Each week through December, we’re giving you a few ideas for the nerd on your shopping list who stubbornly has everything. Think of it like an advent calendar of geekiness. Only less chocolatey and not as punctual.
Here’s the first batch of recommendations. And here are the next three:
Ender’s Game is the story of a brilliant boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, who is sent to Battle School with a bunch of other young geniuses to save the human race from aliens who have already attacked Earth and are certain to be coming back for more. Orson Scott Card’s masterpiece is beloved by adults and children alike. I received it as a Christmas present from my older brother, and I’ve since given that copy away as a gift and bought several others for friends. And my current copy is on loan to a colleague’s daughter. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to — no, need to — share it almost as soon as you’ve put it down.
In true epic sci-fi fashion, there is a host of sequels: the newly released Ender in Exile, plus Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow of the Giant, Shadow Puppets, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind.
For the first time ever, Card’s novel has been adapted into another medium: comics. Marvel Comics started publishing the limited series Ender’s Game: Battle School in October. A free preview is available online through November. A follow-up, Ender’s Shadow: Battle School starts in December.
A movie has been in the words for years but has yet to get off the ground, but a Battle School video game is progressing. Speaking of games …
DVDs: Bender’s Game ($29.99; Blu-ray $39.99)
I’ve read a lot of negative reviews of this third direct-to-DVD Futurama movie. But I enjoyed it immensely. Despite the play on words, there is really no relation to Ender’s Game. In typical Planet Express style, Bender’s Game presents a scenario that’s not so alien — a widespread fuel crisis — and puts a distinctive Matt Groening spin on it. We also see Bender exploring his newfound imagination via Dungeons & Dragons, with fantasy references that go far beyond that venerable roleplaying game to lampoon even the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars movies.
That’s all for this installment. Chime in below and share your shopping list — and your wish list! And stay tuned for our next set of recommendations.