Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Review: 'The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy' by Sam Maggs

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl GeeksThis review will be half-review, half-manifesto on the beauty that is the fangirs. The last year or so has seen a rise in awareness of what is affectionately called the fangirl community. And now, we have a book to celebrate ourselves with. Thanks to Netgalley and Quirk Books for providing me with a copy of this book.

Pub. Date: 12/05/2015
Publisher: Quirk Books

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.

The last year or so has really seen the growing understanding of the power behind the fangirl "phenomenon". There are a lot of us out there and we are very passionate. We will come see your films, read your comic books and watch your tv shows religiously. We will also, however, talk about them, analyse them and maybe critique them. As a group, the fangirls hold quite a lot of (buying-) power and yet, strangely, the industry isn't catering to them the way that fanboys are catered to. However, it is books such as these and fun writing such as Sam Maggs that will bring this otherwise relatively under-reported group into the spotlight. Instead of being ridiculed by mass media, this community is being celebrated.

I am a major fangirl myself and as such I was the perfect audience for this book. I got all the in-jokes, although I cringed at some (especially the continued and unnecessary persistence to ridicule the Star Wars Prequels), got all of the references and had no problem with the Tumblr-slang. The Fangirl's Guide is perfect for those like me who are part of the fangirl community and want to be able to revel in it. This book is pure indulgence and utter fun. However, it is also very much limited, in understanding, to the fangirl that is informed. If anyone is looking for a way of understanding what this new group of people is, then The Fangirl's Guide isn't necessarily the book to go to. If anything, its flamboyancy may scare some people away if they don't recognize it as the joy that it represents.

What I enjoyed most about this book was that Maggs constantly emphasized the inclusiveness and openness that makes some online communities so special. Fangirls seem to be very aware not only of feminism but also of marginalization and discrimination overall. Personally I have only ever experienced the positive side of this and it has made me feel very welcoming. To see this side so thoroughly present in The Fangirl's Guide made me very happy. The only down-point to this book is that, as a UK fangirl, the large section on the best conventions to attend missed the mark. Flying to the US for a convention is not as easy as I wish it was and therefore it didn't quite work for me. If it could include some more links to UK conventions it would be even more amazing. I will be using some of Maggs' tips though when I go to Star Wars Celebration next year!

I give this book...

4 Universes!

I loved reading The Fangirls Guide to the Galaxy. Not only is it a really fun read, it is also a sign of the changing of times. Women, as fans and as creators, are being recognized more for their work and input and it's great that this is being celebrated with a book. Sam Maggs' writing style is a lot of fun and I recommend this book to all the fangirls out there!

1 comment:

  1. Yours is the second positive review for this book that I've seen today and as a fellow fangirl, I will DEFINITELY be checking this one out now! I've already headed to Netgalley to request it XD Beautiful review^^ glad you enjoyed this one so much! x