With the tagline “a handbook for girl geeks”, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy takes a look at all the things that make up that world. From meeting other like-minded friends to dressing in cosplay, navigating conventions to dealing with trolls. This handy book lays it out with tips and fandom-specific lingo to make sure you’re in the know – whatever your fandom needs may be.
This book is all sorts of geeky adorable awesomeness. For those who don’t know who Sam Maggs is, they’ll get a sense of just exactly who she is from her introduction. The first chapter breaks down many of the major fandoms that exist including Star Warriors, SuperWhoLockians and, the one I belong to, Potterheads. I loved the FAQ-type format to easily highlight the identifying traits of the groups. I also enjoyed the glossary of terminology that one may encounter in a fangirl’s vocabulary.
There was a large section on all things that have to do with conventions, including some great lists of ones to check out across Canada and the U.S. Some great tips & tricks to surviving a con weekend is helpful for the uninitiated, including some do’s and don’ts that you can tell come from someone who’s experienced with the chaos of those weekends. Interspersed throughout the guide are many small interviews with notable women in the fangirl galaxy, such as Victoria Schwab, Kate Beaton and Laura Vandervoort just to name a few.
One of my favourite parts was the last section about “Geek Girl Feminism”. So much this. Somehow in the last while, this “F” word has become more taboo and controversial than the actual curse word it seems at times. It shouldn’t be and Maggs addresses a lot of that, including myths that need to be busted, in a positive way.
I do wonder how this book might translate over to other readers that may not be as passionate about fandoms though. While I am a fangirl and I related to much of this book, I did find a few parts of it obvious or self-explanatory. But maybe it’s because I live in a city that’s so rich with geek culture, and I’m extremely fortunate that way. I definitely enjoyed The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I think anyone else (male or female) who identifies as being a major fan about something will also like this. It often felt like reading a book/seeing a show where you know the people in it. It’s familiar, it’s fun and it’s awesome.