I get, sci-fi readers. All you actually want for the holidays is a fully functional android that can be your friend. Or a bionic eye. Or maybe a round-trip ticket to the far reaches of the galaxy. But... those things cost money, and also they mostly don't exist. Wouldn't you rather have a nice present that does exist? Here are a few out-of-this-world gifts for that science fiction reader in your life.
Finding gifts for book lovers can be a perilous activity, after all. They've just read so many dang books. You don't want to use up their valuable shelf space with something they've already read—or worse, something they won't like. Plus, when your book lover is also a huge sci-fi fan, it's doubly hard to find that perfect something. Most science fiction products are all about sci-fi TV and movies. It's easy to find tons of junk that a Star Trek fan will enjoy... but not so easy for a H.G. Wells fan.
So, if you know someone who spends most of their waking hours with their nose in a book, thinking about aliens and the scientific reality of faster-than-light travel, then this is the gift list for you:
1. "Don't Panic" Towels
Do you know where your towel is? Any sci-fi fan with a sense of humor is probably familiar with Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. These towels are embroidered with the guide's slogan, "Don't Panic!" as well as a galactic hitchhiker's thumb, for all your extra-terrestrial travels.
2. War of the Worlds Necktie
Who doesn't love a tripod? If you know an old-school sci-fi fan who likes to rock the occasional necktie, gift them this H.G. Wells tie, complete with quotes and giant Martian tripods destroying a city.
3. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Journal
If you know a science fiction reader who also likes to write, then obviously they need this journal made out of a recycled copy of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The journal includes the first and last chapter of the actual book, with illustrations and blank pages for starting your own story in between.
4. "So it goes" Print
Kurt Vonnegut never liked that his work was labeled as science fiction... but you put a bunch of aliens in your book, Kurt. So it goes. This print captures Vonnegut's infamous quote from Slaughterhouse Five, perfect for hanging on the wall and inspiring ennui in any house guests.
5. Litograph Shirt
Yes, that is the actual text of the book Feed printed on a shirt, and yes, Litographs belong in every English major's wardrobe. Not to mention the beautifully creepy design. Feed isn't the only sci-fi novel to get the Litographs treatment either: you can find the works of Shelley, Wells, Vonnegut, and Verne in shirt and bag form, too.
6. Women of Wonder
It's true: women write science fiction! The Women of Wonder series spans several eras of sci-fi, collecting the best short fiction from female science fiction authors, including Octavia Butler, Connie Willis, Angela Carter, and many more. Gift it to any men and women in your life who love quality science fiction.
7. Mockingjay Necklace
Every self-respecting fan of the dystopia genre needs a Mockingjay necklace. If you know a die-hard tribute, they'll surely appreciate this silver-plated pendent. How else can they hope to make it through the Hunger Games alive?
8. Bad Astronomy by Philip Plait
Sci-fi readers like crazy nonsense about space, sure. But what do they like even more than reading about nonsense? Explaining to their long-suffering friends why that nonsense about space is wrong. If you know someone who's always pointing out that there's no sound in space, give them Bad Astronomy, the book that thoroughly debunks the pop culture version of space and space travel.
9. The Geeky Chef Cookbook by Cassandra Reeder
OK, so this cookbook is guilty of lumping sci-fi and fantasy together a bit, but the recipes are wonderfully nerdy (and look legitimately delicious). Learn how to make Klah from The Dragonriders of Pern, Moloko Plus from A Clockwork Orange, lamb stew from The Hunger Games, and much, much more.
10. Sci-fi Book Purse
Is it irresponsible to spend all my money on various book purses? They're just so beautiful, and they're recycling old books for a brilliant new cause. Plus, who doesn't want to walk around with a handbag depicting the fall of humankind in the face of alien invaders?
11. UFO Bookends
At the end of the day, we're all just trying to keep our books from falling off the shelf and crushing us in the night. This set of handmade bookends is a beautiful, funny, minimalist nod to the sci-fi genre, ideal for the sci-fi fan who likes a classy bookshelf.
12. Exoplanet Travel Posters
Do you know someone who dreams of traveling to far-off stars? Give them a set of beautiful "travel" posters, advertising exoplanets far beyond our solar system. Each poster has a retro design, and pokes fun at the actual science of distant planets.
13. Brain Specimen Coasters
Of course, not all sci-fi is about exploring the outer reaches of space. There's plenty to do with cutting up brains, too. If you know any mad scientists, give them this cool, kind of gross set of brain coasters, so they can practice slicing up a human brain with minimal mess.
14. Jules Verne Flask
Even inventors and explorers of strange new worlds need a pick-me-up. Now they can strap on their leather holster and pretend to be aboard the Nautilus while getting tanked.
Capt. Jules's Everlasting Steampunk Flask, $20, Think Geek
15. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame edited by Robert Silverbeg
I mean, what does a sci-fi reader love more than reading sci-fi? If they don't own any volume of The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, you need to fix that. This series collects the most inventive, memorable, and groundbreaking science fiction, from 1929 onward. The perfect gift for the sci-fi completist.