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

marpesea's review against another edition

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This collection is uneven-- it opens strong with a few excellent short stories before winding through a mix of fun, wonderful, and less-than-stellar stories. High points include "Once you're a Jedi, you're a Jedi all the way," and "Definitional chaos." YA all-stars including John Green, David Levithan, Garth Nix, Libba Bray, M.T. Anderson, and Cassandra Clare round out the mix.

kittypaws9's review against another edition

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Wish this book would have been more consistent. Some stories were really good and funny, while others fell super flat. Still has enough good stuff that it's worth a library borrow (so you can just skip around), but I wouldn't recommend purchasing it.

lorathelibrarian's review against another edition

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What I liked about this book (and most short story anthologies) is that I didn't feel bad skipping a story once I had started it. The purpose of this books was for each author to write a geeky story - or a story with geeky elements (drama, Star Trek, gaming, etc.) Some of the stories I loved and could completely relate to (Libba Bray's about Rocky Horror was fantastic). Others were at a level of geekdom that I just couldn't relate to (I've never seen a Star Trek episode in my life).

Overall, a good collection of stories with underdogs. It was humorous and real all at the same time.

freshkatsu's review against another edition

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I don't have much geek-cred.

The only star trek I've seen is the new one with Simon Pegg, and I only read Lord of the Rings because it was on sales. I watched Firefly because my ex was a massive fan, and I still confuse Star Trek with Star Wars (don't even talk to me about Battlestar). Although I love comix, JLA and anything too DC is out of my league. Most superheroes are misogynistic and my appreciation of fantasy is limited to the one Discworld I borrowed for a train trip. I also failed history, and physics if it wasn't for the maths. People think of me as a geek not because I can play chess or code in Python, but rather my indifference to other non-geek interests. I can't tell if video games are geeky anymore, is L4D or Modern Warfare geeky? Or only MMORPGs like Age of Empire?*

What makes someone a geek? After all, it doesn't matter if you're into comics or dinosaurs or guns or Lovecraft, they are almost all equal in terms of geek-cred. Is it the cult following aspect? If so, why isn't NBA or Ingmar Bergman geeky? Or is it the escapist tone? Then unrealistic mainstream chic flicks should also be part of the nerd culture. I think what makes a geek has more to do with devotion and obsession rather than the subject. I know geeks who are into ancient history, as well as geeks who are into argumented reality programming or Mexican culinary, fields that are completely unrelated. A fan of something usually remembers trivial details and has a concern for continuity and character profile. It isn't so much about the story, but rather identifying familiar quotes and references. Geektastic is an example of this. Most of the stories consist of little more than just a bunch of nerd brands put together. For a geek, it's exciting because you can laugh at so many names and places nobody else would 'get', yet feel frustrated at the same time because We are worth more than a machine that can recite the complete history of the doctor. Contrary to other reviews, I didn't find the geekeries in the book too hard-core. The first few stories may require more than rudimentary knowledge of pop culture with titles that go STAR-something (starfleet, starcraft, stargate, star-in-case-you-don't-know-I'm about-science). Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed Scott Westerfeld's story which exempts itself from the name-dropping humour (since when is Westerfeld a geek? I guess most of his fiction deals with vampire and random monster/magic things, but wasn't his fist book worshiped by hipsters?). Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley's drawings are adorable as well (in a geeky way, of course).

Anyway, you've done it. I'm officially renting the whole series of Star Wars tonight.


*Edit: Apparently AoE isn't a MMORPG, I guess this proves my geekiness.

g1rlwhol1ved's review against another edition

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it was like all of my friends wrote a book...i loved it

mellomellomello's review against another edition

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True rating is a 3.5.

This was really cute. Truly a geek-tastic collection of stories but since I consider myself quite the geek I really enjoyed them all. Especially the couple that exposed me to geeky stuff I didn't know much about. My favorites were probably The Stars At The Finish Line by Wendy Mass which is about astronomy geeks, and Definitional Chaos by Scott Westerfield which takes a look into the private lives of MMORPG players, and what interesting lives they are. Definitional Chaos also explores the Character Alignment Matrix (Chaotic Good, Lawful Evil, True Neutral, etc.) which intrigues me quite a bit.

But seriously these stories are very geeky and fandom related but well worth a read if you want something fun and quirky.

aidnoah's review against another edition

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Fecking amazing.

I'm not usually one who reads anthologies, but the fact that I can relate to SO many of these stories... just blows my mind.

In a good way~

The only one I skipped was Scott Westerfield's story. Trying to explain the whole "Chaotic Neutral" and other such table... never works out well.

Libba Bray's one was... strange. They were 8th Graders, but they seemed like Juniors or Seniors in High School - not good, get the characterizations right, please.

M.T. Anderson's story freaked me out a bit. Kind of made me sick.

I think my favorite was the one with the Quiz Bowl - not simply because it was BL either!! I found myself laughing quite often in that one, and rereading it the most. I also liked the one with Montgomery the Cheerleader.

The Jedi/Klingon one...? Perhaps I need to be more of a Trekkie to understand it.

Regardless - REALLY GOOD BOOK. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy it~

kricketa's review against another edition

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**i read an ARC of this**
as with any collection of short stories written by several different authors, i had difficulty rating this. the stories celebrate the various lifestyles of teen geek, taking the reader from cons to the rocky horror picture show, with several stops for (sadly unfunny) comics along the way. my reactions to the stories were as varied as the stories themselves.

lowlights included the opening piece, in which a klingon and a jedi fall in lust at a con. which is unfortunate because...its the opening piece, and the idea for the story is what launched the whole anthology. it's a great idea, but weakly executed. i was so bored with scott westerfeld's piece that i didn't even finish it, but i plugged on through the collection because i knew that john green was waiting for me in the second half! and yet...while his story had a handful of my beloved green zingers, i found the effort rather uninspired...dare i say even lackluster?

i know, i know. john green whose very feet i would kiss.

so how did this turn into a four-star review? well, i'll tell you: david levithan's story "quiz bowl antichrist" which made me feel so many feelings i nearly wept. garth nix, lisa yee, & m.t. anderson were also highly enjoyable. and KELLY LINK, OH MY GOD, KELLY LINK!!! perfection!! and barry lyga! man, can that guy celebrate geekitude! and wendy mass' piece about astronomy geeks which put me in raptures! and a solid finish with libba bray!

overall, definitely worth picking up, though i suggest skimming and skipping in tune to your personal tastes.

random note: i'm also pretty sure that james kennedy ought to have participated in this somehow. that's a compliment, james.

dlberglund's review against another edition

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This book sat on my nightstand for months as I read only one story at a time, during particular fits of insomnia. The diversity of authors, tones, and geek-dom represented in each story lends itself to this one-at-a-time reading. You probably won't love every single one, for the same reasons. A couple of the stories pretty much went over my head. In general, though, I found the body of work both amusing and touching. A few of the stories I will reread over and over. Some are near genius, and some are great only if you're already in the know. Most, however, show a vulnerability and eventual acceptance of the things that make us interesting and geeky.

For the record, I'm pretty sure my favorite story is The Quiet Knight, which lovingly represents a group to which I do not belong.

sandraagee's review against another edition

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I didn't finish this one not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because I was borrowing it from a friend and had to give it back when she moved. But the few stories I read were delightful, especially considering the soft place in my heart for all things dorky. The comics between each story were awesome and possibly my favorite part of the book - especially the first one about determining if your dice are lucky.

My one complaint - in the opening story they managed to spell Anakin Skywalker's name wrong. Didn't bode well for making me believe the character's dorkiness. Didn't notice any other similar mistakes, but then again I didnt finish it.