Webster’s Dictionary defines the word Geek as “an unfashionable or socially inept person.” Webster’s definition seems outdated. Geeks and geek culture has become fashionably and socially mainstream. Yet mainstream Geekdom is often only seen as a few genres: comic books, TV, film and video games; with DC Comics and Marvel occupying majority of the categories. Sometimes we forget that you can be a geek for an array of things: anime, manga, literature, space and even steampunk. There is a book that features the very best of geeks and Geekdom; highlighting important geek moments across all categories. That book is James Clarke’s The Year of the Geek: 365 Adventures from the Sci-fi and Fantasy Universe.
As you can see in the title of this review I mentioned quizzo. If you don’t know what quizzos are, don’t worry, your friendly neighborhood Yali has got the tea. Quizzos are simply trivia contest; often of a particular subject/theme. Here at Geekadelphia we write about quizzo events happening in the city all the time.
The Year of the Geek is an informative book that shares 365 important moments in geek history. The book starts at January 1 and ends at December 31, with an event for every single date in a calendar year! Which means you can go to your own birthdate and see what cool thing happened on that day.( On my birthdate[my exact birthday]Tim Berners-Lee published a Proposal for a technology known as “WWW.” ) The Year of the Geek does not focus on one particular year, it goes through many years, across decades.
The Year of the Geek would be the perfect study guide for those of you who enjoy quizzos or want to get in to it. There are facts in this book that I have been questions in quizzos I have attended. As previously mentioned, TYOTG, has information about alternate reality, role playing, cult TV and more. Want to know what year the Legend of Zelda was released? It’s in there. Ever been curious about what’s the highest grossing Pixar film? Covered. Need to know the day and year the events in Akira occur? Got it. You’ll be surprised by how much is in this book!
What makes The Year of the Geek appealing is the attention to detail in the illustrations and design of the book. The exterior of the book actually looks like a science textbook from college(though not as big or expensive). The interior mimics the exterior. Inside the book there are colorful charts, pictures, graphs and diagrams. However you are dealing with standard charts; there is a chart that shows the grow of comic-con using sailor moon instead of bars. You can also see a breakdown of Simpsons characters using donuts. The multiple subject matters are given distinct graphics that fit them perfectly.
I have one nitpick with The Year of the Geek. I think this book would have benefited from some sort of index. Since this book encompasses many genres and years, I would have liked to be able to know which pages have information about anime, the 1970s, or birthdays of popular figures in geek history. Since the book feels(and looks) like a textbook, I think that would have been a great added touch.
The Year of the Geek: 365 Adventures from the Sci-fi and Fantasy Universe is an excellent book for anyone interested in geek culture and geek history. The information in this book is presented in a fun and colorful way. You’ll be able to impress your friends or be prepared for a quizzo night with what you will learn(or rediscover) in this book.
The Year of the Geek is available for purchase wherever books are sold in store and online.