There's snow on the ground and you can't leave the house without being assaulted by Christmas music or getting poked in the eye by a festive fir tree, and that can mean only one thing: You'd better start shopping. As every media outlet is hellbent on reminding us, the only way to show love or affection in this late-stage capitalist wonderland we call home is to buy some sweet stuff for those special people in your life. If your special person wants jewelry or wine or something, good luck — I know fuck all about any of that. If, on the other hand, your special person is a giant nerd, well, I may be able to help. I'm certainly going to try, with another year's worth of nerdworthy gifts for the geek in your life.
Before we start, let me mention that I'm going to skip most of the obvious stuff. If you know your best nerd pal loves Star Trek but somehow doesn't already own all the movies and TV series on Blu-ray, great! Your shopping duties can be fulfilled in ten minutes via Amazon. Lucky you. Everyone else, please proceed to the bounty of nerd awesomeness that follows.
6) For the Geek Who Wants to Keep It Local
Geeks care about supporting local businesses, artists and entrepreneurs, too! Lucky for us, Denver has a pretty badass contingent of local nerds doing rad stuff. Maybe your nerd loves Cards Against Humanity, but has already played through so many times they've made every possible combination of cards? They would probably enjoy Uncalled Four's The Worst Card Game, an unofficial CAH expansion put together by Denver comedians and featuring lots of Denver-centric cards. If that's not quite right for the nerd in your life, maybe they'd enjoy the dinosaurific Ian Cooke album (plus coloring book and DVD!) Antiquasaria , an art-pop exploration of prehistory's most geek-friendly creatures. Still not quite right? Maybe just get them a sweet T-shirt to rep These Things Matter , the local podcast all about being a giant fucking geek for all kinds of pop culture, from zombies (I may have been the guest for that episode) to Blink-182 (not me, I swear) to Firefly (also not me, but I was hella jealous that it wasn't).
5) For the Geek Who Loves to Laugh at Bad Movies
Right now, Joel Hodgson, one of the original creators — and the original host, of course — of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is running a hugely successful Kickstarter to relaunch the show for a new generation. If you're pals with a superfan of the original show, consider donating in their name to help bring it back. You won't have to sweat whether your donation will actually count, because they already hit the base funding goal — now each new goal means three more episodes, up to a total of twelve, for a full season. You've got about a week to kick in, depending on when you read this, and lots of the tiers have some killer rewards, from special T-shirts to getting your name in the credits. What MST3K fan wouldn't want to be immortalized in the credits? (Okay, maybe one with particularly crippling social anxiety. Use your best judgment.)
4) For the Horror Geek Who Has Everything
Horror geeks are hard to shop for, because we are all obsessive as hell. Oh, you got me a Criterion Collection edition of Hausu? Cool, I'll put it next to the one I bought the day that was released. If you want to something special for the lover of all things creepy in your life, you have to do something, well, special. Something like this one-of-a-kind, handmade coffin couch. What vampire-loving lunatic wouldn't want that? (It's officially okay to like vampires again, by the way. Enough time has passed to wash the taste of Twilight out of our collective mouths.) Sure, it's a cool $7,000, but love knows no price.
3) For the Geek Who Gets a Little Too Into It
Speaking of obsessive pursuit of our favorite fandoms, even by geek standards, some of us get a little too into it, whatever it may be. For some of us, our "it" goes beyond fandom and begins to more closely resemble religion. I'm not just talking about those weirdos who actually put down "Jedi" as their religion on government forms (you can expect a lot more of those, starting about two weeks from now), but the kind of person who gets offended if you suggest that maybe Doctor Who just isn't for everyone, then wants to fight you when you call the early shows in particular "a little childish." For those people, may I suggest a lovely pop culture prayer candle? As far as I can tell, these things exist for just about any fandom or character you can imagine; just type the name of whatever your geek is far too attached to with the words "prayer candle" into Google, and you'll be on your way to them asking the Goblin King (or whatever) to forgive their sins in no time. (Oh, and you can get that Doctor Who candle here.)
2) For the Geek Who Wants Their Kids to Be Just as Geeky
You want your little ones to grow up just as geeky as you, right? Of course you do. In a way, it's easy — just show them some Star Wars movies and you're 90 percent of the way there. Still, you want them to be the right kind of geek...the sciencey, does well in school, gets their ass kicked a lot but then makes a shit ton of money developing a cure for cancer or whatever later in life kind, right? Well, get them hooked on science now with Grandmother Fish, a child's first book of evolution. It's never too early to start with science, and if there's one thing kids love, it's animals (My First Book of Organic Chemistry is much less enchanting). And before you ask, yes, kids actually love it. My three-year-old has insisted we read this book every night for the past two weeks, and she's pretty much memorized it by now. It won't be long before she's arguing with Creationists on Reddit (and winning) at this rate. You can download a PDF for free to check it out, then buy a hardcopy of Grandmother Fish here.
1) For the Star Wars Geek in Your Life
I don't know, maybe some Star Wars shit? I mean, you can't enter a place of business right now without a cascade of it falling on top of you and burying you. Your particular Star Wars geek really into breakfast? Cereals, cereal bowls, toasters, hell probably even bacon (okay, I couldn't find Star Wars bacon, but it probably exists somewhere) are all out there for your purchasing pleasure. Star Wars golf club covers? Of course! Maybe some Star Wars condoms? Why the fuck not? Star Wars whiskey decanter? Is it even a question? Jesus, is anyone else getting a little burnt out on Star Wars? Just me?
Still haven't found what you want for the geek in your life? You can check out the 2013 and 2014 editions of the geeky gift guide; some of that shit may still be available. Good luck, and may your gifts never be regifted.