Books can transport you to strange new worlds—but they can also make your home more beautiful. And it’s the beauty and luxuriousness of nice books that make them such terrific gifts. These gift items will remind your friends and loved ones why they love books to begin with.
We really loved the latest installment of The Expanse series, Nemesis Games, which took the story in places we didn’t think that they’d dare go. Barnes and Noble has been doing a signed books program for a while now, and this edition comes with the signature from both authors, just in time to catch the television series.
Mad Max: Fury Road was one of our absolute favorite movies of 2015, and while we can watch it over and over until our DVD players burn out, there’s just something excellent about movie art books. This book brings us all the designs and concepts that helped support the movie on the big screen, and it’s one of those books that any huge fan of the movie should pick up.
Ready Player One is nerd-crack. It’s full of references and a true reverence for ‘geek’ culture and history. While the book has been out for a while, this $75 limited edition from Subterranean Press is the ultimate edition. With a really brilliant cover, this edition features an introduction from none other than Patrick Rothfuss, and also includes a short piece of Ready Player One fan fiction from Andy Weir, author of The Martian. (The art above is by SharksDen, and is featured in the book.)
We’ve gushed many times this year about the excellent job that The Folio Society has been doing with their books, and their deluxe edition of The Man in the High Castle is no exception. It’s got stunning artwork from Shan Jiang and an introduction from Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s just what you’ll need to read after watching the new Amazon TV show. It’s $54.95 at The Folio Society’s online store.
The Folio Society produced a truly epic edition for Frank Herbert’s Dune earlier this year to commemorate the novel’s 50th anniversary. this edition contains an introduction by Michael Dirda and an afterword by the author’s son, Brian Herbert, alongside the fantastic text and artwork from Sam Weber.The Folio Society’s version is $125 and available here. If that price tag is too steep, Barnes and Noble has a really handsome edition of the novel for $18, whichalso has a fantastic cover.
Video game concept art can be just as compelling as movie art books, if not more so. With the latest installment of the first -erson shooter franchise out in stores, this book covers all of the fantastic artwork and design that went into the game. If you like military SF and power armor, this will be perfect for you.
Caitlin R. Kiernan is one of the best authors out there writing horror and weird/unsettling fiction, and Subterranean Press agrees. This is their second collection of Kiernan’s best, containing her best works from 2004 to 2012, with an introduction by S.T. Joshi. There’s also an additional volume that’s exclusive to the limited edition, which is available here from Subterranean Press for $60.
Similarly, Nancy Kress is one of the best science fiction writers around, and Subterranean Press has put out a collection of her best stuff. These 21 stories look to be absolutely fantastic, and a number of them have earned some of the genre’s highest awards, including the Hugo and Nebula Awards.
Dune wasn’t the only book to hit the half-century mark recently. Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time also celebrated 50 years in print, and Barnes and Noble has collected the trilogy (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet) all in one leather-bound edition. This looks like a really fantastic omnibus for fans of the trilogy, new and old, and it’s quite reasonably priced at $18..
Will Eisner is one of the greatest cartoonists in history, and this new collection helps to showcase his work. Historian Paul Levitz has collected some of his best work in this edition, along with some unpublished cartoons and raw materials from his family’s archives, plus interviews with notable cartoonists who were inspired by the man.
You’ve probably come across Dave Seeley’s artwork on the covers of any number of science fiction books. Now, Insight Editions has produced an art book that compiles Seeley’s most eye-catching works in one handsome edition.
Star Wars has always had some of the greatest concept art around, from Ralph McQuarrie onwards. Even the unused designs from the past movies are frequently unbelievable. So, with The Force Awakens bearing down on us this December, there’s little doubt that this will be one special book that showcases all of the movie’s fantastic artwork.
Magician, swordsman, immortal—Kane was cursed by a mad god to wander the earth forever, but his misfortunate made for some stellar fantasy pulp stories. Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane tales have been collected together into a series of five volumes—three with the main novels of the sequence, with the other two containing Wagner’s short stories—in this gorgeous collected edition ($350) from Centipede Press.
Totally head over heels for Game of Thrones? Are your paperback editions of the novels getting tattered and dog-eared? Bantam has released a special edition of the entire series with leather covers in a handsome box. George R. R. Martin’s acclaimed fantasy series has never looked better!
A couple of years ago, Simon Stålenhag started gaining notoriety when he began posting some of his fantastic artwork to the internet. A crowdfunding campaign followed earlier this year, and now a collected edition of his work is available. We can’t wait to get our hands on it!
Even with all the other amazing editions the Folio Society has produced this year, none have gotten me as excited as their edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. This edition comes with some amazing illustrations from David Lupton, and an introduction from novelist David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas / Bone Clocks). A Wizard of Earthsea is one of the seminal classics of fantasy literature, and it’s a must-read even without the fancy edition—but this fancy edition is the one to get. It’s available here from the Folio Society for $52.95.