The holidays are fast approaching and, if you're like me, you're left with some unchecked names on your holiday shopping list. Fear not! Ok, well maybe fear a little bit for the folks who are not science fiction and fantasy fans. For the SF/F fans on your list, you can use this handy guide for recent gift ideas.
For the Star Trek Fan
Star Trek fans have more than television shows and films to love. A trio of recent books will easily thrill any Star Trek fan, whether they be casual fans or hardcore trekkers.
Consider Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years by David A. Goodman, a bountiful, full-color coffee table book that reads like something that would exist in the Star Trek universe itself. Included in its high-quality pages are Starfleet records, biographies of Starfleet personnel (like that alien-loving James T. Kirk), and histories of the federation.
For the more hardcore fan, there's also Star Trek Stellar Cartography by Larry Nemecek, which offers never-before-seen large-format maps of the Star Trek universe. In addition to the historical maps of the Klingon Empire, the Romulan government and the Cardassian Union map, the tri-fold clamshell case also contains a hardcover book about the maps.
For the nostalgic Trek fan and collector, there's Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann which offers hi-resolution images of the 1976 Topps trading cards that were released to coincide with the 1967 show's rising popularity in syndication. What a trip down memory lane!
For the Star Wars Fan
While Star Wars fans eagerly await the release of the new films and television shows, they can bide their time with a few Star Wars gift books.
Star Wars: Frames by Star Wars creator George Lucas looks back at the six Star Wars films with the perspective of hindsight. The book features 1,416 photography and design stills from the films that highlight the main events in the story. This is a two-volume hardcover set, one volume for the original trilogy, and one for the prequel trilogy.
Who's the fan-favorite character in the Star Wars universe? Arguably, that would be the bounty hunter named Boba Fett. That's why The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett by Daniel Wallace, Ryder Windham and Jason Fry is another perfect gift for the Star Wars fan. This is another lavishly produced, "in universe" gift set that features lots of Boba Fett’s personal items, including: The Bounty Hunter Code, memoirs of Cradossk, former head of the Bounty Hunters, A Kamino saberdart, Boba Fett’s captain's license and arms permit, and much more.
No Star Wars fan would turn down a chance to own the definitive guides to the films. Thus, if you want a sure-bet successful gift, consider one of J.W. Rinzler's behind-the-scenes hardcover books. There's one for each of the original trilogy films: The Making of Star Wars, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Rinzler was granted unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives to create a series of books any Star Wars fan would kill to own. Each one features unpublished photos, production artwork, script excerpts, exclusive information about the films, vintage on-set interviews and present-day commentary.
For the Comics Fan
Readers of Comics also have stuff they'll want. For starters, there's IDW Publishing's Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Volume 2 (1969-1971) by Russ Manning. This is the 2nd volume of a 4-book series collecting all of the Russ Manning Tarzan comics. One of the included storylines shows how Tarzan met Jane.
A similar treatment exists for Flash Gordon, most recently Flash Gordon: The Fall of Ming: The Complete Flash Gordon Library 1941-44 by Alex Raymond. There's also the newly released book Definitive Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim Volume 4, also by Alex Raymond, which is the final volume in that series.
Finally, there's Joseph J. Darowski's The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times. It takes a look at the comic icon who is still popular after her debut more than 70 years ago. Each essay in this collection examines a specific period or storyline from Wonder Woman comic books, analyzing it in regard to contemporary issues in American society.