The Last Minute Geek shopping sampler – Gifts for $20 or under

I don’t claim to have created the comprehensive geek gift giving guide for the 2008 holiday season.  What I have done is put together a pretty snappy list of ideas which are sure to spark your interest or help you fill in that list for that person who just isn’t satisfied with ordinary gifts.  Whether they’re kids who love science or scientists who love toys – there will be something here for every geek out there.  All of them under $20 I know that I would love any one of these, as would most of my friends.

Remember, if you want this in your hands by Christmas, you can still as of today use the free shipping option (on orders over $25) and get the items in time, theoretically.  You may want to opt for standard shipping though just to be sure.

Under $10

Books

The Iron Dragon’s Daughter

Quite possibly the best steampunk/faerie/fantasy book I’ve ever read. Swanwick is a great author. You’ll have to get it used as it’s out of print – but well worth it.

Old Man’s War
The spiritual successor to Heinlein, Scalzi’s book is a definite must read for those who love quick and fun SF.

Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change

A Meeting at Corvallis

The Protector’s War: A Novel of the Change (Protector)

An alternate history crafted in great and believable detail, Stirlings Dies the Fire series (3 books) starts in 1998 when an event causes a fundamental change in the physics of our perceptible universe. Simply put, firearms, electricity, chemical combustion, they all vanish leaving humanity to struggle with the aftermath.

Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

Ah Fabletown – where fairy tale characters live and breathe beside New Yorkers.  A graphic novel not to be passed over – the whole series is great.

Halting State

It’s 2012 and a crime has been committed.  A number of high value, in game loot items have been stolen from a major MMO.  This techno-based mystery novel starts here and ends somewhere just north of awesome.  Written with a style and accuracy that won’t have computer geeks cringing.

Movies

Children of Men

A bleak look at a world where people have become unable to have children. Realistic, gritty and with some one-take sequences that will blow your mind. Plus the pig from Pink Floyd’s Animals has a cameo.

A Scanner Darkly

If you’re a fan of Dick (yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all the PKD jokes) you’ll love this movie. If you like cartoon Keanu, well same thing. Dick.

An American Werewolf in London

Best. Werewolf. Transformation. EVER. Pre-CGI, this film is funny and has some amazing (circa 1980) special effects.

Pan’s Labyrinth

Yeah Hellboy the movies are a lot of fun. Don’t ever forget that Del Toro is a serious director though who can create a haunting, darkly magical story as easily as I create a blog post. This movie will stay with you.

Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition)

This movie made me get rid of my life sized Yosemite Sam doll through sheer panic of dollish strangulation. It’s still one of the best ghost stories out there.

Army of Darkness

Bruce Campbell with a chainsaw as a hand, a boom stick and an S-Mart name tag. The chin at it’s finest.

Shaun of the Dead

A brilliant take on the zombie genre. Slackers vs. zombies and it’s honestly the most fun I’ve had with the undead.

The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition)

The original awesomeness of the Princess Bride. You can’t compete with this movie. It even has gaming advice – never get involved in a land war in Asia!

Robot Chicken: Star Wars

They only make fun because they love. But they’re dead on. If the toys of my childhood could speak, this is what they’d say.

Idiocracy

It’s to bad they pulled the advertising budget out from under Mike Judge with this film because it’s brilliant. Making a mockery of our present by shining a much dumber mirror on it. Duh.

Willow (Special Edition)

What do you get when you combine Jim Morrison and an Ewok? Not this probably but Val Kilmer and Warwick Davies star in this pretty damned cool fantasy cut.

Toys and Stuff

Smoke Polyhedral Precision 7-Dice Set, no ink

True role players know that they should only use dice which other players or GMs can’t actually read from further than 2′ away.

Transformers Movie Deluxe Allspark Power Stealth Bumblebee

Close your eyes and scream the following repeatedly: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE! MORE THAN MEETS THE FRIGGIN EYE! Now you know why transformers rock, even if the movie was something akin to a moving scrap heap.

LEGO Indiana Jones Motorcycle Chase

Ah Indie. Your crystal skull was a bit of a let down, but we’ll forgive you as we can pop your head off in Lego land.

MAGIC 8 BALL

Essential for help desk employees or anyone under the age of 16, the Magic 8 Ball. Pure crazy.

$10 to $20

Books

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

The definitive collection of survivors tales from the zombie uprising that nearly decimated mankind. In Max Brook’s head. A must read for zombie fans.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

WWZ not enough for you? Check out Max’s first book, a can do, how to about surviving the previously mentioned zombie uprising.

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson is a top-notch author. His understanding of technology and geekdom is and has always been pretty damned amazing.

Matter

Consider Phlebas

Use of Weapons

The Player of Games

Ian M. Banks’ Culture novels are an amazing look into our far future.  Written in a style that is both complex and fresh, any lover of SF will enjoy this books.

The Graveyard Book

The Jungle Book retold where the animals are spirits and the jungle is a graveyard. Oh, and it’s Neil Gaimen which makes it a must have from the start.

Watchmen

We all know about it and the movie. But have you read it? It really is worth it.

Little Brother

Technogeek rebellion for the teens in us all, from Author and BoingBoinger Corey Doctorow.

Forbidden LEGO: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against!

Lego creations. That shoot things. Having reviewed this book in a previous online life I can heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to create Lego constructs expressly forbidden by the Lego safety crew.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel

A brilliant look at a pivotal point in English Magic. For the first time in hundreds of years two magicians have come forth to aid the English in their time of need. A great construct of alternate history.

Y: The Last Man Book One Deluxe Edition

What would the world be like if it was full of women. In fact, only one man (and one male monkey) seem to have survived.

Movies

Forbidden Planet (Two-Disc Special Edition)

I first saw this when I was about 8 and it blew me away. A retelling of The Tempest, set in space with the original Robbie the Robot.

The Road Warrior

The movie the propelled Mel Gibson into eventual wide-eyed, bat flapping craziness. And stardom. Though it’s the 2nd in the Mad Max trilogy this movie easily stand on its own and reminds us why a global breakdown of civilization could be a bad thing.

The Road Warrior

Mike Rowe’s got a fondness for finding the dirties jobs around and then trying to do them and often failing. His biting humor adds that certain spark necessary to drive this show from sort of funny to just plain great.

The Toxic Avenger

Toxie’s first and most important movie from those folks at Troma Films. Meet up with America’s least likely superhero as he rids the local pool of really bad, mostly naked 20 somethings.

Robocop (20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition)

Smart, gruesome and gritty are three words to describe the original Robocop. This movie set the standard for me when it comes to cynical takes on modern society reflected in SF movies.

Supernatural – The Complete First Season

Supernatural – The Complete Second Season

Described as Buffy for Boys, Supernatural is the tale of two brothers (and their dear old Dad) who travel the country hunting down demons, ghost, vampires and werewolves, among other things. Reflected in many episodes is a unifying plot that brings us through the first two seasons.

X-Men Trilogy (X-Men/ X2 – X-Men United/ X-Men – The Last Stand)

Snikt! All three movies for under $20.

Serenity (Collector’s Edition)

It’s like the best western you’ve ever seen. In space. Great acting, great writing, great action.

Labyrinth (Anniversary Edition)

David Bowie with Spock’s ears in a fantasy realm.

Mythbusters: Collection 1

It’s like Snopes.com but with moving pictures and lots of fun as our heroes create and then destroy lots of stuff to prove or disprove our favorite urban myths and legends.

[tags]gifts, deals, geeks[/tags]

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