Well, this is a first. I just read some serialized fiction.
What's serialized fiction? Well, it's like a television series. A new episode is released each week for about 10-16 weeks. Each episode is about 40-minutes long and is available as either an eBook or an audio file.
Maybe I've been living under a rock (possible), but before I was asked to review a new science fiction-ish series called Geek Actually, I had never heard of serialized fiction.
As a concept, it's really cool. I love devouring fresh, interesting content in innovative ways…don't you? Plus, because this series is available in two different formats, consuming it is easy. The material is always accessible, no matter where you are or what you're doing.
Geek Actually, is co-written by Cathy Yardley, Melissa Blue, Rachel Stuhler, and Cecelia Tan, each noteworthy in their own right.
When I first saw that many names plastered across the cover, I have to admit, I was nervous. Four authors seemed like a lot. I have yet to collaborate myself, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I have always been a very avid reader. I was sure I would be able to tell the difference between the varying writing styles.
I was wrong.
Maybe it's the editing, maybe it's the power of collaboration. Who knows. All I can say is that I sincerely couldn't differentiate between the four separate authors. How cool is that?!
Through Serial Box, there are currently three episodes available for Geek Actually. The fourth episode, "The Long Con," launches on June 28th (today)…but I got a sneak peek! (Is this really my life?!)
The series features five women. They're all connected through their love of geeky fandom, but they couldn't be more different. The characters are as diverse as they should be. Stories about straight white men are boring, right?
Christina and Michelle
These two are half-sisters in the story but boy, are they different. Christina calls it like it is, sometimes to a fault. Her brazen approach often leaves her friends and colleagues feeling scorned. She is disrespectful, rude, and careless. Christina lives in the moment and is sexy as hell. She's a lesbian and works as a production assistant in Hollywood.
Michelle is a book editor in New York. She is put together and flawless. Disciplined and ambitious, she often works too hard, putting her loved ones (and even her own needs) second to her career. Michelle is focused and tightly wound…but we begin to see some of that unravel, which is exciting. Both sisters are of Filipino descent.
The gamer of the group is Taneesha. A lover of video and board games alike, she is also a badass programmer with some serious technical chops. She can keep up with the best of them but often feels the need to prove herself to her "Brogrammer" colleagues. Taneesha lives in Austin, isn't afraid to rock her natural hair, and is the only black, female engineer at her company.
Elli loves cosplay! She lives for it! While in Toronto, everything she does is fueled by her desire to live out her fantasies dressed as her favorite characters. Bubbly, happy, and harmless, she brings a lightness to the group that brightens the team's overall dynamic. She is as flighty as she is fervent, making her dizzyingly complex. Blonde with a pixie cut, Ellie is the innocent, bright-eyed friend.
That leaves Aditi. Aditi hails from Madison, Wisconsin. She is a budding novelist, currently under the editing guidance (and supervision) of her dear friend, Michelle. Curvy and Indian, Aditi is the group's true free spirit. Although some may believe that accolade belongs to Elli, it is Aditi that cannot be confined nor contained. When people try, they are met with a lightly flowing stream of passive aggressive avoidance. Her tragic flaw is her seemingly inability to stand up for herself.
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about the story a little bit! Like I mentioned earlier, I've read the first four episodes…but in the interest of maintaining the element of surprise, I'll leave out as much of the storyline as I can. You're welcome.
If you've been paying attention, you noticed none of our leading ladies live in the same city. That allows for separate (but sometimes overlapping) storylines. Which is cool…and business savvy. Who doesn't love binging on entertainment?
Even though the women all live in separate cities, the authors still manage to find a way to keep them all connected…the internet. (They are geeked-out fangirls, after all.)
Cleverly, the friends connect via a Slack channel, #rebelscum. It is in these moments that we learn something special about the lead characters; we learn how they are viewed by, and how they interact with their friends. It's the only place in the series where we get third person observations and opinions about these women, making their cyber conversations invaluable.
Each of the women has their own character arc, of course, but the range of intensity is quite large. For example, one of the women is getting a divorce and another has to move out of her parents' house if she can't hold down a job. I don't know about you, but one of those scenarios seems a little more dramatic than the other...amiright?
That being said, however, I think one of the reasons why this series is so entertaining is because it's relatable to just about everyone.
Geek Actually has been referred to as the "Sex and the City for nerd grrls," which is a pretty bold statement. I was never a huge fan of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda, but that show was and still is, iconic. It helped pave the way for female sexual empowerment on television and in mainstream media.
While the series in question certainly has a long way to go to achieve SATC status, I'm not gonna lie, after reading the first four episodes, I'm not mad at that comparison. It doesn't offend me. In fact…I can kinda see it.
Geek Actually is unapologetically sexy. And empowering. I wasn't expecting any erotica (not typically my scene), but a little bit here and there (the way this series does it) is tantalizing. I won't get into it, but Christina has a segment that was very hard to ignore.
And the series really does geek out, too. Are you into cosplay? Are you a gamer? Are you a member of Women Who Code? In Geek Actually, there is a little something for every techy, sci-fi fangirl out there.
Honestly, guys, I couldn't put it down.
Five leading characters, each with their own storyline, means a crap load of content and I, for one, can't wait for more. In my opinion, Geek Actually has struck binge-reading (and listening) gold.
So, what are you waiting for? You're gonna want to make room in your life for these five new girlfriends.
Images courtesy of Serial Box