Is there a more geek-friendly month than October? With Halloween anchoring things at the end, we get a full slate of horror goodies all month, and even the mundanes get in the spirit. Horror not your thing? It's still an excuse to dress up as your favorite robot, hobbit or superhero (plus, free candy!). This October in Denver epitomizes the nerdgasm that is October, with an overabundance of zombie events, horror-themed restaurants and more. Throw in the usual selection of geek activities -- a con here, some science fun there -- and these ten October events are a smorgasbord of awesome nerd joy.
10) The Oatmeal - Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants Matthew Inman's The Oatmeal webcomics are silly and strange and sometimes quite funny. They are also immensely popular on the Internet, where you've probably seen some of his work in your Facebook feed or on reddit. Fans of having paper copies of things they read on the Internet will rejoice at the existence of Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, a new collection of his work that includes forty pages of new material, as will his legion of fans who get a chance to come meet him. It is a legion, too -- this will fill the Tattered Cover, so plan on showing up early to get in.
Free, numbered tickets will be handed out at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 17 at Tattered Cover Lodo. The reading and signing starts at 7:30 p.m.; the book costs $16.99. For more info, visit the Tattered Cover website.
9) The Monster Opera It's a book release! It's an opera! It sounds weird! But also intriguing, because your next "multi-genre-bending novel-meets-libretto" will presumably be the first, and it's paired with a fully staged performance. And, hey, opera with monsters. As the promo video so adroitly puts it, "I don't know shit about opera, but I know about these monsters." Author Nancy Stohlman will be on hand to answer any questions of "What the what?"
The booksigning starts at 7 p.m., Friday, October 4, the performance at 8 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe. Admission is $10 presale or $12 at the door. For more info and to buy tickets, visit Nancy Stohlman's website. http://nancystohlman.com/monsteropera/
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8) Star Wars Reads Day There are so many books set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away that they get their own dedicated day. The novels set in this expanded Star Wars universe are great for one more hit of that sweet, sweet Jedi action, and as a way to get Star Wars-mad kids excited to read. A handful of events are happening around town, with trivia, activities and more at various locations.
Try the Star Wars Reads Day event starting at 2 p.m. Saturday October 5 at the Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch, or check the list for a location you prefer. For more info, visit the Tattered Cover website.
7) Cruel Autumn: Martyrs It's the season of horror, so even nonhorror fans are watching scary movies. That gives the hardcore a chance to push their own limits, and try some of the more extreme reaches of the genre. Martyrs has a reputation of being just such a film, so no surprise that horror aficionado Theresa Mercado would program it for her October installment of the Cruel Autumn series. When she warns, "Not for the faint of heart!", she means it. Don't say you weren't warned. As always, she'll be handing out handmade souvenirs themed for the film showing.
6) Yurei Cafe Japanese horror is its own, twisted little world, with its own tropes, traditions and terrors. Also, its own cuisine, apparently. Yurei Cafe is Andrew Novick's Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast-produced dinner event based on J-horror and Japanese legend and folklore. It even offers gluten-free and vegan options. Haunted houses are passé. Long live horror-ethnic cuisine pop-up cafes!
The first of two seatings starts around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 19 at a secret (yes, really) location near downtown Denver. Tickets are $22 each, must be purchased in advance and include meal, drink and dessert. For tickets and additional info, visit the Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast website.
5) MythBusters at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science As seen on TV! Except you can touch it, and the famous people you know from the show won't be there. Co-hosts Adam Savage did Jamie Hyneman did help with the design though, so it'll be true to the sciencey shenanigans you love from the show. Only this time, you get to be the one pushing the buttons that make stuff go.
MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition starts Friday, October 11 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Tickets go on sale October 3 and admission is $22 adults, $16 junior/student (ages 3 to 18 or with a student ID), and $18 senior. For tickets and info, visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science MythBusters event page.
4) A horde of zombie events Zombies are most dangerous in large numbers and holy crap are there a lot of zombie events in Denver this October. So many that we had to set aside all of the undead action in one dedicated zombie events round up. Head over there for all your zombie needs, but if you only go to one event, can we recommend the zombie crawl on October 19? Not only is it free, it's also the biggest single zombie gathering in the region.
Meet up starting at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, October 19 in Skyline Park to zombie walk and enjoy the side events. But don't neglect the rest of that zombie events list, there's plenty of options available for casual and hardcore fans of the walking dead.
3) Space: The Final Frontier at the Alamo Drafthouse Sick of splatter and spooks and ready for a little variety in your geek diet? In addition to a generous selection of horror fare, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas is celebrating the big black with its Space: The Final Frontier series. It's like a Whitman's sampler of sci-fi, covering everything from the ultra serious 2001: A Space Odyssey to the ultra silliness of a Spaceballs Quote Along. The pick of the litter has to be the Tough Guy Cinema presentation of the original Totall Recall. The film is the perfect intersection of Paul Verhoeven, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Philip K. Dick, and the Tough Guy presentation adds the one thing that could improve that mix: live pyrotechnics. Get your ass to Mars!
The Space: The Final Frontier series starts at 7 p.m. October 1 with 2001: A Space Odyssey and continues through Monday, October 21, finishing with Tough Guy Cinema:Total Recall, all at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. Prices vary per event. For tickets and more info, visit the Alamo Drafthouse Denver website.
2) Mile High Con Denver's oldest science fiction convention is in year 45, and you don't last almost half a century without doing something right. Technically, it's a literary con, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of gaming, cosplay, art and activities like the famous critter crunch robot battle. It just means you also get some sweet author guests, readings, and panels about writing, publishing and what makes good fiction in between and all around those other things. Seanan McGuire and Catherynne M. Valente and artist Aaron Miller top a line up of more than 80 science fiction, fantasy and horror authors attending.
Mile High Con runs from Friday, October 18 to Sunday, October 20 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. Admission is $46 for all three days, or day passes are available starting at $18. For tickets and additional info, visit the Mile High Con website.
1) Mile High Horror Film Festival Denver's own dedicated horror festival has been growing and improving over the past three years and this year's fest is by far its biggest and best line up ever. A slate of new indie works including Cheap Thrills, Big Bad Wolves and We Are What We Are is complemented by an out of this world selection of classics such as Dawn of the Dead, The Exorcist, They Live and Hellraiser. To sweeten the deal, the guest list includes Ken Foree, Tom Savini, Linda Blair, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Meg Foster, and Doug Bradley. There's something or someone on that list for horror fans of every stripe, making this a can't-miss event.
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The Mile High Horror Film Festival kicks off at 6:40 p.m. Thursday, October 3 with the cannibal film We Are What We Are, followed by The Exorcist with Linda Blair in person at 9:50 p.m. Additional events follow through Sunday, all at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. Tickets for individual screenings start at $11. For tickets and more info, including a full schedule, visit the Mile High Horror Film Festival website.