Friday, May 4, 2012

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

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
Edited by Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci
Published by Little, Brown and Company, 2010
403 pages (paperback)

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, John Green, 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! (from

I thought I was kind of nerdy growing up. I got good grades, I didn’t get in trouble, and I read lots of books. After reading Geektastic, though, I realized I am not that nerdy. Or geeky. Or whatever. I had no clue what many of these stories were about. Sure! These were good stories by some really amazing authors, but these stories referenced Star Wars and Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons. Truth be told, I have never seen Star Wars or Star Trek and the only clue I have about D&D is that it probably somehow involves dungeons and dragons. Really.

My sister and I weren’t allowed to have video games growing up because our parents thought we should be playing sports or playing outside or reading or napping (my family is excellent at napping) or doing just about anything besides playing video games. To this day I can barely play the original Mario Brothers game and I only succeed at the Wii because I wave my arms around really fast.

However, for all that I lack in the understanding of geek culture, I did enjoy this book. Sure, I would have enjoyed it more if I actually understood many of the references, but underneath all the talk about Klingons and Jedi, these were interesting stories. Some stories told of love, others of betrayal, and still others of the interesting characters one meets online. Ultimately, for me, good stories are good stories. It doesn’t matter if the characters like Battlestar Galactica or basketball. What matters is that there is a story worth telling and all the contributors to this book told some wonderful stories. And, of course, an added bonus is that the contributors to this book are AMAZING young adult authors so it’s like a Who’s Who of YA Lit right in your hands.

Geektastic is a great book for anyone and since the stories are short, you can take a quick break every day to escape to the world of Geek-dom. Those who are into “geeky” things will probably enjoy this book even more than those of us who are totally ignorant of true geek culture. In fact, perhaps I will consider watching Star Wars. Maybe.

**An added THANKS to Mrs. Brownfield who bought this book for the UMS Library during Barnes & Noble’s Books by the Bushel!!!

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