This week on the podcast, there was a lot of talk about box office stuff here and abroad.
Then there was a trivia game about addresses that led me to think Watson and I watched the same cartoons.
But in the middle of that was a Geek Mail from a friend of Watson’s thanking the show and the site for all the recommendations he’s gotten, so I’m gonna do something like that.
OK, I suppose I could thank the Gabbers for their various recommendations, and it is true that because of them I’ve gotten to the Red Rising series. Of course, they also got me to read Armada, so that may be testing the limits of gratitude.
But one thing the Net and rising Geekdom have done is allow people with interests to hook up and share recommendations.
So, I want to shout out a couple friends of mine. I met both in college. Kyle, a good friend, got me into Discworld. You know, those books I try to cover at a rate of one a week? Hearing Kyle simply describe the Death of Rats was probably all he needed to do. A rat skeleton in a grim reaper outfit that says, “SQUEAK,” and nothing else? Sign me up!
I also got into a bit of tabletop roleplaying. I don’t really do that too much anymore, but Kyle’s still hosting games out there. He’s a good friend, and knows how to make a good recommendation. It’s why I sent him the Discworld Witches board game for his birthday. Dude loves him some Granny Weatherwax.
On the other end is a gal I know, who mostly prefers a certain level of Internet anonymity so I’ll refrain from naming her. I got her into Neil Gaiman. She got me into…well, probably about half the Geek Lit entries I’ve put on this site that weren’t either an urban fantasy series or a podcast book club. Among Others and Uprooted came from her.
See, sharing recommendations is one of the things that makes ongoing Geekdom something special. We know roughly what we like, and likeminded friends can push us in those directions. The Internet makes that easier and easier. Hey, seriously people, get your geek friends who read (which is probably most geeks) to sign up on Goodreads.com and you can recommend books fairly easily. It wasn’t always this way, but going back to Among Others makes a good point on that.
In the book, young Mor loves to read science fiction and fantasy. But it’s also, like, 1979. No Internet. She has to muddle on through based just off what she can find in various parents’ book collections and libraries. She only really comes out of her social shell, so to speak, when she joins a science fiction appreciation club that meets in the local library. Now she gets all manners of recommendations, makes some friends, and even gets a boyfriend.
That’s the power of geek recommendations.
Yeah, everyone recommends favorite stuff to people, but I think when your interests are part of a “subculture,” no matter how much money Disney rakes in with its various properties, it still means something special when a friend can recommend something into that fantastic world all geeks love. It’s only natural for a geek to recommend stuff. Heck, I got my brother hooked on The Dresden Files by just giving him two of my novels. By the time I was bringing him the third, he told me he’d already read it on his own.
That’s kinda cool.