Published on July 6th, 2015 | by Christie Gibrich
The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy Review
A Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: a handbook for Girl Geeks
Author: Sam Maggs
Illustrations: Kelly Bastow
Publisher: Quirk Books
Remember being a newbie fangirl/person and not knowing where to start? Or are you just starting out in the world of fandom and feel like you’re looking in, but intimidated by the language of “shipping” and “glomp,” and scared to be a poser? Look no further than Sam Maggs’ The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy- she breaks down the differences between fandoms (what exactly is SuperWhoLock), terminology in use (canon vs headcanon vs headcannon), and much more.
Written as if the author is talking one-on-one to a new best friend, Fangirl’s Guide includes a tutorial on the main social media platforms and how to handle trolls, how to find other fangirls in real life, and an entire section on cons, cosplay, and the joys of attending what for almost all geek girls are the Holy Grails of fandom. Maggs doesn’t sugar-coat the downsides as well; she makes sure to let readers know how to be safe, dress safe, pack safe, and do solid long term planning for a con.
Scattered throughout the book are interviews with famous authors, programmers, gamers, and other geeks, in which they relate how being a geek has positively influenced them, as well as what advice they would give geek girls for their careers/personal lives. Author Beth Revis, actress Stephanie Leonidas, HerUniverse creator Ashley Eckstein, and BlackGirlNerds creator Jamie Broadnax are just a few giving advice and championing readers to let their geek out.
Maggs weaves throughout her work a feminist and inclusive viewpoint which is extremely important to current and future generations of fangirls: “I don’t have to prove my nerd cred to anyone, ever. Whether I’m a comic n00b, or a fic writer typing up her next chapter, or a hard-core gamer who sometimes forget to sleep (not that I ever do that), no one else gets to decide whether I do or do not belong,” which is all too often lost in comic shops, online communities, and conventions alike. Illustrations inclusively show diverse races and body types, and she mentions a wide variety of heroines.
Highly recommended for all libraries, definitely aimed for older middle school and young adult audiences.