Monday, December 17, 2012

Last-Minute Christmas Ideas! Part 1

Are you stuck for Christmas ideas, and don't know what to get that TV-lovin' friend or family member for Christmas? It's getting pretty close to the 25th, and you know, those malls are overrun with shoppers and you will NEVER find parking. So... maybe it's time to hit the Internets.

Let's start out with some shameless ideas. There's this FANTASTIC series of books (I've been told) by this amazing writer in Canada — Canada, of all places! — about the fascinating and complex TV show Lost. It's called Finding Lost, and the first book covers off seasons 1 and 2, and then there are separate books for each of seasons 3 through 6. You can find all of them online, and most places offer free shipping. Let's just fan them out like a (winning) poker hand, shall we?:

Beautiful, ain't they?
Finding Lost Seasons 1&2
Finding Lost Season 3
Finding Lost Season 4
Finding Lost Season 5
Finding Lost Season 6

And don't take my word for it, check out some of these endorsements!

"Wow, great book! I'll put it here on my shelf and never read it. It'll look pretty."
— pretty much everyone in my family

"You know that show Lost? My daughter writes it."
— my mom

"Meoooooowwwwww..." [translation: Sorry, if I'd known you'd actually written that book, I would have puked on the one next to it]
— my cat

"Reading this series of books on Lost will explain the show in a way you never imagined. You MUST own these books."
— me

Seriously, can you argue with these endorsements?? Just go buy them now. And if you own them, you MUST know someone who doesn't and who is just starting to watch the series. THEY MUST HAVE THEM (see above quotes).

From Lost we move to one of my other favourite shows of the moment, Doctor Who. I'll post soon on my current experience of working through the Classic Series (I'm watching some episodes, not all, and I'm up to Pertwee now). And if you're interested in reading more about the Classic Series yourself, look no further than Robert Smith?'s (the question mark is part of his name) excellent new collection, Outside In. From his vast network of friends and fellow geeks, Robert? somehow cobbled together people who were willing and able to write on one of the 160 stories from Classic Who. (I'm in there as well, writing as a New Series fan watching Classic Who for the very first time, reviewing the Peter Davison story, "The Caves of Androzani.") It's a fantastic collection, with entries written in various formats, featuring 160 different voices. It's as diverse and wonderful as the series itself. And, by getting this book, you help support a small press. The book was officially launched at Chicago TARDIS at the end of November, so it's brand new, and it's the first publication by ATB Publishing. You can only order it directly from their website. The book is $24.95 (well worth the price) and shipping is free within the US, $12 to Canada, and $15 anywhere else.

And keeping to the Doctor Who theme, if you still find Classic Who daunting (and who wouldn't: when they say 160 stories, they're referring to 160 arcs, each containing between 4 and 10 individual episodes, so that's a LOT of viewing), never fear: there's a book devoted to New Series Doctor Who, written by the aforementioned Robert Smith? and his partner in time, Graeme Burk. I was the editor of the book, and I'm very, very proud of the incredible job these two did. (Graeme is the one, by the way, who is currently plying me with the Classic Series DVDs.) This companion (get it?) guide covers each episode from Eccleston to season 6 Matt Smith, with the lovely, lovely, lovely David Tennant in between. Released by ECW Press in April of this year, it's gotten rave reviews, including one from Neil Gaiman (there was much rejoicing on THAT day). For over 400 pages, it's SUPER cheap, and well worth every penny, and then some. You can order it here, among many other places.

And armed with these two books, you'll be a little better versed than my mother, who, when I told her what I really wanted for Christmas was the Doctor Who salt and pepper shaker set, looked it up in her British magazine and said, "Oh yes, it's here! There's a TURDISS and a Day-lick!"


So here are today's suggestions. More tomorrow!

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