It’s that time of year again! It’s now officially acceptable to say the c-word in company (no, not that one) eat chocolate before breakfast from your advent calendar and poach stuff from your mates’ Amazon wishlists to add to your own when you are in fact meant to be shopping for them (other shops are available). But…what if you could make like Jim C Hines’ Isaac, who with his powers of libriomancy can reach into a book and bring something out? What would be on your fantasy Christmas wishlist? Well, we here at Geek Syndicate are here to help!
What is it? Time-Turner
Which book is it from? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling
What’s so cool about it? It gives you the ability to travel back up to 5 hours in the past. It may not sound like much, but in that time you could fit in half a season of Orphan Black, rescue an unfairly maligned Hippogriff, or just catch up on your sleep – and all without any awkward ethical dilemmas about whether or not you should kill baby Hitler. Plus, look how pretty it is! This golden hourglass charm on a necklace will be a hit with your fashion conscious friend.
Perfect for: Stressed parents, stressed students, and people like me who want to stay up all night conquering their to-read pile but also require at least 8 hours sleep to cosplay as an employable adult the next day.
What is it? Dead Boy’s car
Which book is it from? The Nightside series – SR Green
What’s so cool about it? Dead Boy was murdered as a teen and made a deal to possess his own body to avenge his death. He obviously isn’t going to be content with a Mondeo. His car is seemingly sentient and chose him from an alternate futuristic timeline. He is happy to let her drive herself and in return, she punishes dangerous drivers with chainsaws and flamethrowers. Capable of warp speed and complete with her own force field, she’s silver and so stylish she doesn’t bother with wheels anymore. She’ll make you look great and save you a packet on car insurance. Not to mention tyres.
Perfect for: Anyone who has regular stressful car journeys surrounded by the kind of people who have never heard of indicators, and making James Bond jealous.
Which book is it from? The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
What’s so cool about it? Before Frodo simply walks into Mordor, proving Boromir and a thousand memes wrong, Galadriel helps the Fellowship of the Ring get tooled up. Her gift to him is a crystal phial filled with starlight: “Let it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” What a drama queen. Still, it’s a great alternative to a smelly candle.
Perfect for: Your mate who moved to that Scandinavian country which is perpetually dark, people who live in the country or Scotland, i.e. places that generally get ignored for ages when there are powercuts, arachnophobes who dread that time of the year in autumn when their homes are suddenly invaded by FREAKING ENORMOUS SPIDERS THAT RUN FASTER THAN USAIN BOLT.
What is it? 3D printer
Which book is it from? Planetfall – Emma Newman
What’s so cool about it? Resident 3D printer engineer Ren is able to print off quite literally anything her space colony needs from equipment to weapons. When new colonist Sung-Soo arrives, Ren prints him a house. And not just any house, but one which is self-sufficient, with fish in the windows and a clear roof to see the sky through. Ok that last bit doesn’t sound quite so appealing in Britain in the winter, but hey. Then Sung-Soo gets to grow his own furniture, which you have to admit sounds way more fun than an afternoon spent deciphering little stick people in what flat pack furniture manufacturers like to fondly refer to as their “instruction books”.
Perfect for: Erm, pretty much everyone in the country, really. What housing crisis?
What is it? Queen Lucy’s cordial
Which book is it from? The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
What’s so cool about it? Father Christmas himself gives Lucy this gift of a diamond cordial filled with “Juice of the fire flowers that grow in the mountains of the sun”, capable of healing people from illness or wounds even if they’re at the brink of death. Unfortunately there aren’t any re-fills available, which we think is frankly shoddy customer service from Father Christmas. If he spent less time keeping judgemental lists, he could probably sort it out. Still, you could always flog the diamond cordial on eBay when you’re done.
Perfect for: Your poorly loved one. No word yet on if the potion also cures terminal stupidity, so probably not worth wasting any on that slightly racist relative you have to see every year at the family do.
What is it? The Merlin Glass
Which book is it from? The Secret Histories series – SR Green
What’s so cool about it? Eddie Drood (galaxy defender in a supernatural James Bond kind of way) uses the Glass as a door to teleport instantly to other locations, although there’s a lot more to it than this one function which has yet to become apparent. Kind of like when you get a new mp3 player which only has one button but you know it does loads of other things if only you could work out how.
Perfect for: Your commuter friend and anyone who travels long distances for work. You cannot underestimate the gift of no more rail replacement services or customs or that guy who thinks sitting next to you on the train is the perfect time to mine for gold in his sinuses.
Which book is it from? The Discworld series – Terry Pratchett
What’s so cool about it? The Luggage is a large chest made of sapient wood (fnar) which can grow lots of little legs on which it can run very quickly. It’s true it’s described as “half suitcase, half homicidal maniac”, but it’s YOUR homicidal maniac. The Luggage is fiercely loyal and protective of its owner and appears to have Time Lord technology in that its inside is far bigger than its outside.
Perfect for: Your mum when she’s about to go on holiday and getting all stressed. The Luggage will eat anyone who tries to mug her, and even if it gets lost is capable of negotiating the Dungeon Dimensions and even Hell to return to her. Plus, she can pack as many spare teabags as she wants.
What is it? Bob the Skull
Which book is it from? The Harry Dresden series – Jim Butcher
What’s so cool about it? Bob is technically a person, albeit one who possesses a skull, but he does seem to get passed around a lot so I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being included on this list. Bob’s described as a “spirit of intellect” but don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s a serious character. He’s essentially Wikipedia, with a side of smartassery and smut jokes. Do not let him out of his skull if you can help it, he tends to cause orgies.
Perfect for: Your inexplicably single mate who lives alone without so much as a cat to talk to. Bob will take on some of their personality which will tone down his wilder side, and your mate gets a flatmate who will never bathroom-block them.
What is it? Babel Fish
Which book is it from? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
What’s so cool about it? We are told that the Babel Fish is “probably the oddest thing in the Universe”, and it’s certainly a contender. A small, yellow, leech-like fish, once put into your ear it feeds on the brainwaves of those around you to produce a telepathic matrix, giving you the ability to understand anything said in any language. It’s not known whether the sobriety of those around you will prevent it working properly, so this may be something to bear in mind at the office Christmas party.
Perfect for: Your mate who wants a career change which will incorporate their desire to see the world, despite never having passed French GCSE, anyone thinking about travelling to other worlds without the Tardis to translate where the nearest loo is.
What is it? BrainPal
Which book is it from? Old Man’s War series – John Scalzi
What’s so cool about it? It’s a neural implant given to the Colonial Defense Forces. This may sound a tad on the military side for your average civilian, but alongside its more weaponised charms, it also allows you to communicate, send and receive data, translate languages, watch TV or read books. It’s all your electronic devices in one and it’ll never need charging! Plus, it uploads important information as you need it, so no need to panic the next time your boss asks you a question in a meeting when you’ve done nothing but daydream about Star Wars.
Perfect for: Your phone addict mate. You know the one. They’re the reason everyone keeps posting pointed memes on Facebook about how people don’t talk to each other anymore.
We’d love to know what would be in your fantasy Christmas wishlist! In the meantime, we hope you have a great break, whatever your faith and however you’re spending it.
Happy holidays from Geek Syndicate!
GS Blogger: Michaela Gray (@bookiesnacksize)