Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy - Sam Maggs

Title: The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
Author: Sam Maggs
Publisher: Quirk Books, 2015 (Hardcover)
Length: 207 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Adult; Nonfiction
Started: May 12, 2015
Finished: May 13, 2015

From the inside cover:

This handy little guide to the geek life is filled with everything a savvy fangirl needs to know, including:

  • How to make nerdy friends
  • How to rock awesome cosplay
  • How to write fanfic with feels
  • How to defeat internet trolls
  • How to attend your first con
And more! Plus, insightful interviews with fangirl faves, like Jane Espenson, Erin Morgenstern, Kate Beaton, Ashley Eckstein, Laura Vandervoot, Beth Revis, Kate Leth, and many others. It's good to be a geek!

My husband pre-ordered this for me for Mother's Day (brownie points for hubby) because I'm a big fangirl and have been since childhood. My main fandoms are anime/manga, YA books, and Disney; with additional minor ones like Dr. Who, Sherlock, gaming, comics etc. I actively feed the fandom amongst my students too, I got some major looks from some of them when I wished the classes a happy Star Wars Day and offered them stickers, but the geeky ones appreciated it.

My husband picked this up because the author is also the editor for The Mary Sue, a geeky pop culture site with an awesome feminist edge (plus the author is Canadian, yay!). This book is a great little introduction to fandom in general for girls and women just starting to discover what they like. The book is divided into 4 sections: general info on geek culture (the fandoms, the unique language, etc.), online fandom communities, everything about conventions, and geek girl feminism. Since I'm not a complete newbie and attended my first convention almost 15 years ago, the part of the book that really appealed to me was the chapter on feminism. Geek culture isn't the most welcoming towards women, it wasn't when I was a teenager and it still isn't now, though it is getting better. The chapter gives you the skills to critique the media you consume, like if it passes the Bechdel test, and how to call out something that's misogynistic. Plus, there is an awesome little geek girl manifesto included that is just pure awesomeness, especially the part about being the Doctor and not a companion (that always bugged me):

Buy this for every geeky female you know, especially the young and emerging ones that need some guidance.

Thoughts on the cover:
Love it. Plus, can I say how happy I was that the character is drawn with larger hips, thighs, and calves? 

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