Lots of people have been reading Geek Wisdom, and saying all sorts of nice things. It’s particularly satisfying to hear readers appreciating some of the specific aspects that were most important to me and to my collaborators in crafting the book. Sarah Farrukh’s review does just that, and it left me with a definite case of the warm and fuzzies:
This book made me realize that true geekdom has to do with being in awe of the universe and intellectual world we live in. This was the connection to the sacred that was made in the introduction of the book. There is a humility that comes out of that awe… Above all, however, this book celebrates being different, being original, having esoteric passions and sensibilities, and being the kid who stayed holed up in her room reading on weekend nights while the other kids from high school shopped, gossiped, and went to parties. To such a kid, this book is home.
(More at Sarah’s blog, A Muslimah Writes.)
Well, here we are: release day!
Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture takes some two hundred of the most beloved and/or interesting modern quotations that we weirdos like to pepper our conversation with — “With great power comes great responsibility”; “I have been, and always shall be, your friend”; “Ray, when someone asks you if you are a god, you say YES”; “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means” — and offers up a one-page mini-essay waxing philosophic about the profound meaning of each one.
Some of these little meditations are goofy, some are deadly serious; some delve into the literal meanings of the quotes, while others use them as a jumping-off point to explore a nearby idea. You can get a sneak peak at the introduction and the first couple entries through the preview at Amazon.
This was a tremendously fun book to research, write, and edit. For that, colossal thanks are due my four brilliant cowriters — Zaki Hasan, N.K. Jemisin, Eric San Juan, and Genevieve Valentine — all of whom eagerly answered my impassioned plea to, for the love of god, not let one suburban white kid from the Jersey shore try to speak on behalf of all geeks everywhere.
Thanks also to everyone at Quirk Books who made Geek Wisdom possible: Dave, who encouraged me to do it; Jason and Margaret, who knew I could; Ryan, who looked up all the hard stuff; Mary Ellen, who fixed all the mistakes; Doogie and Steve, who made it look so darn good; John and MJ, who turned the pixels into pages; Melissa, Mari, Eric, Jessica, Moneka, and Brett, who made sure people would see it; and Lizz, Robin, and Katie, for general high-grade awesomeness.
I have no words. So:
Many, many thanks to the brilliant writers, artists, and volunteers whose contributions have re-energized the world’s oldest fantasy magazine.
Our deepest gratitude to WT’s publisher, John Betancourt, and his longtime colleagues George Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer, the three of whom successfully brought Weird Tales back from the dead 20 years ago. (Also pulp guru Robert Weinberg, who’s been keeping the dream alive even longer.)
And, of course, we tip our hats most enthusiastically to H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Margaret Brundage, Farnsworth Wright, Jacob Henneberger, and all the rest of the luminaries of WT’s 1930s heyday; had they not come together to herald the birth of the modern era of fantasy-horror-science fiction culture, we wouldn’t be here holding these rocketships today.
Artwork by Oliver Wetter/Fantasio Fine Arts. Design by Stephen H. Segal.
Original artwork by Vance Kelly. Design by Stephen H. Segal.
Have been getting terrific response to this column that cross-published at Weird Tales and Fantasy-Magazine.com, elaborating on some thoughts from the steampunk discussion panel at Dragon*Con.
On the most basic, most appealing social level, steampunk is a way to masculinize romance. That is to say: Steampunk takes something stereotypically feminine that most boys hate — Victorian lace and frills and tea and crumpets — and says, “Hey, how about some robots with that?” It’s like the Dance Dance Revolution of nerd culture: now we all have something we can play together!
Prime Books, hardcover, 2008. Artwork: professional stock. Design by Stephen H. Segal.
Artwork by Jason Levesque. Design by Stephen H. Segal.