Winter is coming, and so is the barrage of nerdy commentary about that latest Game of Thrones tease. You'll have to wait until April to find out what's happening in the seven kingdoms, but we found some things that could keep your inner nerd satisfied at least until the end of the holiday season. There are cosplay opportunities, scientific explorations galore, and numerous chances to wear those cozy ugly sweaters we all love so much.
Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest
Grab your gear, geeks. Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest is coming to the Valley the weekend of December 4 to December 6. The University of Phoenix stadium will fill with actors from Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Who, and other cult classics that inspire the most extreme of fandoms. There will also be writers, illustrators, cosplayers and directors whose glory is practically begging to be basked in. Passes start at $10. Visit Fan Fest's website for more information.
Lunch & Lit: Dreaming the Biosphere
Biosphere 2 has long prompted questions and research about earth sciences and space colonization. Though it has only had a few successful runs so far and attracts occasional criticism, the establishment is a fascinating look into scientific possibilities. Curator Claire Carter will discuss Rebecca Reider's 2010 book on the laboratory, Dreaming the Biosphere, at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art on Friday, December 4, at noon. Snacks and refreshments will be available. Tickets are $10 or free for Friends of SMoCA. You can find more details on the talk's Facebook page.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
The All Puppet Players, the Valley's premier puppet troupe, will put on a production of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians from December 4 to December 19. The all-puppet remake of the 1964 absurdity in which Martians kidnap Santa will surely add some variety to the old holiday movie rotation you and yours will surely become bored with. Don't let the 2.5 rating of the original film on Rotten Tomatoes scare you off, it was simply meant to be portrayed live by puppets. Find tickets and more information on the Phoenix Theatre's website.
BH Skating Parks, based out of Peoria, has somehow managed to combine the delicate elegance of ice skating with the graceful artistry of anime in their latest venture into live performance. You can see the organizations latest production December 4 through December 6 at the Herberger Theater. Tickets run between $30 and $40. For more information, visit the theatre's website.
Wasted Ink Zine Distro Grand Opening
Zinesters will soon have a new place to gather and share their work as Wasted Ink Zine Distro gets closer to its grand opening. On Sunday, December 6, from 4 to 8 p.m., Marna Kay and Charissa Lucille will welcome local publishers and readers to come in and show off their homemade compilations. The pair's brainchild will feature a small selection of readings to enjoy in-store and an array of local zines to purchase, including Four Chambers Press, Pages Per Content, Death West and more. Attendees can also expect some locally-produced snacks and a mini art show. The shop is located at 2121 West University Drive, Suite 110, in Tempe. You can find more details on the event's Facebook page.
Bill Nye: Your Place in Space
Your favorite science guy and connoisseur of bow ties is coming to ASU's Gammage Theatre on Monday, December 7, and it will only cost you $10 to attend. Bill Nye will put you in your place by telling you exactly where you belong in this vast universe we call home. After the existential yet scientifically sound lecture, Nye will join ASU professors in a panel discussion about commercial space flight and exploration. You can find more information on Facebook, and you can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.
Ultimate Tacky Christmas Party
DeSoto Market will host the tackiest holiday party in the Valley this season on Friday, December 11. Beginning at 6 p.m., you can listen to carolers, exchange ugly ornaments, and take goofy photos in the awkward photo booth, all while enjoying a few hot toddies. Entrance is free, and you can find more information on the event's Facebook page.
Total Recall Double Feature
ASU’s Center for Science and Imagination will present both editions of the sci-fi classic Total Recall on Friday, December 11. That's right, four hours of action-packed sci-fi enjoyment, all at no cost to you. After screening the 1990 and 2012 editions of the film, professors from the center will gather to discuss how their research relates to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Colin Farrell's cerebral and intergalactic adventures. Plus, there's going to be a cash bar. More details are available on Facebook.
A Very Merry Ugly Sweater Urban Walk
Shake off those mothballs and put on your ugliest sweater, because this is your chance to show it off. This Could Be PHX and Walking Phoenix are joining forces to host an early-morning downtown tour of the city. The four-mile walk will go by new developments, historical buildings, and will eventually end at the Phoenix Center for the Arts where you can then enjoy the annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts. The walk is free to participate in, but you can offer a small donation that would go toward the Center for the Arts. The walk will begin at the Burton Barr Library at 8:30 a.m. More details are available at Eventbrite.
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Spend a peaceful afternoon purling and looping with the Desert Knitters on Saturday, December 26, from 2 to 3 p.m. The monthly meeting offers knitters an opportunity to sit, stitch, and discuss all of life's little mysteries, or just different ideas for what they want to knit next. These gatherings are free and open to the public, and are led by instructor and designer Georgia K. Green. Meet at the Desert Broom Library, and make sure you have your own supplies. You can find more information on the library's website.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.