But I especially love geeks in fiction. Or want to, anyway. I rarely find books about geeks - especially girl geeks - that read true to life. Far more often, it seems that the writer tells us a character is a geek, makes him or her strong at academics, and maybe puts them in ill-fitting clothes and ugly shoes. Aaand that's it.
Now this is where I have to make a confession. I am a pretty big geek. Over the years, I've learned to pass for normal. I married another geek who passes for normal, and in fact, I was so deep in hiding that, while MJ loves my dork side, he didn't even know I read comic books until we were married. But I read every Star Wars novel published up until 2003, I have a rock collection, and I went to Geek U. (seriously, you would not believe the things I saw at my college) where I minored in Physics and crushed on a boy who wore a periodic table of the elements t-shirt.
I like to think that I know a little something about the subject, and these are the defining characteristics of how I'd classify a true geek:
- Obsessive interest in one subject or more. Probably a subject most other people are not interested in, but regardless of whether it's generally considered interesting or not, their level of knowledge is Not Normal.
- Some degree of dissatisfaction with the world as it is - and a response of seeking out some type of escapism.
- Disregard of some social norm. Yeah, you've got the serious geeks who wear their homemade chain mail to class (I went to school with multiple people who did this) and who can't make eye contact, and then you have the cool geeks who are just slightly quirky. But you're not a geek unless you sometimes slip up and talk too much about something you find interesting, only to realize you are being stared at blankly because no on else cares about the physics of A Wrinkle In Time, or linger over geeky t-shirts you know you shouldn't wear in public, or something. Something that says This Girl Over Here? Not Quite Normal.
Also, I'm beginning to realize I may have overthought this. Sorry, but that's sort of what I do. And I want to know, why the absence of the geek? Are they too hard for the average reader to relate to? Because I think, while not everyone will bounce up and down with excitement when someone makes a math joke or a Star Trek reference, we can all relate to feeling a bit socially awkward or out of place in this world.
Anyone have any book recs to prove me wrong in my analysis of a lack of geekery in modern fiction?