- File Size: 600 KB
- Print Length: 69 pages
- Publisher: Serial Box (June 7, 2017)
- Publication Date: June 7, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XYDVXVV
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,415 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
WTF (Geek Actually Season 1 Episode 1) Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From just the blurb alone this series should have been right up my alley. Geek chicks? Check. Feminist? Check. Strong female friendships? Check. I love reading about geek chicks since I am one. There's just not enough of them, especially geek chicks of color.
Unfortunately with four different authors who bring a different feel to one very short story, it felt disjointed. Parts of it came off a bit too preachy/woe is me on the problems WoC (and women as a whole) deal with in geek spaces. Much like Player vs Player, these women seem to be victims of sexist (and racist) dudebros rather than taking control and creating their own spaces. In the case of editor Michelle, why allow a fictional version of a well-known internet troll remain a staple of the publishing company when it's clear that the imprint (owned by another woman) has progressed beyond space babes and guys with ray guns?
Then we had...Taneesha.
I still want to head-desk so hard.
Taneesha is probably the only character I had some interest in, but the stereotyped name-fail just left a totally bad taste in my mouth. I've seen this kind of fail before, and it's usually when the Black character in question has an occupation "not associated" (insert sarcasm here) with Black people (in this case Taneesha is a game designer. In another book, the Afro-Latino hero was a yoga instructor).
It's like some authors believe the only way we readers are going to know the character isn't the default white person (and isn't a drug dealer, gangbanger or baby mama) is by giving them a stereotypically "ethnic" sounding name.
By the way, I just finished Rich People Problems and most of the Asian characters had Western names. Go freaking figure!!! There was Nick, Rachel, Colin, Araminta, Astrid, and Charlie. Those don't sound Mandarin or Taiwanese to me.
With that said, this first episode did wonderfully capture what it's like for females in geek industries. Having worked as an EIC on a geek site for two years, and now working as a freelance writer on another, I know how difficult it can be to be accepted by males in the industry and the story managed to capture the unpleasant confrontations that tend to happen from time to time. (Seriously, I had plenty of Michelle moments as an editor; and I've had plenty of Aditi moments when it comes to writing.) Where the story fell short for me was in the romance aspect. The relationships were poorly constructed, and lacked any real background to make sense of the events that take place within this first episode.
I do plan to follow the series through though, as it looks to be a fun read, but I'm hoping for more character development going forward so I can actually come to care about these characters.
There isn't really a plot in WTF. It's more like a slice-of-life story about several different women. Picture Sex and the City, except with geeky women.
+: Michelle is a Filipina science-fiction editor for a publishing company. She does a lot of hand-holding and sometimes doubles as a bounty-hunter, tracking down clients when they go AWOL instead of submitting their drafts.
+: Aditi is one of those AWOL-going writers that Michelle deals with. She initially intended her book to be a standalone and is now stressed because she was only able to sell it as a series, and has no idea where she wants to go with it. Aditi is Indian. She has a very interesting marriage, and some very interesting relationship quirks.
+: Taneesha is a video game programmer for a gaming company that was just acquired by a larger media company. The hierarchical tree is shifting, and she's annoyed to learn that she's about to be screwed. They're keeping her on as a token because she's a woman and black, and increasing her pay to keep her happy, but they're also taking away the responsibilities that gave her challenge and meaning. She is understandably frustrated and annoyed by this. I would be, too.
+: Elli works at a coffee shop where she is routinely hounded by creeps when all she really wants to do is play Pokemon go. She is Jewish (and celebrates Purim!), but she's also the quintessential millennial slacker who doesn't want to work in a cube or follow a routine - all she wants to do is geek out and go to conventions and basically live life by her own schedule.
This was so short. Like, under 100-pages short. I was skeptical about how much Yardley would be able to accomplish in so few pages. I was wrong to doubt. I may have found a writer who rivals Queen Courtney Milan when it comes to owning the "short and sweet" side of fiction. Each character is nuanced and developed, and all the pop-culture references are seriously on fleek. Their problems are relatable, and best of all, Yardley manages to discuss a lot of important feminist issues without being preachy or relying on straw men. Please tell me this is going to be optioned as a TV show. I would watch the static out of it.
I can't wait to read the next two books (which I luckily own!)
Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!
3.5 out of 5 stars
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