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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy

Title: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
Genre: Non-fiction

Illustrator: Kelly Bastow
Originally Published: May 12, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Quirk Books
ISBN: 978-1-59474-789-2
Source: Purchased

The Story

The Fangirl's Guide to the GalaxyFrom the inner cover flap:

This handy little guide to the geek life is filled with everything a savvy fangirl needs to know, including:

  • How to make nerdy friends
  • How to rock awesome cosplay
  • How to write fanfic with feels
  • How to defeat Internet trolls
  • How to attend your first con

And more! Plus, insightful interviews with fangirl faves, like Jane Espenson, Erin Morgenstern, Kate Beaton, Ashley Eckstein, Laura Vandervoort, Beth Revis, Kate Leth, and many others. It’s good to be a geek!

The Response

I adore Sam Maggs. Seriously, if I could have one geek author online friend person I would want it to be her. She is just so cool. And this book just proves how cool she is.

I really wish this book had been published YEARS ago, because it has some of the greatest information that fangirls should all have when they are just starting out being fangirls. When they’re little adorbs fanbabies just learning the way of fandom. It has different fandom / fanfic / feminist terms. There are descriptions of different types of fandoms. And resources for learning how to cosplay or do geeky crafts or get nerdy news. It’s awesome. Also! Guidelines on how to critique things in media without attacking the creator (which is something that I’ve seen happen with a few newer book bloggers or on Twitter every so often over the past few years). And most importantly – how to survive a con.

The first half of the book was everything I could have hoped for. You could tell that it was written by someone who KNOWS fandom, and who knows what it’s like to be a fangirl (seriously, she talks about the right kind of shoes to wear to a con). Everything is done in such a conversational (and fangirlish) manner that it is very much like you’re having an actual conversation with the author, instead of just reading a book. I felt like this was something that spoke the same language as me, which is always a really awesome feeling. It was like the book GOT me.

The second half of the book I had a harder time getting through – specifically because this is where the chapter on feminism is. Here’s where I ran into a stumbling block – I have always considered myself a feminist. Always. But the past six or so months, I’ve really questioned whether I want to be associated with the extremists. Quite frankly, they scare me, and I’m afraid of how their behaviour is going to affect the whole movement. So, while Maggs never tried to indoctrinate readers into joining the current direction the movement is going, she does use and define a lot of the terms that you see these extremists throw around all the time. But, if I didn’t feel uneasy about some of the way the extremists are acting, I wouldn’t have found this chapter questionable at all (because I believe what they stand for, just not how they are trying to accomplish their results), and I would definitely agree with A LOT of what she put forth. It was good, it was just my own personal bias that made it sit uneasily with me.

But! That was the only part of the book that gave me pause.

The illustrations are wonderful too. The illustrator of the book, Kelly Bastow, is extremely talented and has created illustrations that support and enhance all of the content in the book, making reading it a much more enjoyable. They add the to the wonderful personality that Maggs has already brought to her book.

And I haven’t even spoken about some of the awesome features this book has! Seriously, this is a must-have for fangirls in all stages of their fangirl journey, because with it you get:

  • interviews with awesome fangirls (like Jill Pantozzi, Ashley Eckstein and Kate Beaton)!
  • “the Ultimate Fan Creation Inspiration Generator” to help you create your own original fanfic!
  • where to find other fangirls IRL!
  • the essentials for a con (especially if you need to line up all night)!
  • recommendations of media with awesome female characters
  • OMG so much more!

The Bottom Line

So that’s that. I love this book. Other fangirls should read it. It’s good and wonderful and like fluffy bunnies and sparkly unicorns and kiss ass superhero chicks.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 10:48 pm June 29, 2015.
Category: Non-Fiction
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