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Of Generational Geekdom

There’s this stereotype of the generic geek, nerd, or whatever one cares to label a person who enjoys the science fiction and fantasy genres. Socially awkward, something of a jerk regarding certain subjects (Star Wars or Star Trek debates anyone?), somewhat nitpicky, the person always chosen last for sports of any kind. Possibly bespectacled, and in a more recent development, spending a lot of their time online. The predominant stereotype is also usually gendered as male. As for their parents, well if one again goes with the generic trope, then their parents don’t have the full spectrum of nerd-ness going on.

On the other hand, some of us actually have a nerd as one of our parents. Or for some of us who managed to be especially lucky, both parents are nerds. I got really lucky.

Having geek parents sometimes makes things a little strange, particularly with things that were introduced to me in my childhood that have made a comeback, for example: Doctor Who. Who was your first doctor? These days if you ask someone in my age group that question, you are far more likely to have an answer of the Tenth or the Ninth Doctor. When I say that my first Doctor was the Fourth, it means that my parents had us all watching the old serials on PBS. It should be noted that this does not diminish the awesomeness of having more people around to enjoy the show though. (Yes, we’re now on the Eleventh Doctor. I don’t care, because there are still elements of all the rest in the latest regenerations.)

The biggest influence on my preference for science fiction and fantasy is probably my mother. Granted, my dad will always be the first one to suggest breaking out the telescope to look at a comet slamming into Jupiter or spend Sunday morning flying rockets (him being a nerd in the more engineering sense of the term). But my mom still had that preference for SFF when I was small, and Dad’s more a contemporary fiction reader these days. My mom also played Dungeons & Dragons with my siblings and myself. There were three different copies of The Hobbit around the house and some extremely beat up copies of the Dragonlance trilogy on the bookshelves. There’s more, but it would take too long to list everything here and I’d rather not bore everyone into going off to find a cheese sandwich.

My mom still has that love of science fiction and fantasy, whereas getting my dad to read Good Omens has taken quite a few months (and I’m still not sure if he’s actually read it yet). I get multiple book recommendations from my mother. I recommend books back to her. When we go to geeky conventions, I’ll spend some of the time running around booths and seminars with her (she went to the Epic Fantasy panel with me at the San Diego Comic-Con).

We’ve got some definite similarities in our reading. We both enjoy intelligent characters whatever the storyline, a streak of humor, and storylines that turn to the serious. We like books with awesome female characters and interesting mythologies. She likes sword and sorcery a lot more than I do these days, where I’ve gotten picky and bored and started doing things like subgenre bingo to them. Even so, there’s always something that one of us hasn’t read and the other hasn’t ever heard of, but it’s totally awesome and they should read it anyway.

Now with the rest of the world gathering for some winter celebration or other around the solstice, I intend to celebrate with my geeky family. Possibly set something on fire in the kitchen in the name of good cooking chemistry, and probably play some board game involving lots of dice and declarations of “Hand me the Tommy gun and the elder sign, I’m going portal diving.”  So to all my fellow SFF geeks, happy whatever you choose to celebrate this winter weekend and merry bah humbug if you choose not to. 🙂

Dragon Sock by Anne Stokes

Happy Holidays from the entire Fantasy-Faction staff! May all your stories be fantastic and all your holidays be bright! 🙂

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Title Image by CWCreationMachine
 

Sock Dragon by Anne Stokes

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