The Geek Feminist Revolution: 09/28/16
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley is a collection of essays on being anyone but a straight, white, CIS gendered male geek — whether a fan or a producer of content.
The book started off strong, with thoughts on the problematic tropes in fiction and science fiction. The introduction is a biting critique of the systematic erasure of women from geekdom — from fandom. It's a critique of rape culture, of hyper masculine stories, the male voyeur, and the atmosphere that lets the backlash against the most recent Ghostbusters (and the actors) possible and in some circles, normal.
After the introduction, the book settles into an outline of Hurley's career especially the early days where she received rejection letter after rejection letter. These chapters made an interesting counterpoint to Stephen King's On Writing. In comparison, King's early career seems like a cakewalk and most of the setbacks being self destruction ones.
But the book doesn't keep up that initial pace. As the essays become more personal there is less time spent for analysis and critique. I was really hoping for more because she has a wonderful, unpretentious, raw way of writing when she's tearing apart a text.
Then the book just sort of peters out. The later essays are more obviously taken from her blogs. They've been rewritten and there is a promise for greater explanation in the endnotes. Except the ebook doesn't include them. They're listed in the table of contents but are left out of the actual book.
For a book with Revolution in the title, there's not enough of a call to action. There's no blue print here. There's a memoir and some textual analysis. A unifying thread of what to do next given the evidence provided by memoir and analysis would have made this book perfect.