brainwavez.org 2010 Gift Guide
A brainwavez.org Shopping Feature

By: The brainwavez.org Team on 10 December 2010
Category: Shopping
Tags: #glbti, #horror, #pac-man, #robots, #speculative_fiction, #team_scripticon, #vampires, #zombies
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Here's a roundup of some of our favourite things from the past few years, all of which would make excellent gifts. A few have been reviewed or featured on brainwavez.org but many haven't so, among the familiar, expect some surprises that we think you'll love.

Every year we discuss doing a gift guide and every year we never get around to collating our best of the best because we're too busy working on the next article and there's just never enough time. This year was no different, until late one evening last week when we decided just to get it done as fast as possible - no excuses, just a quick roundup of gifts we'd love to give or receive, which we hope you will find inspiring and useful, whether you're shopping for friends or secretly looking for great gadgets and gear for yourself (we know you are!).

Therefore, brainwavez.org's editors proudly present our first (hopefully annual) Gift Guide: a collection of things we love, things we own, or things we covet.


Robot Zombies! By patrickspens
Robot Zombies! By patrickspens
Shop online Shop Online
Woot USWoot USWoot
(Woot ships worldwide)
Our robotic hero's task is massive - fight off the horde of 478 301 virus-infected robot zombies that have taken over Spark City in order to protect the six remaining humans. Will it succeed in this massive task? We don't know, and buying the T-shirt probably won't help, but it will adorn a proud friend of all (good) robots with awesome! -- MJW South Africa


iPod nano 6th Generation
iPod nano 6th Generation
I'm generally not a fan of Apple's iPods, due to the fact that one is required to use iTunes and must sync the devices, rather than just dragging and dropping MP3s as required, but this incarnation of the iPod nano impressed me with its small size, impressive features, decent battery life, and high-quality multi-touch screen that can be rotated in any direction. -- MJW South Africa


Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated
Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated
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Amazon USAmazon US Amazon.com
Amazon UKAmazon UKAmazon.co.uk
Loot.co.zaLoot.co.zaLoot.co.za

On brainwavez.org On brainwavez.org
Review: Night Of The Livind Dead: Reanimated
All the artists who contributed to Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated volunteered to create original artwork and animation based on their favourite scenes from George A Romero's horror classic, Night Of The Living Dead. The result is an almost-shot-for-shot reinterpretation, a truly chaotic experience, and exactly what you would expect if you were confronted by a horde of zombie ghouls. -- JL United States of America


Africa Lens: 20 Years Of Getaway Photography, Edited By Justin Fox
Africa Lens: 20 Years Of Getaway Photography, Edited By Justin Fox
Getaway is a South African travel magazine that has been published for two decades. This beautiful coffee-table book presents a selection of the best photographs that have been taken by the team, both past and present photojournalists. The book is organised into themes such as "African Portraits" and "Creatures Of The Wild" and, bar an introduction from Justin Fox, the book's editor (and the magazine's current editor at large), there are few words, allowing the pictures, which document Africa and its people, to speak for themselves. -- MJW South Africa


The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset By Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset By Suzanne Collins
One of the most exciting and visceral tales of a dystopian future, the saga begins with Katniss Everdeen volunteering to take her sister's place in the Reaping, the annual ceremony that picks young children for The Hunger Games, a vicious battle to the death in the formidable Arena, where each child represents one of the 12 districts that remain in North America. The two books that follow, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, detail the uprising of the districts against the Capitol. The stories will soon be transposed to the big screen, so I would recommend reading them now to prepare for the cinematic experience. -- JL United States of America


Natalie Merchant: Leave Your Sleep
Natalie Merchant: Leave Your Sleep
Natalie Merchant's first album in seven years is the poetic and artistic Leave Your Sleep, an ensemble of 26 songs, the lyrics of which were written by prolific and not-so-prolific poets of the last two centuries. The album entails Natalie Merchant performing with some 100 guest musicians, and ranges in style from reggae, pop, and calypso to bluegrass and chamber music. Be sure to acquire the two-disc version, which also includes an 80-page book detailing the lives of the eccentric poets, and Natalie's musings on the musical inspiration behind the project. -- JL United States of America


Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel In Letters By Mark Dunn
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel In Letters By Mark Dunn
This book is a parody and features a fictional island where the residents are hyper literate and subject to the whim of the totalitarian High Council's rule. The fascinating journey through Nollop, named after Nevin Nollop, the idolised (fictional) creator of the pangram "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", is quirky and inventive. When a memorial statue of the pangram starts to fall apart and the letters drop to the ground, by High Council law the islanders are not allowed to use the letters in spoken or written language. Subsequently, the letters disappear in the book, and the reader is pulled into the world of the characters. You'll find a nerdy love for words, language, and the processes of language construction in this little novel. -- JL United States of America


Bastard Tongues By Derek Bickerton
Bastard Tongues By Derek Bickerton
This book was recommended to me during a job interview years ago, and it is a fascinating memoir of the accidental career of linguist Derek Bickerton, who proposes a number of theories on the origin of language through careful analysis of Creole languages. You don't need to be a nerdy, super genius to understand Bickerton's arguments; he writes in an approachable, explanatory style, and offers humorous tales of his foibles in far-flung locales while documenting endangered languages. -- JL United States of America


Pac-Man 30th Anniversary Moleskine Notebooks
Pac-Man 30th Anniversary Moleskine Notebooks
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Amazon USAmazon USPac-Man Moleskine Notebooks
Amazon UKAmazon UKPac-Man Moleskine Notebooks
Loot.co.zaLoot.co.zaLoot.co.za
kalahari.net ZAkalahari.net ZAkalahari.net



Shop offline Shop Offline
• In South Africa, get them at The Book Lounge.

More Information
Moleskine: Product Information
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic arcade-game character Pac-Man, Moleskine released a range of limited-edition themed notebooks that include stickers and other cute quirks (on the opening page, as a reward for the safe return of a lost notebook, you can offer "credits"). Pocket and large-size notebooks are available, lined and unlined, as well as a Volant collection of four brightly coloured notebooks with a silver-embossed icon from the game on the cover. -- MJW South Africa


The Cellist Of Sarajevo By Steven Galloway
The Cellist Of Sarajevo By Steven Galloway
Easily the most poetic and powerful book I've read during 2010, Galloway's novel fictionalises the events surrounding the story of Vedran Smailović, a cellist who played every day for 22 days in a Bosnian square where 22 people were killed during a bombing. The four main characters in the book portray the sadness, grief, and fear associated with modern warfare, and the humanity portrayed is stunning. -- JL United States of America


A Pelican's Wish By zerobriant
A Pelican's Wish By zerobriant
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Springleap ZASpringleap ZASpringleap
(Springleap ships worldwide)

More Information
Designer: Zerobriant
Inspired by the recent oil spill in the Gulf, this poignant, hopeful T-Shirt has just won a Springleap open-themed competition. It is currently being printed so stock will be available soon. Preorder it now to make sure you are one of the first people to get one. -- MJW South Africa


Atlas Of Remote Islands (Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On And Never Will) By Judith Schalansky
Atlas Of Remote Islands (Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On And Never Will) By Judith Schalansky
German author Judith Schalansky fell in love with old atlases and shipping routes and, in the process, unearthed and then collated the stories of 50 islands across the globe that are oft-forgotten (sometimes for a good reason). The full-page colour maps depict the islands' topography and geographical features, and a simple paragraph explains, in mystical prose, the quirkiest attributes of each island. She includes the red crab migration of Christmas Island, the plight of the Chagossian people on the political abyss of Diego Garcia, and the mysteries of the moai of Easter Island. -- JL United States of America


Blade Runner Trilogy, 25th Anniversary By Vangelis
Blade Runner Trilogy, 25th Anniversary By Vangelis
This controversial three-disc set was released a few years ago to mark the 25th anniversary of Blade Runner. Obsessive fans complained that not enough of the original score was included (there is still no official definitive score release) while Vangelis fans are particularly fond of the third disc, which contains more modern ambient tracks inspired by the film and some surprise remixes, such as a great reworking of the themes from "Rachel's Song". Disc two is an interesting selection of unreleased and less easily recognisable cues and material. Overall, while not the definitive score that everyone wants, it's still a great compilation and most fans will love it. -- MJW South Africa


Home Away, Edited By Louis Greenberg
Home Away, Edited By Louis Greenberg
Shop online Shop Online
Amazon UKAmazon UKAmazon.co.uk
Loot.co.zaLoot.co.zaLoot.co.za

On brainwavez.org On brainwavez.org
Review: Home Away, Edited By Louis Greenberg
The writers that contributed to Home Away were tasked with writing a short piece that reflects on the nature of what "home" is and how they interpret it. Some stories are endearingly autobiographical, others are wildly inventive and run the gamut from horror to comedy, noir, and science fiction. Some writers stick closely to the brief, others veer wildly off. The result is a wonderful, eclectic compilation of entries by some of South Africa's foremost writers both in the country and living overseas, as well as a few foreign nationals who now call the country home. -- MJW South Africa


The Daywalker By Aled Lewis
The Daywalker By Aled Lewis
Shop online Shop Online
Threadless USThreadless USThreadless
(Threadless ships worldwide)

More Information
Designer: Aled Lewis
"The Daywalker" is designer Aled Lewis' vampire-themed follow-up T-shirt to "The Horde", a zombie-themed T-shirt, both of which feature an apocalyptic, no-hope "last-man-standing" scenario. If you look closely at "The Daywalker" design (you'll have to buy it, of course) you'll see an Easter egg and some clever design elements. -- MJW South Africa


Zoo City By Lauren Beukes
Zoo City By Lauren Beukes
Shop online Shop Online
Amazon USAmazon US Amazon.com
Amazon UKAmazon UKAmazon.co.uk
Loot.co.zaLoot.co.zaLoot.co.za (UK Angry Robot edition)
Loot.co.zaLoot.co.zaLoot.co.za (ZA Jacana/Bonsela edition)
kalahari.net ZAkalahari.net ZAkalahari.net (UK Angry Robot edition)
kalahari.net ZAkalahari.net ZAkalahari.net (ZA Jacana/Bonsela edition)

On brainwavez.org On brainwavez.org
Feature: Designing The Zoo City Cover
Lauren Beukes' second novel throws us deep into the dark side of a near-future Johannesburg in which people who have committed terrible acts receive reprieve from being dragged into The Undertow (Is it hell? Limbo? Purgatory? No one knows). In return they receive an animal familiar that they have to keep alive, or The Undertown will get them, and a magic skill. Zinzi December acquires a sloth and the ability to find lost things, which gets her into deeper trouble when she is forced to take on a case to help a high-profile music producer find a missing client. The story reflects the author's wide range of interests and incredible attention to detail and research, incorporating and fictionalising themes such as the country's refugee problem, 419 scams, and the rise of kwaito megastars. -- MJW South Africa


Apacer Share Steno AC202
Apacer Share Steno AC202
Shop offline Shop Offline
• In South Africa, get it at Computermania, and other IT stores.

More Information
Apacer EMEA: Product Information
The portable Apacer Share Steno AC202 2.5-inch SATA USB hard disk is available in red or black and three capacities (250 GB, 300 GB, 500 GB). The drive supports Windows, Mac OS, and Linux and Windows users also have access to the BackupManager software, which allows you to set up a secure hidden partition to safeguard sensitive data. The device ships with an anti-shock band to assist in absorbing the impact of an accidental drop of up to 90 cm. -- MJW South Africa


Weyland Yutani Corp
Weyland Yutani Corp
Shop online Shop Online
8ball UK8ball UK8ball (Men's)
8ball UK8ball UK8ball (Women's)
(8ball ships worldwide)
Show your misguided allegiance to the all-powerful Weyland-Yutani corporation with a branded T-shirt inspired by the logo that you can see in the Alien movie franchise. The men's T-shirt is available in black, charcoal, navy, and olive and the women's is available in black and navy. -- MJW South Africa



Full disclosure:
• Mandy J Watson is a Springleap Brand Ambassador.
• The South African ("Bonsela") edition of
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes features an excerpt from the brainwavez.org interview with the designer of the cover, Joey Hi-Fi.
Neither of these facts influenced the choice of which products to include in the 2010 Gift Guide.





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