She understands that fangirls can be marginalized and unwelcome in the nerd community, and despite recent strides and growing visibility, Sam Maggs couldn’t find a book like this one, so she wrote it.
“Being a geek girl is the best thing ever and here are all the ways you can do more nerdy things that are awesome and don’t ever apologize for it because you are the best person out there and I’m so proud of you and you’re beautiful.”
That’s the message, in one spirited on-and-on sentence fuelled by fangirlness.
Beginning with a playful discussion of the kinds of geeks who might find a place between these pages, the book immediately invites readers to get comfortable with their inner fangirl.
Maybe you don’t want to be a Bookwalker (someone who reads and THEN watches epsiodes of “Game of Thrones” on HBO, as opposed to those who set aside the books and simply enjoy the show).
But maybe you DO want to know where to start watching another TV because you have always yearned to be a Whedonite.
These questions (and more) are answered directly by the author. Want to know the differences between Twitter and Tumblr? Or, how to survive a convention? (Complete with descriptions of some of the larger events in North America.) Trying to pack your Cosplay Emergency Booster Pack? (Don’t forget your safety pins and contact lens solution.) Looking for new sources of fanfic? (Or use the grid provided as inspiration to write your own.)
Scattered throughout are short interviews with a number of prominent fangirls, who also answer a set of salient questions.
Jill Patozzi, for instance, defines being a fangirl: ““We’re all fans of something, but being a fangirl means you’re willing to show it, unabashedly and with great vigor.”
And Tara Platt gives advice to fangirls: ““Be willing to put forth your best version of yourself and don’t let anyone else’s interpretation of who they think you are get in the way of you being you.”
But The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is not just about how to identify and behave; perhaps the most valuable part of the book is that which guides fangirls in misbehaving, in breaking through the stereotypical expectations which threaten to silence fangirls everywhere.
From discussion of the myths of feminism that need busting to lists of recommendations on where to find kick-ass heroines in various media (fictional and otherwise), the Aim to Misbehave section of the book has plenty to offer (especially in conjunction with the general resources, community and online, offered throughout).
Whether your inner fangirl wants to brush up on her acronyms or whether you want to gift a beloved fangirl with a nod of recognition that you understand her kind, Sam Maggs’ book is fun and informative.