Book Review: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs


The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
By Sam Maggs, Illustrated by Kelly Bastow
Release Date:  May 12, 2015
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Pop Culture

ISBN: 978-1594747892
Source: E-ARC/Library Physical Copy
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Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.


I’m late but I finally got around to checking out The Fangirl’s Guide! I was really thrilled with what I saw in this book but really, I don’t feel like it’s for me. I feel like it’s a great introduction for a new fangirl and this would have been an amazing starting point if I were a new fangirl. But having grown up in geek culture my entire life (my father is a comic book artist) and being knee deep in my fandoms and select cons already, this felt more like something that would make a great gift to someone who any longtime fangirl can give to a fangirl that they’ve recently brought over into the dark side.

What’s great about this is that we’re given an overall look at all things geek, from fanfic and cosplay to anime and gaming and everything in between. This is by no means a comprehensive guide to any of these things…this book would need to be six times longer, I think.

But it’s a great marker of the fangirls of this time (and I say that because there were fandoms before a few years ago but this book doesn’t really dive into the history of fandoms or take a look at fandoms over the decades or even the past decade) and from what I understand, has filled a void in that there is now, finally, a nonfiction book out there that is solely dedicated to embracing what it means to be a fangirl crossing many categories.

My favorite part about this book is that it shouts, “Feminism” from the rooftop and that is so beautiful and inspiring and exhilarating to see. I love it. It felt so good to see a celebration of women, a camaraderie, a peace in navigating and celebrating being a geek and being a girl. Right on, Sam!

If I could describe this reading experience in one sentence, I would say that The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is basically Day 1 of Fangirl Orientation if there were such a thing. This is just the beginning. So if you’re ready to put your toes in the water, pick up this book and let the force be with you once you’re ready to dive in!

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks bSam Maggs is available now.