My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have to be honest, I picked this up from the library thinking it was a graphic novel because I recognized the cover artist. I was excited because it’s been a long time since they’ve had new ones. Got home and joy tumbled into disappointment. This isn’t a graphic novel. It’s nonfiction, biographical essay by a ton of graphic novel artists and authors (and some from SF/fantasy fiction too). I can’t imagine anything I wanted to read less. I dislike biographies. However, one of my reading challenges was to read something ‘not for me,’ and it was about geek girls so I read it. The rating I gave this was based more on the presentation and the sheer depth of the authors/artists represented than my actual enjoyment. I didn’t feel it fair to penalize it because it’s not my thing.
When I started reading it I was hoping the ‘secret loves of geek girls’ had to do with what drew them to all things geek, why they liked comics, SF/Fantasy, anime etc. Nope, it’s about their love lives. Wow, I couldn’t care less. Here’s the thing. I’m entirely the wrong audience for this. I’m a geek girl but I’m a couple months shy of being fifty. Do these stories resemble my life growing up as a geek girl? Honestly Yes! Very much so. Does that make me want to read about it? Not hardly. I don’t feel better knowing other people had similar experiences. I’m not that kind of person.
That said, I think there IS value in these stories. It might really help a young geek girl to know she’s not alone. On the other hand, things are a bit different these days, more accepting of the geek than it was when I (and many of the authors in this book) were young. Still, a lot of people don’t think girls belong in geekdom so it is good that there is this representation. Just because I’m not the type to benefit from knowing there is a sisterhood of geeks out there, doesn’t mean there aren’t others (and obviously there are as this was a successful kickstarter) who will benefit. Points to the sad puppies, to gamergate hell even to The Big Bang Theory which I love but continues for a decade now to insist there aren’t girl geeks (getting downright mean about in later years).
So yes, this might be a good thing for a lot of women. Some of it was very nice. It was fun seeing Margaret Atwood doing artwork. I did like Diane McCallum’s 4 fictional happy endings which was what I was hoping this was about (talking more about things geek than what happens between the sheets). I did like that it wasn’t just het relationships showcased here. In fact there are apparently a whole lot of bisexuals and lesbians in this field and it was good to see them not relegated to the shadows.
If you’re a geek who likes biographies you might really enjoy this. If you’re like me who really doesn’t feel the need to know about the details of other people’s lives you might want to give it a pass.
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