You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

I am not a gamer. Never have been, probably never will be (I don’t have the patience or stress tolerance). But Felicia Day’s web show The Guild resonated with me. It was and still is hilarious. The characters are unforgettable, and I still quote this show more often than I will admit.  I don’t remember how I first heard of it, but I watched the shows as they came out online and bought the series on DVD.  There are 3 shows that I re-watch randomly throughout the year and will never get sick of watching – Gilmore Girls, Firefly (this, of course, includes the movie Serenity), and The Guild. So when I saw Felicia Day was writing a book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), I was ecstatic. I strongly hinted I wanted a signed copy of this book for Christmas, but secretly pre-ordered a signed copy on Powells.com just in case (luckily I did, as I did not get it for Christmas), and jumped for joy when it came in the mail. But as I don’t read very many print books anymore, I just put it on my shelf and smiled at it every time I passed by.

     Then one day I noticed it available on Audible. I knew I could finish an audiobook in a few days and was excited to finally read this book, but what made it an immediate buy for me was when I saw it was narrated by Felicia Day herself. No one can read an authors book like they can.  And Felicia Day is awesome.
     So anyway… I listened to it. I put aside the other two audiobooks I am currently listening to, and listened raptly to this memoir on my commute to and from work, during my lunch breaks, and while doing dishes. I’m not a memoir person. I am usually fiction all the way. But. Oh my goodness. I loved this book. She is me. I am her. I have so many neurotic thoughts and behaviors and I swear she touched on every one of them.
     Four words came to mind when I finished this audiobook. Validating. Inspiring. Terrifying. Brilliant.
     Validating because OH WOW I am not alone. When she describes how it felt to sit down and write the screenplay to The Guild, I finally felt like the way I feel when I try to write my never ending book in progress is NORMAL. Other people feel this way! I wonder how many other authors I know have this same feeling. I honestly thought every other author sits down to write and the words just spring forth from their fingers like really talented and not gross vomit. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, or why something I have wanted to do for most of my life would feel so difficult and painful to accomplish. So much relief, Felicia! Thank you!
      Inspiring because Felicia Day peppered this book with nuggets of positive wisdom, a whole lot of “you can do it”! After reading everything that she went through to get where she is today, I truly feel like maybe I can do this. Maybe I can write this book. Maybe it won’t suck. And if it does, I will still have a finished book in my hands with my name on it. I WILL DO THIS.  It also inspired me to write this review.  My second review on this website, and it’s been up for over a year. This will probably also be my longest ever post. I also tweeted Felicia Day right after I finished the book (today). I can count the number of tweets I’ve done on one hand.
      Terrifying because OH MY GOSH, I’M GOING TO DO THIS. I was so inspired that I am really going to finally buckle down and write my book no matter how painful it is to finish that first draft. This is a very heady feeling. I’m not sure that I like it, but it’s definitely motivating. It was also terrifying because I had no idea some of the things she had to deal with from critics in the gaming industry.  Just imagining being in her situation… *shudder*
     Brilliant because, well, it’s brilliant. Felicia Day has a way of making you feel like you are sitting at lunch with a kooky friend who is telling you that you’re not crazy, well you are but that’s good, and you can use that crazy to get where you want to be in life. I laughed out loud, cringed with her, and even almost cried a couple of times. This book is exactly what I needed, and it came to me at exactly the perfect time.
     The only thing I didn’t like about the audiobook is that often throughout the book, Felicia Day refers to a PDF that apparently was supposed to come with the audiobook (I never got a PDF) containing pictures that she sometimes talks about in the book. Luckily I had my print copy of the book and was able to flip through to see what photos she was referring to, so it was only mildly irritating.
     I read a review somewhere online where the reviewer was irritated that Felicia didn’t use the book as more of a platform for pro-female geeks and gamers and discussion on how they’re treated in the gaming world. I disagree. This is her memoir. She wrote about her life and her experiences in the gaming world. She did touch on the way women are seen and treated in gaming throughout the book, but most of the book was about her life, as it should be.
     So, to make a long review longer, but not terribly so, I highly recommend Felicia Day’s book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). If you can get your hands on the audiobook, even better (but nab a copy of the print book so you know what pictures she’s talking about or you will go insane).

Today is release day for The Z Chronicles, an anthology by Samuel Peralta and edited by Ellen Campbell. Authors included are: Angela Cavanaugh, Ann Christy, Christopher Boore, David Adams, Diedre Gould, Geoffrey Wakeling, Hugh Howey, Jennifer Foehner Wells, Kris Holt, Lesley Smith, Peter Cawdron, Stacy Ericson, Theresa Kay and Will Swardstrom.

I had high hopes for this book – a few of my favorite authors are featured: Hugh Howey, Ann Christy & Theresa Kay. Their stories were all excellent, and I was very pleased with the entire anthology. Theresa Kay’s story “Six Days” in particular merits a mention as story that most hit “home” with me and disturbed me greatly. It is a story of a mother’s love that broke my heart, and I can only hope in a similar situation I would be strong enough to do the same. But I was surprised to note that the two stand-out stories were from authors I had never experienced – Christopher Boore and Peter Cawdron. Boore’s “Kamika-Z” was a terrifying scenario – not at all the ending I expected and terribly real and fascinating. I look forward to reading more by this author. Cawdron’s “Free Fall”…WOW! Hands down the best story in the anthology. This was a scenario I had never thought about, and towards the end I was quite literally on the edge of my seat. You will not be disappointed with this anthology.

* I received an Advance Review Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review.  The links to the book on Amazon.com are not Affiliate links.