GeekOut

Our geekiest gifts this holiday season

'Tis the season for geeky gifts, and there are certainly plenty of them out there. It's been a happy holiday for your friendly neighborhood CNN Geek Out staff, and we'd like to share with you some of our favorite things received this year.

Nikki Rau-Baker:

This Christmas was another good one for me as I received some fairly geeky gifts.

A must for anyone gearing up for the upcoming big-screen version of The Hobbit: "The History of The Hobbit" by John D. Rateliff, covers the beginnings of The Hobbit with such tidbits of information as the original names of the dwarves and the shocking revelation that the leader was initially called Gandalf.

The Chillbots ice cube tray makes me happy as I listen to the tinkling of the robots in my glass.They’re a party hit!

As I prepare my glass of blue milk to go with dinner nothing says “I might kill you over dessert” like lighting candles in my lightsaber candlestick holders. The weight of these really could knock someone out if you decide to get into a dual after your meal, but I won’t endorse that sort of vicious behavior.

Christian Sager:

It's after the apocalypse. Humanity's evolved beyond the skin and bones we were born with. Have you ever wanted to put your mind in a different body? Maybe one with improved physical capabilities? Or a different gender? What about a robot? Or even a octopus? All this and more is possible in the unique roleplaying game "Eclipse Phase," published by Posthuman Studios. My favorite gift this season was the almost 400 page Core Rulebook for this game of science fiction, conspiracy and horror.

This book begins with a compelling short story that immerses the reader in the "Eclipse Phase" mythos and immediately leads you into a full description of its unique setting and culture. The game isn't as hack n' slash as other tabletop RPGs and encourages in-depth roleplaying from its players, including backgrounds, motivations and concepts to encourage group storytelling. This is hard sci-fi, featuring morph bodies, psionic powers, a "Matrix"-like virtual reality, space travel and alien incursions. Best of all, Posthuman Studios has published it under a Creative Commons license that allows fans to share or re-work the book's text and art as long as they follow the license's conditions.

Colette Bennett:

ThinkGeek is known all too well for a love of all things 8-bit themed - in fact, they pulled a joke a few years back by faking out their users with the "8-bit tie", and the response was so great they created the real thing. There's an adorable hair bow too, which will instantly bring back memories of playing Super Nintendo RPGs and looking at that bow at the bottom of your female character's braid.

When I was gifted the 8-bit wreath by a friend, I was honestly surprised ThinkGeek hadn't thought of it sooner – but really glad they did think of it! This homage to old video games will double for a proud badge of your digital geekdom AND make for great holiday decor. And talk about a conversation starter...everyone wants to know where I got it!

Henry Hanks:

It would be so easy for me to say the "Star Wars" Saga Blu-Ray collection, with its hours and hours of extras, and many, many drool-worthy deleted scenes from all six movies.

But, the one that takes the cake are my matching smartphone retro "Captain America" cover and headphones.

It was a big year for Cap, and being a fan of Jack Kirby's art, it really fit the bill.

Ashley Strickland:

This Christmas proved to me that you’re never too old to be excited about gifts, especially geeky ones from the people who know you best! My holiday was split between two favorites: Steampunk and Doctor Who.

For the steampunk within me, it was a real treat to find “The Steampunk Bible” and “Steampunk Gears Gadgets and Gizmos: A Maker’s Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts” under the tree.

And while the Doctor Who Christmas special would have been enough of a gift, I also received the Season Five soundtrack (for an epic commute into work), a TARDIS for my desk and River Song’s Sonic Screwdriver. Hello sweetie, indeed!

Nicole Saidi:

My apartment doesn't have a lot of storage space, so simple things are often best for gifts. That's why I was delighted that Santa brought me a couple of nice things that are geeky and useful, and might even extend the lives of my existing equipment.

My brand-new network adapter - compatible with Wireless-N as well as the WPA2 encryption standard on my new router - will allow me to keep my geriatric PC laptop going a little longer.

New studio and portable headphones are also appreciated. It's amazing how much you can change your digital experience with a simple pair of headphones.

Finally, a good soft-shell smartphone case protects my beloved pocket computer from at least some damage, and does it in style. For me, these items hit the spot without crowding the sleigh. Please tell Santa thank you and let him know that I'm still searching for the perfect corded USB mouse in pretty colors and a few more strings of chili pepper lights.

Larry Frum:

My geekiest gift (out of all the ones I got) would either be the Master's Pocket Watch or the "I (Godzilla) Tokyo" t-shirt. Both made my relatives look at me with raised eyebrows, which means I know they are confused. And I win.