*Yes, I know it’s past Christmas, but I know what Huns are like. Half of you — okay, half of me — are still giving gifts and will be till January.Besides, I loved this post.-SAH”
Orvan Taurus’s Gift Guide For the Holidays
The ACME Delivery Guide to Holiday Gift Giving
‘Tis the season to promote good cheer. It is said that it is better to give than to receive, but as someone of significant fame once wrote, “Aye, there’s the rub.” The problem is just what to give. Some people are fairly
easy to figure out, for example Speaker to Lab Animals is unlikely to be displeased with a bottle of singe malt scotch. But then there are those diffi.. er, hard to shop for folks.
While I cannot solve all your problems (if I could, you could, ox simple beast, er, creature suited to simple problems) I can offer a few examples that might prove enlightening, or failing that perhaps at least entertaining. Looking at a selection of authors, there are some possibilities.
Rick Boatwright: Mr. Boatwright has written of 1632 Amateur Radio and the use of ‘older’ modern technology in a world where our obsolete is their futuristic, or even fantasy. And the name Boatwright does suggest something at least vaguely nautical, thus a classic ‘boat anchor’ of a radio: A Johnson Viking Valiant. Note: You are not likely to encounter one of these in “New In Box” condition. Expect rust.
Sabrina Chase: Only a submarine will do, not an elephant, nor a mule. Yes, only a submarine will do. And this is not a sandwich, neither. Suggest avoiding the nuclear option in order to keep operating complexity minimal. What submarines have to do with solar physics, I have no idea.
Perhaps transport to a neutrino observatory?
Rick Cook: Mr. Cook the Wizardry series writes, where magic threaded code AND RPN AND meets. Thus a telescope and KIM-1 seem most apt. Take care that you do not attract the attention of gremlins.
David Drake: Mr. Drake, of Hammer’s Slammers ought to get his very own hammer. Not your run of the mill hardware store hammer, no. He ought to have an iridium hammer.
David Friedman: From iridium back to iron(y). Yes, related to that Friedman, so… a “FREE LUNCH” sign – in ancient Norse.
Eric Flint: Mr. Flint who writes the 1632-verse and modeled Grantville after Mannington ought to have the ideal research facility – a residencein Mannington, WV complete with library of all books known to have been in that community as of 1999, or perhaps early 2000. If that is beyond your budget (possible after acquiring that submarine) then the modest complete collection of Eugene V. Debs writings and speeches should do, though youmight wish to quietly check to see if he already has that.
John Ringo: A tank, of course. Though it might be for the best to avoid any equipped with an Artificial Intelligence as the state of the art is still quite primitive. Other equipage is up to you, but in general the guide here is “more.” Also, avoid models that have been nicknamed for cigarette lighters and the like.
Vernor Vinge: Perhaps his very own, personal black hole. Well, it is a kind of singularity. Careful with this one, it cannot be over-emphasized that this gift requires very special handling.
Finally, Elliot Ness, of Mobster Hunter fame… wait. Sorry, glitch in the timestream. Finally, Larry Correia, of Monster Hunter fame is tough one.
While a “minotaur” hide jacket might seem apt, I am rather loath to recommend that considering the sourcing requirements, so perhaps the classic Very Big Gun is the best choice here. There is no excess, so go all the way, and get him the .88 Magnum. Sure, there’s that line from Johnny Dangerously but remember that means it can shoot through other insanely large, tough things, too.
And of course, all authors (and most everyone else) could use a genuine time-bomb. No, not some mere explosive device with a clock operated fuse,> but something that upon detonation would release vast quantities of time. So far, such a device has proven most elusive even in theoretical design.
If you find a way to split the chronon, you might be on to something.