Friday, November 25, 2011

The Finn’s Wake PlugTastic All-Geek Christmas List of Love

I know, I know. We’re hard to buy for. How many of us have been handed gift cards for bookstores with an apologetic shrug from some well-meaning friend or relative? It’s only slightly less difficult when geek buys for geek, because as you know, one cannot cross the streams of another geek’s interest without winding up buried in evil marshmallow fluff. So to speak.

Consider this, then, to be an idea-generating list, literally bristling with someone for everyone, and nothing too unreasonable in price, either. I know times are tough. As an added bonus, most of what’s listed here is either pimping my own work or touting the abilities of my friends and fellow creative types. Truth! 

One final note: I know that most of the links below go to Amazon.com. Please don’t consider that to be an endorsement, but rather where to click for more detailed information. Try to buy these things locally if you can, rather than lining the pockets of giant faceless corporations who may or may not be a front for some kind of Cthulhu cult. I’m just saying.

Cthulhu Gloom by Atlas Games
Speaking of Cthulhu cults...Are you kidding me? Take Gloom, one of my favorite card games ever, and make a fully-Cthulhu-ized version of it? You can be the Whately family? Argh! NEED-GAME-NOW!  Perfect for the Lovecraft fan that you know, and brand new so you know they don’t have it yet.

Whisky Stones from Think Geek
Cocktail culture is still an “in” thing, and so if you have a whisky or bourbon aficionado on your list, here’s a cool stocking stuffer for them—eternal ice! Yep, these things give new meaning to “on the rocks.”

Oh, my, this is the goods, folks. My buddy John Picacio is an award-winning artist and he trained his wonderfully-evocative eye on the characters you love to hate, and hate to love, in George R.R.Martin’s epic series. Let this calendar carry you over until A Game of Thrones starts up on HBO next April.

The Steampunk Bible by Jeff VanderMeer and S.J. Chambers
I’ve got friends all up in this book, from Rick Klaw to Jess Nevins. And they are all smarty-pants, too. This book has been really well received and makes a great companion or an introduction to the arts movement that is steampunk.

Dreams in the Fire edited by Mark Finn and Chris Gruber
This great collection of fiction and poetry, gathered from the members of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association, past and present, does double duty. It’s the perfect gift for any Robert E. Howard fan in your life, and also buying a copy helps support the care and upkeep of the Robert E. Howard house. A spectacular collection of fresh stories, written in the blood and thunder style that Howard pioneered, and in a wide variety of genres that Howard himself made popular.

iZombie  by Chris Roberson
Chris Roberson’s smash hit is available in trade paperback form for those of you with discriminating geeks in your life. Great for both geeks and geekettes! And if you don’t like zombies, Chris has written about a million other comics for you to check out, as well.

Midwinter & The Office of Shadow  by Matthew Sturges
Both of these novels are excellent and made me love elves again. Matt reinvented the idea of a fantasy novel and turned high-born epic fantasy into a ground-pounding adventure where the stakes purely political and no less dangerous.

King Kong Old Time Radio Drama by the Violet Crown Radio Players
This one hour program, done in the style of old time radio, makes a great gift for the Gorilla-phile in your life. Celebrate the return of Austin’s premiere old time radio troupe in 2012 with this great stocking stuffer! Includes the hit single “Don’t Shoot that Monkey Down.”

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory
Daryl Gregory is one of those writers that other writers want to throttle. He’s got fresh takes on familiar ideas and his prose is seemingly effortless. Raising Stony Mayhall takes a very familiar and popular horror trope and turns it on its ear. A wonderful book, like everything Daryl does.

Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham
Even if you’re not reading Bill’s hit series Fables (and why aren’t you? Do you not like things that are great?) you will love this book. It’s a grand old adventure, the kind you can only read for the first time at that impressionable age, and it’s also a glorious meditation on the nature of fictional characters. What happens when we close the covers of our favorite books?

Road Trip by Mark Finn
The stranger on the side of the road doesn't know much, but he's pretty sure he's not Elvis. The baby driving the car has his own set of problems, but that won't keep him from helping a fellow traveler out. Now they are on a journey of discovery in the only thing that makes sense to either of them: a 1963 pink Cadillac... Originally published in the now out of print Gods New and Used, this tenth anniversary edition has been updated and edited by the author and is now available as a stand-alone novella.

From the makers of Fluxx and Chrononauts comes this really elegant card game that completely captures the feel of the Back to the Future trilogy. Set up is minimal, and rules mastery only takes a few minutes. Best of all, it’s as replayable as the movies are rewatchable. Good for the movie buff and the games buff on your list.
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