The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Sam Maggs

May 7, 2015 Book Reviews, Books 0


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs | May 2015 | Quirk Books | Hardcover $15.95

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.

This review is based on an e-ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

This is such a fun book!

It’s kind of like a “primer” for newbie fangirls. It covers a lot of the basics, like popular terms (“canon” and “shipping”), getting started with cosplay, and navigating fanfic. I admit that my initial reaction was duh, I already know this, but (1) I would probably have been grateful for a book like this when I was but a wee baby geek, and (2) an older, grumpy, set-in-her-ways geek is maybe not the target audience. And after all… It’s just a book; I should really just relax. ^__^

For example, the “Let Your Geek Flag Fly” chapter is all about ways to incorporate fandom stuff into your everyday life, This can be anything from buying t-shirts from your fav indie comics (n00b level) to hosting a themed film/book prerelease party (intermediate) to getting a symbolic tattoo (hardcore — and yes, this particular section comes with lots of advice and caution).

I really enjoyed all the mini-interviews with various major players in online geek/fandom spheres, especially their bits of advice for geek girls. These are some wise ladies.

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The chapter and section titles are amusing. “[Fandom Intensifies] Geek Girls Online” and “Everyone’s a Critic and So Can You” are perfect examples. This book does cover some serious topics, like sexual harassment at conventions and fangirl feminism, but the whole thing overall is so irreverent and fun that even the difficult stuff doesn’t seem so scary.

Oh, yeah, and the illustrations are really great, too! I love nonfiction books like this that include creative, topical illustrations scattered throughout. Yeah, I like books with pictures and will absolutely give them extra points, so sue me.

One of my only concerns is that it just won’t stand the test of time. A lot of the pop culture references — current fandoms, fangirl speak, convention conventions (har har c wut I did thar)– are very current… which is great for the immediate success of this book, but might mean it’ll need a reboot about 5 years from now.

Release day May 12!!! That’s next Tuesday, my friends. Go forth and preorder!


Publication information: Maggs, Sam. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy. Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2015. EPUB.
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated, monetarily or otherwise, for reviews of books or other products.

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