*Sniff, sniff* Smell that? That's the smell of consumerism pervading the holiday air. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a Scrooge! I love the holidays and cherish the time spent with family and friends. But I also like giving and receiving gifts, too. So, yes, I'm all for consumerism. In fact, I'm here to contribute to it by offering up some gift suggestions for your nerdiest and geekiest of friends who also happen to be book lovers.
The Merchandise Awakens
This year's biggest nerdgasm is sure to revolve around the release of the first Star Wars film in 10 years. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII for padewans—er, novices) ushers in a new generation of characters from a galaxy far, far away while still including the familiar (if older) faces of the original trilogy from 37 years ago. Word of mothers' basements says this one will be huge, so it's a sure bet you can't go wrong bestowing Star Wars–related books on your apprentice—er, gift recipient.
To that end, check out Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig, which serves as a bridge between the original trilogy and the new one. The Perfect Weapon by Delilah S. Dawson makes a great stocking-stuffer, too. It's a short story about a mercenary and her attempts to train and inexperienced but eager recruit, and it takes place just before the start of The Force Awakens. Shattered Empire is a graphic novel series written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Marco Chechetto, now collected into a single volume perfect for gift-giving. It also takes place between the events of Star Wars Episodes VI and VII. For the reading completist, consider the official novelization, Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Alan Dean Foster. Before you dismiss this one as unnecessary, consider that novelizations often provide deeper insights into character motivations and are written before the film is finalized and may thus include parts that were cut from the final film.
When fans of the popular “Star Wars: Battlefront” video game get tired thumbs, they may be interested in the companion novel Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed, which follows the adventurous exploits of a rebel battalion that laughs in the face of Imperial opposition. Or perhaps the more analytical fan would enjoy Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind edited by Travis Langley. It offers a collection of thought-provoking essays and psychological analyses of the films, including themes of villainy and heroism, gender and family. (Spoiler: the Skywalker family has some serious issues.)
For the visually oriented, there's a wide selection of art and photography books. First, there's the packed-full-of-gorgeous The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Phil Szostak. It takes readers through the conceptual design of The Force Awakens from early concepts to final renderings. In addition to illustrations, sketches, and blueprints, it also includes interviews with the artistic visionaries associated with the film. Graff Wars by Martin Berdahl Aamundsen and B.A. Byvold looks at the impact that the Star Wars cultural phenomenon had on graffiti all over the world. Stencil Wars by the same authors does the same for street art. LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy by Finnish photographer Vesa Lehtimäki recreates scenes from the films using Lego minifigs. Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, meanwhile, is a picture-heavy catalog of all the characters, droids, aliens, and creatures found in the film. Finally, Star Wars Frames: 100 Postcards is a mouth-watering selection of art selected from the original and prequel trilogy films and packaged in a deluxe keepsake package.
Boldly Gifting Where No One Has Gifted Before
Star Trek fans needn't feel left out in the cold of space. Although we are months away from the next film and a new proposed series, hardcore fans can immerse themselves in Trek goodness. Star Trek: Costumes by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann looks at five decades of fashion from the final frontier, which includes the all of the film and television incarnations. It's always interesting to see how they imagined the future in, say, 1967. Meanwhile, Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season by Mike McMahan is a laugh-out-loud parody of Star Trek: The Next Generation, certain to light up a Trek fan's life. There's also Star Trek Pop-Ups by Paula M. Block, Terry J. Erdmann, and Courtney Watson McCarthy, which features the wonderfully designed ships of Star Trek literally popping off the page. The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman is a mock memoir written by Trek's most famous and most popular starship captain. It includes journal entries, photos, correspondence, and his excerpts from his personal captain's log.
More to Come!
This is just the tip of gift bag! Tune in next week and find a whole new slew of geeky gift ideas for book lovers.