Brief synopsis: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is a handbook for girl geeks everywhere. Split into four chapters that cover everything from how to battle trolls (of the online ilk) to what to bring to your first convention to interviews with real life girl geeks and role models, this book will turn you into a geek feminist if you aren’t one already.
Rating: Island collection
Long story short: Sam Maggs does a great job of welcoming a n00b to the wonders of Geekdom. The book has an introduction to some of the major fandoms (SuperWhoLockians, Trekkies, Potterheads, Whedonites, etc) and definitions of common geek speak (feels, glomp, MY BODY IS READY!!, shipping and OTPs, etc); how to be an active online participant in your fandom(s), including how to start writing your own fanfiction; the do’s and don’t’s of convention-going; and lastly how you can and why you should be a feminist geek.
And then, just when I thought the book couldn’t get any cooler, each chapter contains short interviews with fangirl role models like Jill Pantozzi (editor-in-chief of the mary Sue), Jamie Broadnax (creator of Black Girl Nerds), and Laura Vandervoort (star of V, Smallville, and Syfy’s Bitten). How awesome is that??
I really enjoyed this book, not only because of what it said but how Maggs said it. Her voice is funny yet totally no-nonsense. She is somebody I’d love to have on my side whether I’m out smashing the patriarchy or need a partner for Super Smash Brothers. She makes it clear that sexism, gender discrimination, and misogyny have no place anywhere, and that it’s everybody’s fight, not only for those who identify as female. So if you’re a guy/girl and think there’s nothing you could possibly get out of this, I urge you to give it a chance. It will surprise you.
Keep reading if you’re interested in a more in-depth review! Feel free to share your geek cred by commenting and telling us which fandoms you identify with the most, your favorite OTP and worst NOTP, and a memorable convention you’ve attended 😀
Long story long: Maggs proudly declares, “I am a geek girl and I am a feminist.” In the time it took me to read those words (two seconds), I was completely and utterly hooked. Finally, a book meant for me! A nerd who wants equal rights and opportunities for all genders! Someone who doesn’t think the word “fangirl” should be an insult! It was a magical moment indeed.
Gender and sexuality are contentious topics in today’s society, but they allude to conversations that need to take place in order to make communities safe homes for everyone. I particularly liked The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy because it showed that feminism and geekiness are not mutually exclusive.
Maggs starts her book by explaining why she considers herself a fangirl: “More often than not, people hit me with that word in a derogatory way. They use it to make me feel devalued, unintelligent, and immature. And you know what? They couldn’t be more wrong. Being a fangirl is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
I thought that was a wonderful way to reclaim the word “fangirl” and use it to encourage young girls and women who may have been told that they didn’t belong in the world of comic books, video games, and superheroes.
What do you geeks think?