Today I Read…You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

Today I read You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day.You're Never Weird on the Internet

Nerd Queen Felicia Day (she doesn’t embrace the title, but let’s face it, she is) has titled her new memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). Well, she may not be weird on the internet, but in this book she manages to be hilarious, honest, and quirky (quirky is better than weird, right?). From growing up homeschooled (for hippie reasons, not God reasons, as she assures us) to finding out online friends are very different in real life to video game addiction to sneaking around her neighbours trying to film The Guild Felicia Day shares her life in all it’s neurotic, nerdy, nifty (I needed another ‘n’ word, okay?) glory.

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Best Temporary CoverI won this ARC from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, and I was THRILLED to get it because I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to read it. REALLY WANTED. There was squeeing when I read the email saying I had won, I won’t lie. I added it to my 50 Book Pledge shelf so long ago it still had the temporary cover attached to it.

I’ve been a fan of Felicia Day’s since The Guild season 1 (watch it), and of course since Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and her commentary solo about art and The Guild. She was at my first Fan Expo in 2010, but she had to leave early to catch a plane so I couldn’t get her autograph (but I got Amy Okuda’s, who came along with her and who isn’t at all like Tinkerballa IRL, I don’t think she threatened to punch anyone). Fawkes & CodexI even have the Fawkes’ Codex Highlander sextasy poster signed by Wil Wheaton. (And when she comes to Toronto next month on her book signing tour, I’m going to try to get her to sign my poster and my book. Click on her name at the top of the post for her book website including tour dates.) I love her Charlie Bradbury character on Supernatural, and since I haven’t yet seen season 10 I am ignoring any and all rumours of her death (yes, I know it’s Supernatural and everyone dies, shut up, she’s fine).

So basically, I was probably going to like the book.

And I did. Reading her book you feel like Felicia is exactly the kind of person you’d like to spend all night chatting with at a room party during a con. Smart, cool, passionate, and nerdy, just like most of my closest friends. The conversational tone she takes throughout the book is very reminiscent of how she wrote and performed Cyd Sherman/Codex in The Guild–you come away from the book with the idea that Felicia is a more successful and slightly more confident Codex. Codex leveled up, maybe?

I loved reading about the process of making The Guild and the beginning of Geek and Sundry. As someone who has helped run volunteer-led conventions, it was interesting reading her perspective as someone who attends as a guest and how she uses them as a marketing tool for her projects. She also includes a chapter on last year’s GamerGate and her reactions to it. I remember reading articles about her post about GamerGate, and understanding and agreeing with her point of view.

This is Felicia’s story, but it’s also a story about the evolution of internet culture and about fandom, and the participatory nature of both when they’re at their best. In so-called Real Life, it’s possible to be the only nerdy person in your local community. Online, it’s so much easier to meet people who love what you love, or at least who understand what the heck you’re talking about when you say Jack/Daniel Forever!, even if they are confused and misguidedly believe in Jack/Sam when they’re very very wrong (looking at you, Sheena)

My sole criticism of the book is the pictures, which while interesting are black and white and a little too small and hard to see clearly sometimes. This is an ARC, so I’m hoping that the final publication makes them larger and in colour.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to rewatch The Guild, because reading about everything she went through making it has reminded me of just how much I loved watching it.

Me and You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) ARC

Today I Read…Reawakened

Reawakened

Today I read Once Upon a Time: Reawakened, the novelization of the first season of the television show Once Upon a Time, written by Odette Beane.

When Emma Swan woke up on her twenty-eighth birthday, she expected to spend it the way she spent every other day–alone and working. But after she wishes on a candle, Henry, the son she gave up for adoption ten years ago, knocks on her door asking for a lift back home. To Storybrooke, Maine. Where he says that his adoptive mother, the mayor, is really the Evil Queen from a fairy tale land, and that everyone who lives there is a fairy tale character who has lost their memory due to the Evil Queen’s curse, and that Emma is the destined saviour of the town. Okay. Well, she’ll give Henry that lift home and maybe talk to his mother about his fantasies.

Except there is something a little evil about Mayor Regina Mills–maybe Emma should stick around to make sure that Henry is okay? And Mary Margaret Blanchard seems very familiar–Henry claims it’s because she is really Snow White, and Emma’s mother. And strange things do keep happening in Storybrooke–could Henry be right?
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I love the show Once Upon a Time. A friend loaned me season one on DVD last summer and I marathoned through it in less than a week. I’ve always been fond of rewritten fairy tales, and OUAT does it beautifully, really fleshing out the simple characters we’re all familiar with. Also, visually the show is stunning, both the sets (with a lot of CGI help) and the costuming.

That said, the novelization just isn’t the same as watching the season. It doesn’t go all that much in depth with the characters’ thoughts and feelings, which is the main advantage a book has over a television show. It uses the dialogue and scenes from the show, but doesn’t really expand on them, and it glosses over details that are in the show. It has to–it’s hard to fit 22 hours into one book, without making the book as large as your average Diana Gabaldon novel, but OUAT is so beautifully detailed that the novelization feels like a pale copy. Not that it’s bad–I still enjoyed reading it, and reminding myself of what a beautiful world it’s created, and of course it’s easier to find the time and space to read as opposed to plunking myself in front of the television for 22 hours, but I think I’m going to have to pick the DVD season over the novelization of the season.

What I would be very interested in would be original novels set in the OUAT universe– I always enjoy media tie-ins, and OUAT has so many characters and so much history to choose from that books could be incredible. I’m already looking forwards to the expansion of the universe with the upcoming Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, which I saw a preview of at Fan Expo last weekend.

So, Reawakened is good for the collector fan who likes to collect everything they possibly can about their fandom, but for the casual fan I’d recommend picking up the DVDs instead. And I can’t wait for season 3 to start!