Ever wondered what would happen if a Klingon and a Jedi fell in love? How about a Comic-Con throw-down between Jedi and Klingons? Or what if a captain of the cheerleading squad needs a crash course in geekdom? The answers to these questions are in the short story collection, Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. Authors Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci edited the book and gathered a great group of teen authors and graphic novelists for this collection.
I'll have to admit I have mixed feelings about the current use and connotations of the word geek and how it is treated in popular culture. So when I saw my library's new copy of Geektastic, I thought, "Great, yet another medium disingenuously dealing with geeks so that they can actually just make fun of them." Okay, so maybe I'm a bit cynical. The cover, however, was too great to be ignored, so I gave it a try and thoroughly enjoyed it.
There is a great range of stories here. From humourus to angst filled, the stories in Geektastic are quite enjoyable and are respectful to those they write about. Seeing the list of authors that includes M.T. Anderson, Scott Westerfeld and John Green, I should not have been worried in the first place.
Black and Castellucci start the book with Once You’re a Jedi, You’re a Jedi All the Way. A Jedi and a Klingon wake up in bed together. The story is told from each perspective and includes the awesome convention brawl.
One of Us by Tracy Lynn tells the story of head cheerleader Montgomery K. Bushnell who pays the four members of Springfield High's Genre and Nonsense Club to instruct her how to impress her boyfriend. They do this by teaching her about the important things in life including Star Trek, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.
My favorite was Barry Lyga's The Truth about Dino Girl. Katie is into dinosaurs and wants to be an archeologist. She processes high school and her crush of the very popular Jamie like an archeologist and eventually prepares to enact revenge on one of her rivals.
In addition to all of this coolness, Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley illustrated a bunch of fun comics throughout this collection. This is a smart look at geek culture by several accomplished writers.