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Know Your Geek

It’s no secret I have a lot of fun over on Twitter. It’s my preferred internet hangout, and probably represents 50% of the time I spend online. A lot of people wax sarcastic about social networks (me too sometimes), but there’s a lot to admire about the hivemind; it is a community of thought, where ideas and a sense of humor are the currency of the day.

Over the last couple years of tweeting, I’ve wound up following a woman who knits cute little C’thulhus; a bookseller crazed for Veronica Mars; many writers and publishers of geek-minded books; a lady who teaches a college course on Sandman; and a whole crowd of others who get off on fantasy, sf, cosplay, games, and nerdy fun. And gradually this whirring, busy, tirelessly supportive community has led me into a number of geeky passions: Firefly, and Doctor Who, and the Hunger Games novels, and MOON. It came to me at last that I have been taught (without knowing I was being taught) a frame of reference, a common language… a geek patois. And it occurred to me that a working knowledge of this language might be handy for anyone else who senses they are the stuff of geek, and wants to be united with the thought-swarm.

With that in mind, I’d like to build a series of lists: the essential geek reads, movies, shows, and games of the last decade. What do we talk about when we talk about geekdom? This is a two-stage project.

First, we need to build a long list of possibilities. To that end, please use the comments thread to post your own picks for essential geek books, films, shows, and games of the 00s. Or, alternatively, visit Twitter and use these hashtags: #geekreadsofthe00s #geekshowsofthe00s #geekfilmsofthe00s #geekgamesofthe00s.

Next Monday, I’ll take the raw data and turn it over to a panel of noted geek experts. They’ll winnow each rough list down to 10, and put them in order. That list will be here on the blog for everyone to ogle.

Now, to answer some preliminary questions:

SHOULDN’T THERE BE A HASHTAG FOR COMICS? No, I don’t think so. Comics go under “Geek Reads” same as novels. Comics are a part of literature, not separate from it.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE 00s? For the purposes of this discussion we’re going to define the 00s as 2000 – 2010. Which is actually, um, 11 years. It’s okay, just go with it.

WHO IS ON THIS SO-CALLED PANEL OF EXPERTS? Not saying. They know who they are and will be revealed in due time.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE “GEEKY”? Ah, we wouldn’t be geeks if we didn’t love academic questions like this one. If it’s the kind of thing people might celebrate at a place like San Deigo Comic Con, or if it’s the kind of thing io9 might report on, then I think we can say it’s geeky. But that’s a very wide net.

WHAT ABOUT DOCTOR HORRIBLE’S SING-A-LONG BLOG? Let’s call it a TV show. Yes, we all know it will be on the list.

Okay guys. Over to you.

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