Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.
Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is best described as a book for the beginner geek, or a book you’d give to a friend or family member who just doesn’t get your geek culture. The first half of the book is dedicated to introduction some basic fandoms, tenets of fanfiction (including terminology), and what can more or less be described as a rather expanded version of my How to Convention Guide. It’s going to seem like old hat to anyone who has been around for a while.
The second half of the book features a discussion of feminism, provides some recommendations for kick-ass female characters and offers various resources for all things fannish. This part is going to be of use to a larger part of the fan base; as she does make some more obscure choices here and the resources are nice, but again, fans who have been around for a while have probably seen what she has said in terms of the feminism argument. That said, I do think that relying so heavily on this aspect does limit this book some because not everyone is only going to be interested in kick ass female characters. This may get my feminist card revoked, but I still prefer the boys to the girls. Just because I’m pissed that Black Widow gets hosed in the toy department because Disney still has backward thoughts that girls don’t want to play with action figures doesn’t mean that I sit through every movie wondering if it passes the Bechdel test. I’m not going to be the only one who thinks this way. I completely understand why she went the direction she did, but still, a small section at least (if you want to keep a theme, why not guys who support kick ass women as they are?) would have nice.
Finally, there are some short interviews from various female figures in media that may or may not be of interest to you; it’s definitely the most “Your Mileage May Vary” part of the book.
Overall, I think this book does set out to do what it intended: it’s a loving introduction to the world of being a fangirl conveniently collected in one place. Fans who have been around for longer would probably be better served just using your Google-fu to seek out the specific information you need.
Verdict: Borrow It
Available: May 12th
A note on formatting: this book does have a fair number of pictures in it. If you’re going to read on a Paperwhite, you may want to double-check that the book has been formatted properly for this device by downloading a sample first. I mention this as it displayed properly on my 7″ tablet. I am optimistic that it is simply an eARC issue, but as I’ve purchased books before where this wasn’t fixed until after release date, it is something that I wanted to bring up.