61. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd – Collection edited by Holly Black & Cecil Castelluci
I have to admit I only read the stories by the authors that I’ve already read something else by and the comics (they were by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Hope Larson, I enjoyed them). I eventually plan to purchase this collection, however, and then maybe I’ll get around to the rest of it.
“Secret Identity” – Kelly Link
I adore Kelly Link’s stories. Some of them are a bit on the rambly side for my taste because she doesn’t always concentrate on making the characters seem like whole people…this one was a bit on the rambly side but it was warranted. It’s about a girl who basically pulls a reverse-internet on an older (as in not a minor) author and develops a relationship that can’t pay off. She also manages to get the attention of someone her own age and some snide glances from hotel staff. It was very dreamy, as some of Kelly’s stories tend to be, the dreaminess actually reminded me of the story at the end of Pretty Monsters, which also deals with a bit of an unrequited relationship and has a story within the story element.
“Freak the Geek” – John Green
This was my favorite of the three stories I read. I have all of John Green’s books but I haven’t read any of them yet. I feel bad about that because I have read this story and an article he wrote a very long time ago and when I saw him at a public library in Iowa he had a very sincere voice. I’m pretty sure his books are good. And I might read them. I recommend them all the time despite not having read them to library patrons – but I have good instincts. Anyway, this story was about a friendship that turned a mite toxic when only one of the friends was selected for ridicule at their prep school. They way the two friends speak to each other and bring their friendship issues and possible compromises to light was the highlight and I guess the majority of the content, it was pretty damn funny and I’m always looking for stories that represent female friendship in a very realistic way.
“It’s Just a Jump to the Left” – Libba Bray
Rocky Horror is one of those things that it seems it’s not possible to casually like. And in a way it isn’t. I like it, but I am unwilling to dress up, throw hot dogs, usually I refuse to do the Time Warp, etc. I’m more of an observer than a participant for many reasons. Libba Bray’s story allows the main character to go through a mild crisis of obsession and participation versus growing up. It is an extremely well-written story and Libba Bray is a very smart author. She creates very realistic characters and I enjoy following what they do. Their conflicts and triumphs are earned. This story somewhat reinforces the idea that you can grow up and still enjoy some part of life that others might see as childish or geeky, especially if your pursuit is one that encourages you to be whoever or whatever you are instead of just dreaming about it. It’s a great way to end a collection that’s on the side of being a geek. I will never completely commit myself to anything (beyond adoring Iowa and guinea pigs of course, those things I will never stop being committed to) because I like to enjoy a little bit of everything when it comes to worlds of all things potentially geeky and subcultural.
Also, there’s this: