By Alissa Whitmore, Book Reviews Editor
Ah, summer. There are few things better than relaxing with a good book in the park, on the beach, or inside under a fan and air-conditioning.
Are you in search of your next great read? We’ve got some suggestions!
There are tons of great books on geek culture – far too many for one person to read. That’s where we come in. The Geek Anthropologist wants to help our readers find fantastic books on pop culture, fandom, and virtual worlds that also offer a deep dive into social and cultural issues, advance insightful ideas and criticism, and provoke and encourage readers to think about geek culture and media in a new way.
This is where you come in. We’re looking for people who love thinking critically about comics, video games, sci fi movies, fantastic tv shows, futuristic novels, fandom, and geek culture. How do these stories help explain who we are, and what anthropological ideas and themes show up and intersect with these topics and media?
We have a list of books that our readers would love to hear more about and we need reviewers! The Geek Anthropologist will provide you with a free copy (typically in digital format) of a book that you want to review and that we want reviewed. You’ll read said book and then submit a book review that we’ll publish to the blog! Reviews can take several forms:
Short and Sweet Book Reviews
These reviews offer a summary of the book’s major themes and discuss how the book relates to topics in geek culture and anthropology. How does the book further current conversations? How does it compare with similar books and scholarship? In a world full of awesome reads, is it worth our time? And why? These book reviews will typically have a 1000 word maximum.
Epic Review Essays
These in depth reviews cover many the same topics as short reviews but further situate the book within the existing body of literature. Did the author reach the goals that they set for the book? How do they build upon existing scholarship and (hopefully!) provide a new, innovative approach? Reviewers are encouraged to expand beyond the book, drawing in and reflecting upon current events, new tv shows/movies/video games released after the book’s publication, and related aspects of geek culture not discussed in the book. These essays will typically have a 3000 word maximum. For an example, see Christopher Marcatili’s review of Alexis Lothian’s Old Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Possibility.
Video / Audio Reviews
We also welcome reviews in video or audio format! They can be short and sweet, or epic in length, but should include the same content as the written form. If you are thinking about a video or audio review, include this in the pitch and we can talk about the particulars.
How to Pitch Us
The first step is to check out our book list of desired future reviews. If you know of another great book that isn’t on that list (and which deals with geek culture, intersects with anthropology, and was published within the last 2 years), great! Feel free to suggest it, and include the name, title, and a brief description.
Next, pitch us your book review. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Introduce yourself, tell us about your exposure to anthropology and/or the social sciences, what you love to geek, and which book you want to review. How does your background, coursework, and/or research make you a perfect fit to review this book? Give us a broad idea of your timeline – how soon would you want to read this book and how long would it take to craft your review? We also welcome collaboration with academic departments – if you are teaching an undergraduate class and want your students to try the genre of book reviews, we’re open to exploring opportunities with your classroom.
If multiple people want to review the same book, we’ll select the best candidate for the job. We’ll try to get back to you within a few weeks to let you know if you are our chosen reviewer and to discuss timelines, ideas, and other details.