Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd

( 37 )

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
One needn't already know that “Qapla!” is Klingon for success or be a weekend LARPer to appreciate this mostly entertaining collection of 15 short stories from authors John Green, Scott Westerfeld, Lisa Yee and M.T. Anderson among others, as well as numerous illustrated interludes (final art not seen by PW). The offerings cover a range of nerdy terrain: tensions within geek communities (the coeditors' story about a Star Wars fan who hooks up with a Star Trek fan at a convention; Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith's piece involving a divisive Buffy character); the gulf between online personalities and real-life interactions (“I Never” by Cassandra Clare; Kelly Link's cautionary tale about a 15-year-old girl waiting at a hotel for the 34-year-old she met online); and academic rivalries (Wendy Mass's “The Stars at the Finish Line” follows two intellectuals vying for the top spot at school; David Levithan inserts a closeted gay character into a national trivia competition in a quietly touching, layered story). Beyond the Stargate and MMORPG references, the stories often hit at the insecurities, camaraderie and passions at the heart of geekdom. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Kevin Birrell
This book is by far the one to which I have felt the strongest connection. When reading some of the stories I found myself thinking, "Yup, that's totally a little too close for comfort to my actual life." Geektastic is a must-read for any nerd or geek or anyone interested in them. If you love geeks, you will absolutely love this collection, which tries (and succeeds) to explain how geeks work. It is almost perfect. Reviewer: Kevin Birrell, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Rebecca Moore
Black and Castellucci, exploiting the not-so-secret geek tendencies of teen authors, have convinced an impressive constellation of them to write about "geeks and geeks observed." Although not all geekdoms are covered, topics include cosplay (dressing as characters), cons (conventions), SF television and movies, RPGs (role-playing games), fantasy books, baton-twirling, astronomy, Rocky Horror, quiz bowl, and dinosaurs. Geek-themed comics by Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley separate the stories. The most appealing stories come from the geeks' points of view and respect their obsessions. In particular, the editors' delightful Once You're a Jedi . . . posits what would happen if a cosplay Jedi woke up in bed with a cosplay Klingon at a con. Scott Westerfeld's slyly noir Definitional Chaos explores good/evil alignment: exactly what does "chaotic good" mean? Garth Nix's touching Quiet Knight shows how a live RPG affects a teen with damaged vocal chords. As a cheerleader in Tracey Lynn's One of Us figures out, "You [geeks] just really love [this stuff] . . . It's your . . . your home." Not all stories celebrate geek culture, however. In Kelly Link's overlong and depressing Secret Identity, for example, a girl who lied about her age online discovers the downside of hiding behind a character. Also in Barry Lyga's intense The Truth About Dino Girl, a dinosaur-obsessed girl humiliated by a cheerleader enacts her revenge with breathtaking cruelty. Although readers need not necessarily be geeks to appreciate this well-written collection, it will help. Buy for all the geeks in your library—including the librarian. Reviewer: Rebecca Moore
VOYA - Rachel Jiang
Geektastic portrays the struggles of "geeks" attempting to cope with the mainstream world in a way that is both touchingly profound and sometimes hilariously sacrilegious to fandom devotees. The tales, however, are of uneven quality. Some, like The King of Pelinesse, which deals with a fantasy writer's strained interactions with the real world, seem more socially and psychologically complex than others. Overall, though, the book is well-suited to those looking for an amusing, easy read. Reviewer: Rachel Jiang, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Jennifer Morrin
Firstly and very importantly, this is not a children's book. Its cover may appear to be aimed at middle readers, but it is most definitely intended for a mature young adult audience. That being said, this compilation of short stories from a very geeky author pool is downright hilarious, especially if you are willing to embrace your own inner geek. Though I had some difficulty getting past the Klingon references in some of the earlier stories, there were plenty of tales to keep my interest. From comic lovers to marching band baton twirlers, quiz bowl traitors to dinosaur lovers, this geeky anthology has it all. Obsessed with Star Wars, Star Trek, or Medieval role-playing? Then this book is for you. But even if you are not a Jedi aficionado, this book features more than twenty-five different authors, including Lisa Yee, Barry Lyga, David Levithan, Libba Bray, and many more. No matter who you were in high school, these stories will provide many nights of amusing nostalgia. Reviewer: Jennifer Morrin
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—From Trekkers to science geeks, Buffy fanatics to Dungeon Masters, nerds of all persuasions are sure to find themselves in the pages of this anthology. It contains fun reads such as Black and Castellucci's "Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way" in which a Klingon wakes with a Jedi in her hotel room while at a sci-fi convention, and Tracy Lynn's "One of Us," in which a cheerleader enlists the school nerds to teach her the basics of geekdom so she can impress her Trekker boyfriend. The collection also includes more profound fare such as Kelly Link's moving and masterful "Secret Identity" about a 15-year-old girl who has pretended to be her 32-year-old sister on an online RPG. She must face the consequences of her lies when she arranges to meet the man with whom she has developed a relationship. Also included are stories by YA lit greats such as John Green, Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, and M. T. Anderson. Each story is followed by a comic-book-style illustration offering information or advice such as "What Your Instrument Says About You" and "How to Look Cool and Not Drool in Front of Your Favorite Author." Simultaneously addressing the isolation and loneliness that geeks can feel as well as the sense of camaraderie and community that can be found when one embraces a world or ideology in which he or she can completely invest, Geektastic is a completely dorky and utterly worthwhile read.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
This disastrous collection of stories sets out to show the depth and coolness of unpopular geeks and nerds, but instead it presents tired stereotypes in writing that fulfills an audience of authors and librarians rather than teens. There are a few standouts, like the stories by Kelly Link and Cassandra Clare, which have sympathetic characters who just happen to engage in geek activities. A few others, like those by Wendy Mass and David Levithan, show that the term "geek" extends beyond Star Trek to various academic disciplines. More than one story requires knowledge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a show that went off the air when most of this book's target audience was ten years old. Teens who are not already entrenched in geek culture, which in most of these stories means obsession with science-fiction and fantasy worlds, will have a hard time following, much less understanding most of these stories. Even with the authors' name recognition, this collection's appeal is limited at best. (Short stories. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316008105
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/7/2010
  • Pages: 403
  • Sales rank: 264,907
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Holly Black
Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children, including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and the Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library. Her website is www.blackholly.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Geek-a-Rama

    Who says nerds and geeks are out of style? Certainly not Black and Catellucci as they've done an amazing job of collecting stories that highlight the dorkdom of quiz bowl athletes, nerd quotient of roll playing gamers, and flighty disinterest of a popular princess prom queen turning to the dark side and befriending a loveable group of losers.

    While it is difficult to provide a succinct summary of this book or review its many stories with great detail it is safe to say that there truly is something for everyone in this collection. As a reader I did not enjoy every story, in fact I skipped over a couple entirely, but the majority were entertaining, enlightening and heart-warming. I mean, honestly, we've all been through high school and most of us have also felt periods of inadequacy so I doubt there isn't at least some small something somewhere in these stories that a reader won't relate to.

    Though difficult to read at times stories surrounding the persecution of teens for being different (Lyga's The Truth About Dino Girl for example) all seemed quite realistic to me. High school is a brutal place where kids who are different are treated like social pariah and even worse abused mentally and physically. This issue is addressed in multiple ways in multiple stories - from the dork subtly changing their own lives to fit in with a more mainstream crowd or by acts of revenge that turn the nerd into a bully themselves.

    All in all I would recommend this book to anyone who finds different types of culture interesting or engaging. I admit I do not have a great deal of knowledge of much in the way of roll playing games, quiz bowls, or other such thinky and different past times but I walked away from these stories a better person for having learned more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    AWESOME

    My favorite story is I never. All these stories are great!
    -Words from a nerd herself

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Theworstbookever

    BoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolbarnsandnobleHolaweniscomingboooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Worth reading!!

    So, basically its a great quick read i am in eighth grade and love this im now ALONE in nmy geekyness ;)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2011

    Awesome im not alone in my inner geekness ^o^

    Every body needs to have this book , geek or not. Embrase your inner geek, you know ou wanna. Lol great book will make you laugh

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    Loved+it%21

    Im+now+in+love+with+five+more+authors+because+of+this+book%21+And+heck+yea%2C+us+geeks+rule%21+Let+the+ground+shake+when+you+walk+my+friends%21+%28Those+of+you+who+have+read+this+book+understand+that+reference%29.

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  • Posted November 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesomesauce.

    I love this book SOOOOOO much. I highly enjoyed all of the amazing short stories and the many references to all things geek. I love how there's a story for every kind of geek, so most people will be able to relate to the characters.

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I LOVE it!

    This book is funny and sweet and lots of other things; but there are so many different kinds of stories that there is something in it for everyone!

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Really Great Collection of Stories.

    This book was very good, I loved most of the stories, and will probably reread this book eventually, skipping some stories though. I'm into most of the subjects of the book, but even then some of the refrences were lost on me, but most I got and made me laugh. 7 of the stories were pure amazingness, 5 were not good at all, then the other 3 were just ok. It's worth it for those 7 stories though.

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    Posted November 13, 2009

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