This issue of Room is a love letter to unremitted, unrestrained, and often unfashionable enthusiasm.
I’ve always been a geek. It started with movies; when I was three, I made everyone call me “Dumbo.” When I was four, I was Minnie Mouse. When I learned to read, I became that kid who beelined to your bookshelf or sat on the floor of your bathroom and read the comics you left by the toilet. At some point, someone gave me The Revenge of the Baby-Sat, and I started a comic book collection I cart around with me to this day. I devoured children’s science fiction and fantasy and worshipped Monica Hughes and Madeleine L’Engle. I had my video game of choice (Monkey Island), and I also had the sport I could not shut up about (ringette). It wasn’t my interests that defined me as a geek, it was the degree of my passions.
Over the last few years, the gate-keeping and bullying in geek culture has come to the forefront of the Internet. In 2010, comedian Patton Oswalt claimed that the Internet “killed” geek culture by making fandom more accessible, deriding “gym douches” in Boba Fett T-shirts, as though liking Star Wars and going to the gym were mutually exclusive. Sexism reared its hateful head, and the idea that women “pretend” to be geeks to attract male attention has become the subject of countless online rants, not to mention the insidious “Idiot Nerd Girl” meme.
Well, fuck that noise. “Geek Girls” includes Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Torchwood fandom, poetry inspired by comic books and fairy tales, as well as new work by acclaimed speculative fiction author Larissa Lai, an interview with horror writer and illustrator Emily Carroll, and comic book-inspired artwork by Sandra Chevrier. Hockey nerds slip “lightly homoerotic” fan fiction into the hands of a Canucks player, biochemists attempt to fit in with mathematicians and physicists, experimentalists and theoreticians, skeletons come to life, and zombies fall in love. I’m thrilled to share the work of authors and artists who are both well-known, and soon-to-be-known. This one is for all the keeners out there, whether you are a die-hard fan, a casual fan, or a new one. It’s a privilege to share our enthusiasms with you.