Put a Quarter In

One of the social hazards of being friends with a bunch of writers is that you’ll sometimes lose them. I don’t mean that they’ll stop being able to follow you. I mean that someone will say something, or the group of you will see something, and…they’re gone. Elsewhere. Seeing a different one than the world the rest of you are still living in.

We lost Kelly McCullough that way for two days or so once. We went to The Citadel in Halifax, an old harbor defense and fort where you’re up on hill but manage to feel mostly underground. He pointed at things, we took pictures, and he spent the next while of our trip staring into another world. I’m still waiting for someone to buy the book based on that proposal so I can find out just what he saw.

Something similar happened with him this New Year’s Day. We were sitting around with Thomases, editors of Apex Magazine. They wanted to know what kind of essay Kelly was going to send them. (No, he didn’t have a choice.) We were kicking around some topics and laughing over the various ways in which they would make the local corner of the internet explode.

Then I said, “Tell me why you still cosplay even as a professional author.”

Click. Stare.

Fast forward two months to today. Kelly’s essay, “I Married a Fake Geek Girl: A Defense of Casual Fandom” has just gone live at Apex.

Just for giggles, let’s start with bona fides. I’m going to be talking about fake geeks and casual fandom, after all, and I wouldn’t want anyone to take me too seriously on that front.

I am a professional science fiction and fantasy author, most notably of the WebMage and Fallen Blade series. I have twelve novels published or forthcoming in the field, all from big New York houses, as well as a heap of short stories and poems. This is my day job. I am also a Third Generation fan. I have a thank you note and picture from the cast of Star Trek: TOS for my mother and grandmother’s help in the letter writing campaign that kept them on the air. My wife is a physics professor, a Second Generation fan, and a hardcore console RPG gamer among other geek-girl pursuits. She recently wrote an essay for the Doctor Who book Chicks Unravel Time. Seriously, we bleed geek.

We also cosplay.

Go read the whole thing. If nothing else, you’ll want to know how someone who just had an invited essay published in a Doctor Who anthology manages to be a “fake geek girl”.

Put a Quarter In
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4 thoughts on “Put a Quarter In

  1. 1

    Thanks for the link. I still want to write the Halifax book one of these days, I think it would be enormous fun. Which brings me up to—counts on fingers and toes—twenty-one novels that I’ve got plotted but not yet written that I’m serious about. I seriously need to figure out how to write faster.

  2. 3

    oh my goodness. I’ve never had a great explanation for why some of my conversations with friends are significantly more rewarding than having the same conversation with other friends. This is it. It’s the click -> stare -> sudden blog idea phenomenon.

  3. 4

    This happens in many situations (including religion, since this is FtB). Just as the writer’s wife has limited interest in fandom, a person might watch only the super bowl and no other football, or enjoys “Gangnam Style” but knows no other K-pop. Inevitably, there will always be at least one reactionary who can’t stand casual participants, viewers or listeners. They think someone must be obsessed or is a “poseur” to be shunned.

    In reality, it’s usually the reactionaries who are the biggest problem. They not only won’t tolerate those who aren’t “real”, they sometimes expect others to join in. If I said I’m not interested in cosplay, the unnamed subject of the discussion would probably talk and act like I had insulted everyone who does.

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