Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd

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Annotation: Collection of short stories and comics about geeks.
Catalog Number: #36355
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2010
Pages: ix, 403 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-00810-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-24743-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-00810-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-24743-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2009455709
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
With the recent spate of anthologies featuring the hottest YA authors, it was only a matter time before a celebration of all things geeky/nerdy found its way into a short story collection. Geektastic defines the geek not by his costume, but by his motivation for stepping into it. For instance, M. T. Anderson's heart-wrenching standout tale a kid visiting his favorite author's home, not to stalk him, but to ask why he's been writing love letters to his mother a lovely statement about sensuality and loneliness. Throughout, this all-inclusive love fest pays homage to the classics of D&D and Star Trek, but there's plenty of room for fans of new faves such as the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica and Joss Whedon-verse as well. Even geeks not affiliated with a TV show or movie can see themselves represented in David Levithan's "Quiz Bowl Antichrist" or Sara Zarr's drama-geek ode, "This is My Audition Monologue," to name just a couple. Geeks, old and new school, will appreciate this collection written by their own.
Horn Book
This short story collection celebrates all things nerd, capturing the obsession, alienation, anachronism, and intellectualism of what it means to embrace geekdom. M. T. Anderson's contemplative "The King of Pelinesse" and Scott Westerfeld's hard-boiled "Definitional Chaos" are standouts; one-page "How to..." comics separate each story. Exploration of universal themes in original settings brings infectious enthusiasm to what is obviously a cherished topic.
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)
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.)

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
Voice of Youth Advocates
Black and Castellucci, exploiting the not-so-secret geek tendencies of teen authors, have convinced an impressive constellation of them to write about ôgeeks and geeks observed.ö 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 OÆMalley separate the stories. The most appealing stories come from the geeksÆ points of view and respect their obsessions. In particular, the editorsÆ delightful Once YouÆre a Jedi . . . posits what would happen if a cosplay Jedi woke up in bed with a cosplay Klingon at a con. Scott WesterfeldÆs slyly noir Definitional Chaos explores good/evil alignment: exactly what does ôchaotic goodö mean? Garth NixÆs touching Quiet Knight shows how a live RPG affects a teen with damaged vocal chords. As a cheerleader in Tracey LynnÆs One of Us figures out, ôYou [geeks] just really love [this stuff] . . . ItÆs your . . . your home.ö Not all stories celebrate geek culture, however. In Kelly LinkÆs 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 LygaÆs 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 libraryùincluding the librarian.ùRebecca Moore.
Word Count: 109,105
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 16.0 / quiz: 130997 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:25.0 / quiz:Q47070
Lexile: HL760L
Guided Reading Level: Z+
Fountas & Pinnell: Z+

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!

Once you're a Jedi, you're a Jedi all the way / Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Top five words or phrases you need to know in Klingon
One of us / Tracy Lynn
How to tell if your dice are lucky or unlucky
Definitional chaos / Scott Westerfield
I totally shouldn't post this, but
I never / Cassandra Clare
How to look cool and not drool in front of your favorite author
King of Pelinesse / M.T. Anderson
How to identify the living dead
Wrath of Dawn / Cynthia & Greg Leitich Smith
How to cheat like a nerd
Quiz bowl antichrist / David Levithan
How to cosplay with common household objects
Quiet knight / Garth Nix
What your instrument says about you
Everyone but you / Lisa Yee.

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