I think it's safe to say, without getting too deep into anything, that I'm a hardcore fangirl. Yes? We agree? Great.
Now as a fangirl, I've been quite fortunate to have had my geek education start at an early age, thanks to my dad and his undying desire for me to love all things DC. He introduced me to all my favourite superheroes, my favourite book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (hmm... that title sounds familiar) and taught me to have a deep acceptance of nerd culture.
But not everyone is as lucky as I am. Not everyone is taught about the positivity of being a geek, the greatness of being extremely passionate about a comic book or a TV show or a character, the utter elation you feel when you've found something new to be excited about.
That's where The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy comes in.
Written by Sam Maggs, editor of The Mary Sue and contributor to other awesome places like The Dork Shelf and 102.1 The Edge, Fangirl's Guide is exactly what it promises from the title: a guide to teaching fans what exactly a fangirl is, what a fangirl does, and why its awesome to let your fangirl flag fly.
Packaged in perfect purse stuffing size, with a bright purple cover TO DIE FOR, Sam delves into the basics of fandom, describes cosplay and fanfic to the layman and even suggests gateway fandoms that will help the new fangirl ease her way in without much stress.
She also talks about my favourite thing, conventions, and how they're essentially big gatherings of your favourite people and things and where you get to interact with others who are just like you.
Of course, it's not all sunshine and squeeing. The Internet can be a scary and dangerous place, especially for women. When encroaching on what some people still believe to be "male territory," women are often accused of being "fake geeks," interrogated on silly obscure minutiae to prove that they "belong," or they're harassed incessantly.
To that, Sam gives plenty of advice on dealing with hate or bullying in the most graceful of ways. She describes the various types of trolls, from the Warhammer Troll (grammar troll) to the ultimate worst Tor'Gal Troll Boss (scary troll that you need to call the cops on ASAP).
The book is funny, clever, original and all-inclusive. It doesn't matter what kind of fangirl you are, what fandoms you're into and what extent of obsession you reach (but no stalking please!), this book hits all the right chords.
I had the pleasure of meeting Sam in person on Sunday at my local Indigo. She is exactly as you would imagine, bubbly, funny and excited. The way she talks about her book and why she felt the need to write it is totally inspired and inspirational. Good fangirls share their knowledge with others in the hopes of creating or finding more fangirls. It's basically the best cult ever.
So basically, GO BUY HER BOOK NOW, K?