You know what Whedonistas reminds me of? It’s less like a book and more like a written version of a bunch of geeky women hanging out at a bar, talking about the fandoms they love. This collection of essays is an absolutely wonderful read, especially to a geek girl like me, who is a long way away from her favorite bunch of geeks.
There are too many fantastic essays in this book to talk about them all. Even though I was only a casual Buffy and Angel fan (I really got into Whedon fandom with my late discovery of Firefly), I loved reading about how being a part of Whedon fandom brought joy to these women’s lives. I wasn’t a part of Buffy fandom, but like these Whedonistas, I found wonderful friends and camaraderie in other online fandoms, and I can deeply appreciate what the essayists are saying. It’s awesome that fandoms like Joss’s create welcoming spaces for female fans. Much like the found/chosen family of Firefly, fandom has created strong links between fangirls (and fanboys) from widely different backgrounds.
Other essays deal with the source texts themselves–Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible–and they’re thoughtful, funny, and insightful. Being a Firefly fan, I gravitated toward those essays, and I loved reading about the appeal of Captain Tightpants and why Kaylee is such a great character. Reading the Buffy essays made me want to rewatch the series, since I haven’t since the days when I watched repeats on the Armed Forces Network while living in Germany.
Whedonistas will mainly appeal to Whedon fans, but if you’re interested in fan studies in general (this book gave me pleasant flashbacks to grad school) or just enjoy reading about why fans love their fandoms, it’s a great read.