“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” William Morris once wrote. In the spirit of that quote, here’s a gift guide that’s got something for every major species of geek fandom. In fact, many of these are inexpensive enough to be suitable for a $20 or less gift exchange.
William Gibson’s Neuromancer punches well above its weight as a founding member of the cyberpunk genre. When I read this in high school, I took it with me everywhere until I was done with it, reading it in class and shamelessly ignoring teachers.
Be a Time Lord for a little while and swoop in wielding this sonic screwdriver that’s also actually a real, useful screwdriver. It’s $35, and it takes the same size hex-stock mini screwdriver bits as your electronics micro screwdriver set.
George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, the books behind the Game of Thrones, is a sprawling, intricate and engaging read. Good for someone who really likes to hate antagonists and watch people die. Hardbound, so that when your giftee inevitably starts throwing the books, the resulting destruction is more satisfying.
For someone who tends to fall for protagonists, enjoys Scottish accents, or has a thing for time travel, check out the Outlander series: after reading it I now want to be Claire when I grow up. If your giftee is already into the series and they’ve read the books, try a fuzzy blanket with Jamie Fraser’s crest and clan motto on it.
Gaming: Classic, console, PC and tabletop
Represent your fandom while remaining completely suitable for work with this $30 Serenity polo. It’s a single-color shirt with a collar, so it totally counts, except instead of the little Champion alligator, it has a little silhouette of Serenity. Embrace your Browncoat tendencies with ninja-like stealth.
Replica combadges from Star Trek: The Next Generation are nothing unusual — but licensed, fully functional badges that interface with your smartphone via Bluetooth and offer one-touch calling or communication with services like Siri or Google Now? That’s something altogether different. This device supports Bluetooth 4.2, with its own built-in microphone, micro-speakers by Massive Audio, a 33-foot range (from your mothership base device), noise suppression, echo cancellation, and, of course, it makes the classic communicator sound effect when you touch it.
Sure, it’s silly. But it’s also awesome.
The Jedi Path and the Book of Sith are comparable to the Art of War in the Star Wars universe, and for $30, they arrive hardbound in a gorgeous box set. “With these two titles, students of the Force can study and more fully understand the complex powers of good and evil.”
Superheroes: DC and Marvel
Be sure you can handle whatever life or undeath throws at you with the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide. The book discusses the finer distinctions between fast and slow zombies, preparedness measures, and survival when the brains hit the fan.