Gifts for the Geeky: Procrastinators’ edition

Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Well, now you’ve done it. You’ve waited until the very last minute to find a Christmas or Hanukkah gift for the nerdiest person you know. It’s too late to order something meaningful, and the stores will be packed so you don’t want to wander aimlessly. You need a plan.

Nerdvana to the rescue! For more than a month now I’ve been bringing you Gifts for the Geeky, a series of articles aimed at helping you make this holiday season the best your nerdy friends and family members ever had.

Below are a few suggestions from that series, and then some, that might not be too hard to find at the 11th hour. Good hunting!

FOR THE GAMER GEEK

Nintendo DS Lite Nerf Armor

Let’s face it: Gamers are tricky to buy for because they can’t stand to wait for the latest release. We line up at midnight! And we often take our portable gaming systems with us to these dodgy affairs. Enter Nintendo DS Lite Nerf Armor. For $15 you get a soft Nerf shell that keeps your DS safe even when dropped on a hard surface … repeatedly. Trust me, this is also great for homes with young children who are drawn to their siblings’ (and parents’) favorite gaming gadget. And this protective peripheral is available in many different colors.

More in gaming: Nintendo | Xbox 360 | PlayStation 3 & PSP | PC

This photo released by SoHo Press shows the cover of "The Elfish Gene," by Mark Barrowcliffe.(AP Photo/SoHo Press)

FOR THE ROLEPLAYING GEEK

At a time when Dungeons & Dragons is about as mainstream as it’s ever going to get, it’s hard to forget that the mere mention of the game would brand you a virgin for life at least and a witch at worst. British journalist Mark Barrowcliffe recounts his youth as one of the first boys to fall under its spell in his memoir The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange. It’s not pretty, but it’s self-deprecating and witty without being too cruel, and its cover, inspired by a D&D character sheet, will fit right in on your favorite roleplayer’s gaming shelf. The book costs $25.

Read more gift ideas for the dragonslayer who has everything here and more books here.

FOR THE COMIC BOOK GEEK

Watchmen

The film adaptation of Watchmen is easily the most anticipated event of early 2009 after the inauguration. That is, provided an 11th-hour legal challenge from Fox over the motion picture rights doesn’t derail the whole thing.

Whatever happens there, this groundbreaking late ’80s graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons belongs on any self-respecting geek’s bookshelf. A new softcover copy will set you back $20; if you think the person in question might already have Watchmen, you could go for the $75 “Absolute Edition.” Or, you could opt for a gift certificate at Atomic Comics (locations Valleywide) or a membership to Phoenix Comicon 2009 at the Mesa Convention Center.

FOR THE BOOK LOVER

Many geeks remain kids at heart. Why else would the Harry Potter series accumulate such a fannish zeal? Real estate attorney Edward Chupack has taken the childhood wonder of reading Treasure Island to his son and turned it into a novel, Silver: My Own Tale As Written by Me With a Goodly Amount of Murder, which is that story told from the villain’s point of view. Long John Silver’s personal story becomes a rousing adventure yarn and a riveting mystery that packs in meticulous research on real pirates and their place in history. Arrr!

Read more on books in Nerdvana.

FOR THE MOVIE BUFF

A little arthouse movie came out this year. It’s called The Dark Knight. Seriously, though, it blew audiences away. And it’s out on DVD and Blu-ray now. I cannot emphasize this enough: THIS BATMAN-JOKER TOUR DE FORCE BELONGS IN YOUR COLLECTION. If you haven’t already, give it as a gift to yourself if not someone else. It’s also coming out on the big screen again next month in a last push for Oscar consideration — and movie gift cards can never go amiss.

Star Wars The Clone Wars Book from DK and Lucas Books by Jason Fry

FOR THE ‘STAR WARS’ GEEK

With the economy as lousy as it is, a gift of food is not just a gift from the heart — it’s practical. Show your Jedi you care by cooking them a pot of “Yoda’s Incredible Herb Stew” as seen in The Empire Strikes Back.

Or you could buy them this beautifully illustrated Star Wars — The Clone Wars Visual Guide for just $20 in hardcover. The best action and scenery from the movie and the new series leap off the sweeping layout of its colorful coffee-table-book pages.

FOR THE TREKKER

“Star Trek: The Exhibition” at the Arizona Science Center should be on any fan’s to-do list. And there’s enough there to keep any true fan entertained even if he or she has already seen it once or more. I mean, can sitting in Captain Picard’s command chair on the bridge of the Enterprise-D ever get old? Tickets cost $16 to $20, and the exhibit runs through May 10 at 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix.

MORE IDEAS

Read this article as it appeared in print in the Tribune (PDF)

You can read previous installments of Gifts for the Geeky here. But what are you doing still plunked down in front of a computer screen? You’re running out of time! Shoo!