With Valentine’s Day approaching, love talk is done to death… but bear with me. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls may be about love but its a refreshing and comforting take on the topic.
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is an anthology about love, edited by Hope Nicholson. With a foreword by Kelly Sue DeConnick and comics by Margaret Atwood there are a lot of literary heavy hitters within these 279 pages of stories and illustration. I related to some parts of this book more than other (I don’t know anything about fan-fiction, for instance). And I think that will be the case for most geek girls who pick this book up. It’s relatability is a result of diversity:
- diversity in geekiness: literature, video games, fan-fiction, comics, movies, etc.
- diversity in style: from writing to comics to a combination of the two.
- diversity in people: mainly in regards to sexuality, and at times age/race.
Each of these stories presents honest vulnerability that allows the reader to be comforted and entertained all at once. But most of all this book gave me perspective. And served to normalized my romantic life in unexpected ways. Gita Jackson’s “URL > IRL” was a mirror into my own romantic desires: to be loved for my entire self, diverse interests and all. The frustrations she voices here are all too relatable:
“Whenever I talk about my interests people are usually only into half the things I’m really about. People in the comic book store don’t want to hear about artist run galleries or basement shows. People at those basements shows politely let me run my mouth when I get on a tangent about video games. And that’s fine. That’s how people are. The last guy I dated (briefly) really wanted to hear my stance on workers’ rights and racism but fell asleep halfway through an episode of Steven Universe. In whatever relationship I get into, i have to keep some parts of myself tucked away.”
This personal connection happened with several stories in this book. I read Erin Cossar’s “Anne Of Linux Pine” and was reminded of my own weird “non-relationship” relationships. I read “Read: 1:19 a.m” by Jen Aprahamian and laughed at my own neuroticism over text messages over why he isn’t texting back:
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls reminded me that love is more than getting alone well (“There’s nothing wrong, it must be love”), that relationships aren’t just based on liking the same things (Lungerella), and that dating is a mess online and in real life (multiple stories in this book).
But most of all, I love that this book’s exploration of love is more than just romantic/sexual relationships. It’s also a love of fictional characters, work, life, friends, and oneself. If you’re a geek girl who enjoys some good nonfiction this is an must read. Awkward, funny, and heartwarming, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is sure to have a story you swear you wrote yourself.