Book Review: Whedonistas

March 16, 2011 Books, Reading, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

Book Review: WhedonistasWhedonistas! four-half-stars
In Whedonistas, a host of award-winning female writers and fans come together to celebrate the works of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngelFireflyDollhouseDoctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). By discussing the impact of Whedon's work, their involvement with his shows fandoms and why they adore the worlds he's created, these essayists aim to misbehave in Whedon's rich, fantastical worlds. Essay topics include Sharon Shinn (Samaria series) and Emma Bull (Territory) elaborating on the perfection of Firefly, Jeanne Stein (the Anna Strong Chronicles) revealing Buffy's influence on Anna Strong, and Nancy Holder (October RainThe Watcher's Guide) relating on-the-set tales of Spike menacing her baby daughter while Riley made her hot chocolate. Other contributors include Seanan McGuire (October Daye series), Elizabeth Bear (Chill), Catherynne M. Valente (Palimpsest), Maria Lima (Blood Lines), Jackie Kessler (Black and White), Mariah Huehner (IDW Comics), Sarah Monette (Corambis), and Lyda Morehouse (AngeLINK Series). Also featured is an exclusive interview with television writer and producer Jane Espenson.
Published by Mad Norwegian Press on 2011
Genres: Geek Culture, Nonfiction
Pages: 198
Format: eARC
Find this book on Goodreads

I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.



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.

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