Arts and Culture

The ten best geek events in Denver in July, from King Kong to Kinetics

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7) Magic: The Gathering M14 prerelease The newest Core set for Magic: The Gathering, the world's most popular trading-card game, is hitting shelves this month, and that means it's pre-release time. Magic's pre-release tournaments are among its most casual events, meaning they're a great way to dip your toe into the water of competitive play, even if you're a total noob. Heck, especially if you're a total noob, since the Core sets are the game's entry-level product and this is a sealed event, so you don't even need to own any cards to play. If you've been playing the digital Duels of the Planeswalkers on your computer or console and wondering if it's time to make the jump to the actual card game, this is the way to do it.

July 13-14, various locations. Price may vary, but expect to spend about $30, which nets you six packs of cards plus a special promo card. Find a location near you with Wizards of the Coast's store locator.

6) Weird Al You don't have to be a geek to love Weird Al Yankovic, but it's rare to meet a geek who doesn't. After all, between his dead-on parodies and his clever originals, Yankovic's never shied away from incorporating references from everything to Star Wars to being a giant nerd himself, earning him the title of the King of Geek Pop. Plus, how can you not be impressed that he's still going strong more than thirty years after his first parody hit the airwaves, with more hits under his belt than most of the artists he's satirized?

July 21. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. at the Boulder Theater. Tickets range from $32 to $40. Get tickets and more info at the Boulder Theater website.

5) Peter Stenson Fiend Zombie lit is a road less traveled than zombie film, but there are still a lot of zombie books out there, making it hard for a writer to find an original angle. Colorado author Peter Stenson has one, though: make your hero a meth head who's already pretty much neck-deep in his own personal apocalypse before the zombies even show up. That's just the first of many unusual twists in this one-of-a-kind take on the zombie genre that ignores many of the typical conventions for its own twisted vision of hell on earth.

Peter Stenson will read from and sign his debut novel Fiend at 7:30 p.m. July 25 at the Tattered Cover LoDo. Admission is free; the book is $22. Get more info at the Tattered Cover website.

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato