Monday, July 13, 2009

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci

Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr. With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!
While this collection of short stories did have some of my favorite authors, I was not all that impressed. In a hit and miss mentality, there were many that were undeniably misses. However, there were a few bullseyes.

I think they got the target audience all wrong. I'm sixteen and I had a really hard time understanding what in the world these people were even talking about. Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Hmm..that would've been a little scary for me to watch when I was eleven. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (a movie made in 1975 involving transvestites) was another subject that I couldn't follow. And unless you have an extensive knowledge of all things Star Trek, Star Wars, and internet role playing games you're going to have a heck of a time deciphering these short stories.

Some of them had some no-so-good messages as well. Newsflash! - one night stands are frowned upon, it is NOT okay to meet up with people you met on the internet, and guns and alcohol do not mix! Really, the authors do know these are supposed to be stories for teenagers, right? If I was a parent, I would most certainly not be purchasing this kind of book for my child.

I quickly grew tired of the geek stereotyping. Since when is it geeky to be interested in astronomy or paleontology? Also, some of the things that went on in these stories were just plain unrealistic and way overdone.

However, it did have some redeeming qualities. "Quiz Bowl Antichrist" by David Levithan, "The Truth About Dino Girl" by Barry Lyga, and "The Stars at the Finish Line" by Wendy Mass were my favorites. They were interesting, original, and accessible to "nongeeks."

If you are already educated in the so-called way of the geeks, this collection might be something you would enjoy. If not, I'd pass on this one. I have a feeling that most of the teenage population falls under the latter category.

2 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Many of the stories in this book went over my head as well. I enjoyed The Truth about Dino Girl as well!