Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships: December 16 2016

Hello nerdfriends and geek pals!

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As promised, I’ve got gift suggestions galore. But so many of you were interested in last time’s link to the Guardian’s Best Of list for 2016 science fiction and fantasy that I decided to include a round-up of a few others! You’ll see some overlap, so here’s a TL;DR list of the most-repeated titles:

Infomocracy, Malka Older
All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders
The Devourers, Indra Das
The Obelisk Gate, NK Jemisin
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee
Death’s End, Cixin Liu
Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer

The lists themselves:

– Book Riot’s own Best Of 2016 is here and you can sort by genre.
The Washington Post‘s Nancy Hightower picked five.
Barnes & Noble’s list is delightfully long and includes a bonus 12 honorable mentions.
Omnivoracious picked eight. asked 11 contributors to pick three each.
Publishers Weekly picked six.

And now, onto my Gift Guide for Procrastinating Nerds.

Let’s Start With Books

Staff (and personal) favorite Lauren Beukes got stellar new covers for her mind-bending older books, Moxyland and Zoo City. Get both for the dedicated Beukes fan or either to introduce them to the wonders of her imagination!
Price range: less than $20 each

We are happily not short on geeky coloring books. Pick your fandom: Game of ThronesD&D’s Monsters and Heroes of the Realm; there’s a whole line of Harry Potter ones; the rabbit-hole goes on and on. For a nice pairing and starter-kit, add a set of Pop of Color pencils.
Price range: less than $20 each

For the nerd who has everything OR doesn’t know where to start, I recommend Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, edited by Karen Joy Fowler and including favorites Sofia Samatar, Kelly Link, Charlie Jane Anders, and Ted Chiang.
Price range: $20ish

For the nerd who loves art, you cannot do better than Shaun Tan’s beautiful and epic The Singing Bones (there’s a great review on
Price range: $20ish 

For the classics-inclined geek, these new Penguin Galaxy covers are drool-worthy. They’ve got a cornucopia of standards, including Dune, The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Once and Future King.
Price range: $20ish 

This book was all the rage when it came out in hardcover a couple years back (to the point where it was on backorder for actual months), but I bet we don’t all own Philip Pullman’s Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm AND WE SHOULD.
Price range: $20ish in paperback

If you’re looking to introduce someone to NK Jemisin’s work (or help out a completist), the Dreamblood Duology has a lovely new omnibus edition. (Bonus: we’re doing a giveaway of her Broken Earth books right now!)
Price range: $20ish 

What about a gift that keeps on giving? Here’s a genre-focused subscription box that’ll send a selection of themed books every other month!
Price range: $30+ per box

How about something for the armchair traveler and those looking for magic in our own world? Let me introduce you to Atlas Obscura.
Price range: $30+

For the Le Guin completist, while we’re all awaiting the illustrated Earthsea: have a beautiful boxed set of her short stories and novellas (which I can verify are well worth owning).
Price range: $50+

If the Penguin Galaxy covers appeal to you but are not quite fancy enough, The Folio Society has you covered (that illustrated Voyage of the Argo, though.)
Price range: $50+

Who doesn’t need a new Star Trek Encyclopedia, I ask you.
Price range: $100+

Now For Some Things Which Are Not Books

For the wickedest witch in your life: a Bellatrix enamel pin.
Price range: less than $20

For the gaming/Adventure Time enthusiast in your life: a BMO Light-Up journal.
Price range: $20ish 

For fans of The Martian: a “Science The Shit Out Of It” shirt!
Price range: $20ish

Beam us up, Scotty: an ugly sweater Star Trek-style!
Price range: $40ish

Listen, y’all, I own a cuddly Hulk from this seller and it is the best “late night lying in bed lurking on Tumblr” purchase I have ever made: get your own Nerd Plush.
Price range: $40+ 

For geek couture: I don’t know what to be more excited about from Elhoffer Designs, the Galactic vest and armwarmers or those Hogwarts sweaters.
Price range: $50+

For those strong in the Force: BB8 now has a Force Band!
Price range: $80 – $200

For the well-heeled gear-head: High-end gear gear.
Price range: $125+

But wait, there’s more! We’ve got a few Book Fetish posts that speak to your needs as well. For example, this one is entirely composed of Game of Thrones lingerie options. And for your comics-loving friends and relatives, a special edition.


Happy holidays, and may the shopping odds be ever in your favor!

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