I always find it difficult to review an anthology. Do you review each and every story, or just the work as a whole? The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is 288 pages of 51 diverse anecdotes, essays, comics, and some bits that seem a mix of everything (and more). Some are more expertly done than others, and some fall flat altogether. But there are some wonderful stories and graphic representations of good relationships, failed relationships, and a lot of near relationships. Even more than the love of another, though, the anthology as a whole explores self-love.
I am not really a True Geek Girl™. I don’t like sci-fi, but I do love Firefly, Hitchhiker’s Guide, and feminist sci-fi like Sheri S. Tepper. I’m not a fan of Lord of the Rings, even though I read a lot of other fantasy. I game, but not hard core, I’m not into traditional comic books (webcomics and manga, though?), and I suck at math. I’m more of a misfit than a geek – a bisexual smartypants knitter who loves music no one has heard of, but isn’t particularly hip. Is there an opposite of hip? Whatever that is, that’s probably me.
But most of my friends are geeks, and I pick up enough of the lingo. Warning: you do need the lingo or a geek dictionary (read: Google) for this anthology. And you may need a bit of outsider to you.
Because that’s what this anthology speaks to: the outsider in all of us and the way we struggle with these sharp corners of our personality that don’t seem to fit in the hole of “normal” society. The overall message is clear: you are you, that is okay, and no, you aren’t the only one who doesn’t go through the hole.
I really enjoyed my time with these women, even if I didn’t fall in love with every story.
Oh, and one last thing. If you’ve ever been tempted to use the hashtag #iamtwelve, do yourself a favor, flip to page 149, and read Brandy Dawley’s A Different Kind of Fantasy Roleplay. The innuendo is marvelous.