Books · reviews

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

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs. Forthcoming from Quirk Books, May 12, 2015.
The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs.
Forthcoming from Quirk Books, May 12, 2015.

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
By Sam Maggs

Publishing on May 12, 2015 from Quirk Books.


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.

Source: Quirk Books

Want to learn more about getting involved in fandom(s), going to conventions, and all things related to “geekdom”? The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is a great place to start.

The first half of the book will take you through the basics, from an introduction to some of the biggest fandoms around right now and key terms you’ll need to know to get involved, to how to meet fellow fangirls in real life (IRL) or introduce your IRL friends to your geeky passions. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy also runs through some of the major social media sites that have strong fan communities and provides tips for getting involved.

The book is easy to read in order, or you can flip around to different sections if you find yourself already familiar with what author Sam Maggs is talking about. Those already heavily involved in one fandom or another will probably be able to skip much of the first two chapters; if you’ve never been involved in fandom, then this book will give you a thorough grounding in everything you’ve always wanted to know, but may have been too afraid to ask.

The second half of the book offers a more in-depth look at attending conventions, including tips on how to prepare, checklists for what to bring, how to cosplay, and more. The book ends with a great chapter on “Geek Girl Feminism,” as Maggs offers supportive and empowering words of advice for feminists as they make their first (or 500th) foray into fandom. As Maggs demonstrates, being a fan and being a critic should not be mutually exclusive, and the only way positive change can happen is if fans speak up.

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy makes it clear that being a fangirl is something to be proud of. Being a fangirl can also mean whatever you want it to mean, because more than anything, it’s about being passionate about something and wanting to discuss your passion with other fans. Being a fangirl should be a positive and welcoming experience for everyone. I would recommend this book mainly for girls looking to get involved in fandom for the first time, or who are looking for tips on going to their first convention.

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is out next Tuesday, May 12, 2015!


Note: I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley, but all opinions are my own. Some things may have changed in the final version.

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