Gail Carriger's Origin Story ~ 5 Fandoms That Made Me Who I Am



Back in the day, Gentle Reader, my friends and I used to have arguments about the difference between Geeks, Nerds, and Dorks. We settled into the working hypothesis that Geeks were technologically minded, Nerds were academically minded, and Dorks were obsessed with specific things. So the Dork is obsessed with all things Star Wars, but the Geeks builds an RPG for Star Wars, and the Nerd tries to explain the physics of the Star Wars universe.

This was just our way of owning the terms being slung at us ~ yes this was back in the day when it was bad to be any of these things.

“It is true that authorlings and poetizers are apt to affect eccentricity.”

~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864) 

Regardless of whether you agree with our take, at various times I have been all these things: nerdy, geeky, and dorky. But there are certainly specific things that pointed me towards fandom and made me the proud nergeedork that I am today.

via Wikipedia

1. She-ra.
My parents didn't have TV until I went away to college, but my best friend did. Growing up I would run across the street to her house and we would curl up and watch She-Ra at 4pm after school. We collected the action figures and basically lived and breathed that show. I'd also spend weekends at her place watching Thunder Cats and playing at Divorce Court (for some reason it came on after Comic Strip) with barbie dolls ~ the stuffed animals were jury. Eventually, she moved out of town and I moved on to Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, but I never forgot She-ra.

2. Fantasy books featuring girls.  
I would never have found nerd-doom without Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley. I was always a voracious reader and I dabbled in Tolken but without Alana I don't know that I would have gone on to find Lackey and McCaffery and then all the other fantasy authors who turned me into the writer I am today. I might even ~ gasp! ~ have become a literary nerd instead. Heaven for-fend!

3.  Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The first episode I ever saw of ST:TNG Worf scared me witless. But then I saw a different episode much later and was intrigued. In high school I became friends with a girl whose whole family was obsessed. I would go over to her house and watch with them all on weds night (and eat baloney on Hawaiian roll sandwiches) and then back episodes on VHS. I went with her family to my first ever convention. I earned summa cum laude my senior year of High School the photo for which was the same day as the final ST:TNG episode. I am immortalized in full morning (including massive black hat with a veil). Yes I was THAT girl.

from wikipedia

3.  New Warriors comics.  
I started collecting New Warriors comics when I was 14. Possibly because I was the right age for the team and they started the series when I started High School. Also there was the Firestar connection ~ she was always my favorite Marvel character (from her Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends days). I went faithfully to my local comic book store every month to pick up my new issue and keep reading through college (the store would hold them all for me until I returned for the holidays). They canceled it in 1996. I've read other comic books since, but I never again collected them.

4.  Tron.  
My grandfather in England was the only sci-fi geek in my family and when I would stay with him we would watch the Sixth Doctor together. I remember some of that time in the 80s but what I really loved was to stay up late after he had gone to bed watching his VHS recording of Tron. Over and over again.

5.  BayCon. 
Outside of the Star Trek conventions, Bay Con was my first fan run SF/F convention. My first BayCon was a present from my best friend's mother. She got us the room and our passes. We must have been just legal, probably senior year of High School? I had horrible stomach flu and yet still had one of the best times of my life. I had found my people. (Well I kind of had them already ~ I had a great group of high school friends, but at BayCon I found the whole range of them.) In those days Bay Con was The Bomb, with Screamworks running goth dances, huge parties, crazy costuming, fantastic panels tailored to my burgeoning interest in writing books, and almost 5000 attendees. I learned everything I needed to become a professional author and I met some of the best people on the planet. 90's Bay Con is the reason I attend conventions now as a professional.
 

(Idea for this post from The Nerdy Girlie blog.)

Please feel free to post your own version of this, or to let me know in the comments your origin story.


{What is Gail's Book Group reading for October? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1900s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Adorable new hat, gift from a reader

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Where do dukes come from?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“Without attempting to point the line that divides the lawful appropriation of another’s ideas from the appropriation of another’s phraseology, we have only to say that a literary man always knows when he is stealing. Whether found out of not, the process is belittling, and a man is though it blasted for this world and damaged for the next one.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)

PROJECT ROUND UP  
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Proof stage.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming soon: November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2, Soulless Vol. 3
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, & Fairy Debt; The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar

Book News:
Libby Blog Posted by Marmaladelibby about E&E: “W-O-W! This was fantastic! What a fun thrill ride!... The story itself was full of intrigue, comedy, and just plain adventurous girl power! Plus, it's so very appropriate for so many ages which is rather hard to find these days it seems like. Another piece that I absolutely loved was the Steampunk element! The gadgets! Oh the gadgets and the flying vehicles were oh so lovely! Are you kidding me!? A finishing school that is hidden in an enormous dirigible is just dang brilliant!” 


Quote of the Day:
"One exception to this new model is Comic-Con, when the town empties for two days to promote its -Man movies and meet its fan-boys. Comic-Con has evolved from what was once a nerdy comic-book gathering to a huge, multimedia, star-laden promotional juggernaut for the fans, studios and gaming industry, where the next year’s blockbusters are teased, promoted and fanned out to an ardent and important base of critical raving-mad word-of-mouth monsters who can make or break the industry’s products."
 ~ Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business by Lynda Obst

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