way to spend Valentine's Day than enjoying a selection of beer and food specially selected to complement one of the finest zombie movies ever made? Cult classicShaun of the Dead
meets its match with Epic Brewing's Brainless series -- what could be more fitting? -- and a hearty four course meal featuring English favorites like bangers and mash and a proper English pudding. It's a romantic comedy, a zombie classic, a fancy dinner and a Valentine's date all rolled into one. There is literally no way to go wrong with this one.
The food and film start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 14 at the Alamo Drafthouse. Tickets are $50. For more info and to buy tickets, visit the Shaun of the Dead beer dinner event page.5) Noah Van Sciver: Saint Cole/Blammo release party
Local comic artist/writer (and regularWestword
contributor) Noah Van Sciver is releasing his second graphic novel --Saint Cole
-- and his latest in theBlammo
series, and Kilgore Books is throwing a party to mark the occasion. The novel,Saint Cole
is a stark tale of a working class loser who's up against a dead end job, a growing alcohol problem and a dysfunctional home life, and this special issue ofBlammo
is a rare full-color entry in his signature series. Van Sciver himself will be on hand to sign his books, shake hands and make awkward small talk.
The release party starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 18 at Kilgore Books. Admission is free; Saint Cole retails for $19.99 and Blammo 8 ½ for $6. For more information, visit the Kilgore Books website.
Continue for more great geek events in February.4) Dr. Who and the Daleks
These days,Doctor Who
is enjoying a record level of both popularity and respectability, but the good Doctor has along
history, full of odd moments. Jump in the Tardis for a trip way, way back to the good old days of 1965 forDr. Who and the Daleks
, one of the more unusual diversions in the good Doctor's history. Film legend Peter Cushing takes on the titular role here, in the first ever color incarnation of the time-traveling alien (I did mention it's along
history, right?). It's a rare opportunity to see the film on the big screen for both fans ofDoctor Who
and fans of weird, off the wall cinema.
Even the most casual anime fan is well familiar with the output of Studio Ghibli. The legendary studio, helmed by Hayao Miyazaki, is responsible for classic anime such asSpirited Away
andHowl's Moving Castle
, among other classics of the genre. Despite that popularity and place in the anime pantheon, the studio has always been notoriously insular, with few outside the company knowing how they operated. InThe Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
, director Mami Sunada spends a year inside the studio, revealing for the first time the dynamic inner workings of one of the biggest, most respected anime studios in history. It's a must see for fans of Miyazaki, Ghibli and anyone else who loves Japan's most popular animated exports.
See The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 26 at the Sie FilmCenter. Tickets are $10, or $7 for Denver Film Society members. For tickets and more information, visit the The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness event page.
2) Animeland Wasabi Animeland Wasabi has been around for a while now, but the 2015 version is retooled to refocus on the anime it takes its name from. A lineup of guests includes voice actors from popular series such as Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z along with luminaries from the cosplay scene and industry guests such as Jan Scott Frazier. When you need a break from all that, there's always the Duchess Maid Cafe, offering the most authentic maid cafe experience this side of the international date line, not to mention the usual selection of con activities like cosplay, panels and a dealers' room full of nifty shit to buy.
The con runs from February 27 to March 1 at the Sheraton DTC. Tickets start at just $45 for the full weekend, with a variety of packages available. For registration and more info, visit the Animeland Wasabi website.
1) Nerd Prom If you ever wanted to attend a prom while dressed as a Stormtrooper, this is your chance. The annual Nerd Prom -- now in its fourth year -- is always a great opportunity to relive prom your way, meaning no asshole football players trying to give you a wedgie and no one throwing you out for having beer on your breath. This year, the lineup includes I Fight Dragons, Andy Rok and the Real Deal and a supergroup performance of the entirety of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Costumes are always encouraged, so show off those cosplay skills and slow dance the night away with your geeky love. Or hell, go stag and try to meet the nerd of your dreams.
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Find me on Twitter, where I tweet about geeky stuff and waste an inordinate amount of time: @casciato.