Christmas Gift Guide: Beautiful books and hardback collector’s editions

By ·November 29, 2016 4:15 pm

Christmas is fast approaching and if you’re anything like me you’ll have no idea what to buy your loved ones, it’s nearly December and I still don’t know what to buy my sisters. What I do know is books and in that department I can help you out. As an avid reader I’ve come to love and cherish glorious deluxe editions of my favourite books and beautiful yet informative coffee-table books and that’s what I’m bringing you in this guide.

If you’re looking to buy for a fan of science-fiction and fantasy, comics or retro gaming, this is the Christmas gift guide you’ll need. You will find a mix of quality coffee-table books and illustrated collector’s editions of seminal science-fiction and fantasy novels. All of the suggestions in this guide were published or re-released this year and are items I’ve coveted or personally bought.

Even if you fail to find anything of interest in this guide, I highly recommend that you check out everything The Folio Society has to offer. Three of their books are featured below and like the entirety of their range, they are high quality editions of classic books. Most of the range they offer feature beautiful illustrations that were commissioned just for their books. From Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne to The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill and even the science-fiction novels we feature below, they have something to offer for fans of books.

Disclosure: Some of the items presented in this gift guide were sent to us by brands and publicists to review for the sole purpose of inclusion in our guides. However all of views are our own and we have only included the products that we believe in and would’ve bought for ourselves or loved to receive as gifts. Being sent a review sample was and is in no way a guaranteed entry into our gift guides and suggestions.

All of the items in this gift guide are ordered from cheapest to most expensive and then alphabetized should there be any duplicate prices. All prices listed in the guide are for the item’s RRP in GBP, this is to ensure consistent pricing and to avoid misinformation because a discount ended or similar. In most instances we have linked directly to the brand or supplier for you to find out more information about the item and for you to purchase. We honestly recommend that you shop around for your gifts as some of the items listed in this guide had heavy discounts (50% or over) at the time of publication.

Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One From The Topps Company, Lucasfilm Ltd and Gary Gerani

For the first time ever, you can find all of Topps’ classic Star Wars cards reprinted in book form.

With the release of the original Star Wars, Topps’ had the foresight to release over 300 trading cards across 5 series featuring movie facts, plot summaries, actor profiles and puzzle cards; and you can find every card (front and back) immortalized within this tome.

Marvel: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know From DK

Fantastic facts, incredible info and uncanny trivia about the Super Heroes and villains of the Marvel Comics Universe.

Marvel Absolutely Everything You Need to Know is packed with fun facts, bizarre-but-true tales and quirky insights in everyone’s favourite Marvel comic characters, including The Avengers, Spider-Man and Daredevil. Discover why the Hulk comes in three different varieties – green, grey and red, and how a frog once gained Thor’s powers!

LEGO Alien Project From The Arvo Brothers

Inspired by the works of geniuses H.R. Giger and Ron Cobb, the Alien project presented the Arvo Brothers (Ramon & Amador Alfaro Marcilla) with an opportunity to build one of the greatest icons of fantasy art out of LEGO.

This 220 page book includes detailed, step-to-step instructions on how to build the model, together with comments, pictures and insight from the brothers.

You can view a gallery of the completed Alien model here and you can also read a review of the book here on the Brothers Brick LEGO fan site.

Playing With Power: Nintendo NES Classics From DK

Playing with Power: Nintendo NES Classics will cover complete strategy for many classic NES games as well as content from the popular Nintendo Power magazine of the time.

  • Retrospective on 17 NES classics-including Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda.
  • Interviews and commentary from Nintendo visionaries.
  • Vintage advertising and excerpts from Nintendo Power back issues.

Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection From Bitmap Books

Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection is a compilation of Japanese game packaging for Nintendo’s Super Famicom console, professionally shot and presented as a glorious hardback edition.

The book features around 250 titles, including many rare examples and some that have never before been documented in print. Sourced from the archives of renowned collector, Stuart Brett (aka Super Famicom Guy), each box is beautifully presented life-size, with a critique of the artwork, plus interviews with other collectors, explaining their love of the format.

2001: A Space Odyssey - Illustrated Edition From The Folio Society

Every bit as ambitious and prophetic as the film that shared its inception, Arthur C. Clarke’s novel remains a towering science-fiction classic. This is the first illustrated edition.

This edition includes the foreword written jointly by Clarke and Kubrick, as well as Clarke’s ‘Back to 2001’ preface written in 1989.For this first illustrated edition, Joe Wilson has contributed seven colour illustrations that capture the book’s vision of 2001’s remarkable future, while the binding shimmers with holographic foil.

I, Robot - Illustrated Collector's Hardback From The Folio Society

Hugely influential in both the science-fiction genre and the world of robotics, Asimov’s short stories are beautifully illustrated by Alex Wells in this stunning Hardback edition.

Featuring an introduction by Daniel H. Wilson, the author of Robopocalypse, this collector’s edition is the perfect gift for fans of classic science-fiction. Even if this book isn’t for you to gift, it’s worth heading over to The Folio Society’s site just to check out this books beautiful illustrations.

A Game of Thrones - 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition

This illustrated edition of A Game of Thrones was released earlier this year for the 20th anniversary of it’s release. The gilded hardcover edition of George R. R. Martin’s first entry into his A Song of Ice and Fire series boasts a whopping 73 illustrations to head off each chapter, plus eight richly detailed colour plates.

You can view some of the beautiful illustrations and colour plates from this edition in this glowing review from Amazon and from this early preview Vanity Fair published in September.

Star Wars: Complete Locations From DK & Lucasfilm Ltd

Discover all the locations and film settings featured in the entire Star Wars saga. Incredible inside looks at the Star Wars world make this a must-have for any avid Star Wars fan, and show the Star Wars universe in more detail than ever before.

With an incredible range of location cross-sections, illustrations, and photographs, Star Wars: Complete Locations is the essential guide for anyone wanting to find their way around the galaxy far, far away.

Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series

In 1986, James Cameron’s Aliens brought to theatres the horrors of a new kind of war against a terrifying enemy. Two years later, Dark Horse Comics released a direct follow-up to the events in the film. Years before any talk of a third Alien film, the comics series took fandom by storm, selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

Thirty years later, Dark Horse is still a valued partner of 20th Century Fox and joins them in celebrating the anniversary of Aliens with the release of this oversize collection of the original comics series.

World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1

Journey through an age of myth and legend, long before the Horde and the Alliance. This definitive tome reveals untold stories about the birth of the cosmos, the rise of ancient empires, and the forces that shaped Azeroth. Featuring original art, this is the first in a multipart series exploring the rich lore of the Warcraft universe, from the distant past to the modern era.

  • Featuring over twenty full-page illustrations by fan favorite Peter Lee!
  • Must-read companion to the Warcraft series.
  • Never-before-revealed secrets of the Warcraft universe!

Star Trek: The Classic Episodes - Leatherbound Edition From Barnes & Noble

This anthology collects 45 classic episodes that aired in the series’ first three seasons.

Adapted by James Blish and J. A. Lawrence from scripts by Robert Bloch, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson and other leading science-fiction writers, they include: ‘Amok Time’, ‘The Doomsday Machine’, ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’ and Hugo Award winners, ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ and ‘The Menagerie’.

Dune - 50th Anniversary Illustrated Edition From The Folio Society

Illustrated by award-winning artist Sam Weber, a collector’s edition of Frank Herbert’s phenomenal tale of far-future desert warriors, fallible messiahs and interplanetary intrigue. Published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world’s best-selling science-fiction title.

This collector’s edition is presented in a mesmerizing pictorial slipcase, an endpaper map and even features appendixes exploring the religions and ecology of Dune.

The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future

The Star Trek Encyclopedia is the go-to source for everything related to the franchise’s canon. Packed with highly detailed information from the original series all the way up to and including the Star Trek: Into Darkness film.

Recently revised for the 50th anniversary of the classic show, this two-volume encyclopedia features a completely new design, stunning new full-color photographs and illustrations, and 300 pages of new entries, packaged in a specially designed deluxe slipcase.

Watchmen: Collectors Edition Box Set

The bestselling graphic novel of all time is back in a new, 12-volume box set collector’s edition at DC’s Deluxe Edition trim size, just in time for the series’ 30th anniversary!

It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane-or has he in fact uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover will shock them to their very core and change the face of the planet!

That wraps up our Christmas gift guide for beautiful books and hardback collector’s editions, did any of these items appeal to you? Would they make a good present for someone you know? Do let us know in the comments below and if you need any more gift suggestions just hit the “Christmas Gift Guide 2016” link below to view our other guides. Peace out and happy holidays!

Written by Michael James Ilett


Michael James is the nerd that recites! He founded this site with the intention of building a one stop entertainment site for all of the nerdy things he loves in life.

Michael can often be found building LEGO, playing Civilization V and World of Warcraft, watching Sci-Fi and continuing to wait for “The Winds of Winter” to be released.

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