In the last ten years or so, geek culture has gone mainstream, with everyone who’s watched a movie from the MCU or played GTA playing a part in the larger movement. But the more fans learn about their particular areas of nerd interest, the more they tend to gain a deeper understanding of how varied and amorphous true geek culture is. Not every nerd loves Doctor Who, and among those who do, choosing “your doctor” can start an ugly fight (and we won’t even get started on the plight of River Song). Star Trek vs. Star Wars could launch a new cold war lasting years.
One of the best parts of the Geek Renaissance is that we’re now able to unabashedly let our nerd flags fly. We’ve found our tribe, and it’s ubiquitous. But until recently, it was tough to know where to look to find accurate depictions of our lives and, shall we say, “particular” interests. We both remember combing through libraries, hoping for any sign that an obsessive love of comics or Jean-Luc Picard didn’t mean we were socially inept weirdos. And as any hardcore geek knows, the representations really have always been hidden in the library books stacks, sometimes proudly announcing their nerdities, and sometimes, disguised in plain sight. Those words and characters have been a homing beacon since childhood, and even with the newly pervasive culture, they bring us back to our first true loves.
Let’s take a look at five books that taught us the true meaning of geek culture.