The Literary Horizon: Geektastic, One Con Glory

Part of the joy of being a geek in the twenty-first century is the community the Internet facilitates; I often look at the lady Trekkies who essentially pioneered fandom with no small amount of awe–what they had to do with newsletters and ‘zines, we do with forums and fanfiction. Fandom is a wonderful thing. Today, we’re going to look at two different books that celebrate it–a short story collection and a novel.

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd ed. by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O’Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you’re a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!

I initially encountered this book in Little Shop of Stories, my favorite bookstore; my cousin, visiting for my brother’s wedding, bought it for the flight home. It popped back up on my radar when Fyrefly reviewed it for her blog and a friend of mine picked it up. Alright, I thought, I can take a hint, universe. I mean, look at that line-up of authors–Nix and Westerfield? Sign me up.

Fyrefly over at Fyrefly’s Book Blog quite enjoyed it, especially the little thrill you get from catching a reference to one of your own fandoms, and liked that it was broader fare than your standard speculative fiction geek. Ana over at things mean a lot also enjoyed it, especially how celebratory it was, but really didn’t like “The Truth About Dino Girl”, which asks the audience to sympathize with a character trying to slut-shame another girl. (Fyrefly didn’t like it either.) Like most short story collections, I think the quality will be a bit variable, but hopefully ultimately worth it.

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd was published on August 1, 2009.

One Con Glory by Sarah Kuhn

Diehard fangirl Julie loves Buffy marathons, fighting about comic book continuity, and being left alone.

But more than anything, Julie loves Glory Gilmore, a mostly-forgotten C-List superheroine from the world of ’80s comics.

For years, she’s longed to reclaim the precious Glory action figure that’s eluded her grasp so many times before. And one fateful weekend, she has the chance to do just that.

Of course, no great quest is ever simple. Before she can triumph over the forces of loudmouth nerds and clueless Mundanes everywhere, Julie will have to deal with an avalanche of unexpected obstacles. In the midst of battles for videogame supremacy and frustrating encounters with a supremely irritating TV pretty boy, she’ll be forced to reconsider her fandom and reevaluate her life.

She might even have to talk to people.

via Alert Nerd Press

One Con Glory came to my attention through a review on io9; a geek romcom set at a convention? Do you think I could really resist that? I also love romances where getting your man (or your lady) is not the point; he’s a bonus. (The Princess and the Frog did that, to its eternal credit, and there’s shades of it in Northanger Abbey.) It’s apparently about the love story between a woman and her fandom (and also this dude); sounds like good times.

Because One Con Glory hails from a small press, I wasn’t able to find other book blogger reviews of it. io9 quite enjoyed it, especially how Julie was rendered as a fan; it’s not the trappings that make a fan, but the way they see the world in terms of the media they consume. Esther over at 4thletter! liked it just fine, but thought Julie wasn’t appreciative enough of the circumstances she finds herself in. Because it’s a small press, this is one of the rare books that I would actually have to buy–but I don’t think I would mind it in this case.

One Con Glory was published on August 3, 2010.

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