Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Few, the Proud, the Geeks

The countdown is on. Two weeks from today, Damsel Under Stress hits store shelves. I learned yesterday that the different thing about this cover may be changed to the way it's supposed to be that makes it more in line with the other books if it goes into a second printing. Yeah, still cryptic, but I'm curious to see if anyone notices. There may even be a prize for the first person to contact me and tell me what's different about this book. And, hey, that makes the first edition a real collector's item, but then if you want all your books to match, you have incentive to promote the book enough to get a second printing so you can then get a matching book. Or do I spend too much time around people who buy multiple copies of the same magazine in order to get all of the "collect them all" covers?

Speaking of which, on the day that I managed to work Firefly references into a discussion about a new TV series, I read the column at the back of this week's Entertainment Weekly, and I definitely fit the "you may be a sci fi geek" mold. Not that this is a big surprise. The columnist talks about how there are people who refuse to watch Battlestar Galactica in spite of all the critical praise because they just aren't interested in a show that takes place on a spaceship, while he's the kind who'll pretty much watch anything set on a spaceship. I had to giggle because there was a time when everything I watched involved either vampires, aliens or spaceships. Now there are a lot fewer shows with vampires, aliens or spaceships, which has shifted my viewing patterns more into the real world (though I maintain that House really is science fiction), but the fact remains that I generally like my TV as unreal as possible.

He went on to list some "you may be a sci fi geek" possibilities. I don't fit the first two because I don't own any of the V miniseries on DVD (but I watched them all when they were originally on TV) and I didn't ever see The Matrix Reloaded (though it also may be geeky of me that I didn't see either of the Matrix sequels because I'd heard bad things and was doing that "I'm pretending this movie doesn't exist so it won't sully my enjoyment of the original" thing that geeks do so well. See Star Wars, episodes 1-3. Or don't. But you get my point). However, I have incorporated "frak" into my vocabulary as a curse word. Not so much "frell" from Farscape because it's not as satisfying to say. I haven't altered a drink with food coloring to make it look like something Quark would serve, but I know what Quark's bar is, and according to the columnist, that means I qualify. I've never worn Spock ears, but I have worn a Star Trek costume for Halloween. I have mocked Jar Jar Binks, but I couldn't hum the Ewoks' Yub Yub song to save my life. I believe I've carried on a conversation using the word "midichlorians" (probably while mocking Jar Jar Binks). I have no idea what he's talking about when mentioning a movie called The Arrival, but I have written fan fiction, which apparently gives me bonus points. Finally, I do know what the acronyms TNG, HRG, ESB, BSG, TARDIS and CSM stand for (and I didn't even have to think too hard because they're acronyms I've used).

So, um, yeah, I'm a geek. Not that this is a huge surprise to anyone who's been around me for very long, or probably not even to anyone who's read my books and is also geeky enough to get the references (speaking of which, just wait for book 4, which contains a huge, running insider reference). It's only a surprise to people who know me superficially, because I generally hide it well. Years ago, I coined the term "Stealth Geek" to describe myself and people like me. This is a person who is still interested in geeky stuff but who has outgrown some of the more awkward outer trappings. Or maybe it's a person in denial or who's repressed and inhibited. Who knows. Read the Stealth Geek FAQ to see where you stand on the issue (I probably need to update it again). I'll be the one at all those science fiction conventions this summer looking like I've stumbled into the wrong place, but remember, I can discuss things like Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc., for hours, and will, given the slightest opening. I just don't happen to own any t-shirts for those things (unless you count the more cryptic Firefly shirts that just have "Serenity" written in Chinese) and I don't do costumes.

One more note about The Great Blog Campaign. Your post doesn't have to be in an actual blog. It can be on a web site, message board, MySpace bulletin, LiveJournal community, etc. I just ask that if you're posting to a community or message board that you be polite and follow those community guidelines. No spamming, please, and be sure that the post is actually appropriate for that community (not that I'm too worried because my readers seem to be a classy bunch). In fact, posts to Harry Potter fan groups would be really nice because that's an audience I think would be prone to like my books, and there are a lot of them, but I haven't really dipped my toes into that online fandom because I'm allergic to shipper wars and those seem hard to avoid there (or maybe I've ventured into the wrong sites and have a totally wrong impression). Those kinds of posts work for contest purposes like blog posts. You just have to let me know what you've done and where it is so I can be sure I've got you entered and so I can share it with everyone else. If you've got a blog or community you want to get the word out about, this is a good way to do it because I will be posting links, where applicable.

And now I think I just heard one burst from the neighborhood tornado siren. It seems to have been a fluke because it's currently only drizzling, but I'd better turn on the TV and check.

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