Geek culture is at the top of the world right now: superhero films own the cinema box office, Marvel and DC are battling it out for small screen supremacy, and even Kylo Ren’s Stormtroopers make regular appearances at the White House
. As the divide between the nerd world and the mainstream grows ever more fuzzy, it might be helpful to explore some non-fiction works that consider just how we’ve arrived at this point in time.
Here are six standout nonfiction books that cover the geeky world:
Luke Skywalker Can’t Read, by Ryan Britt
Former Tor.com staff writer and geek culture guru Ryan Britt’s book of essays, Luke Skywalker Can’t Read
, covers a nice range of topics, from the funny to introspective. Britt covers films, genre literature and of course, Star Wars. [Editor’s note: Ryan is a regular contributor to this blog]
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction, by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman plethora of novels and comic books have made him a household name as a fiction writer, but he’s also a prolific author of essays and commentary. On the heels of his most recent short fiction collection, Trigger Warning,
comes a collection of his nonfiction writing. Gaiman, who began his career as a journalist, has assembled an impressive grouping of speeches, introductions, blog posts, and articles touching on topics as varied as Gene Wolfe, Stephen King, Sim City, Batman, and quite a bit more.
The Geek Feminist Revolution, Kameron Hurley
Kameron Hurley won the Hugo Award for Best Related Work in 2014 for her post “We Have Always Fought,” a look at the way women have been ill-treated by fantasy tropes. This collection, her first, rounds up a number of essays examining women and geek culture that were first published on her blog, and adds in more exclusive to the book. It’s an intriguing, provoking assembly, covering both her own career as an author and presenting a scathing look at the culture wars going on inside the geek world. It’s an eye-opening read.
My Father, the Pornographer, by Chris Offutt
When Chris Offutt’s father died, he inherited almost a literal ton of manuscripts. It turned out his father had been an author who dabbled in science fiction and fantasy literature, though had really made a name for himself by becoming a prolific pornographic writer. In this memoir, Offutt examines his father’s estate and comes to term with his legacy.
Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, by William Shatner, with David Fisher
William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were famously close friends, and just a year after the latter passed away at the age of 83, Shatner and co-writer Fisher are taking a look back over the pair’s half-century history in an intriguing biography of friendship. It’s an emotional, detailed account that adds to the collective story of Star Trek
and the acting profession in general.
The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, by Glen Weldon
Batman has been a major pop culture phenomenon for decades, ever since his introduction to Detective Comics
in 1939. In the time since, Bruce Wayne’s alter ego has gone through trials and tribulation as he’s fought crime through comics, television shows and blockbuster movies. Weldon looks closely at not only the caped crusader, but also the fanbase that accompanied him along the way.