Dept. of Geek Girls, real or fake:
Johanna Draper Carlson finds a SF book from 24 years ago that predicted the kind of soul-stealing succubus that many fear with a narrative involving a SF convention:
The other, Brenda Lindenfeld, is a fat girl with some costuming skill — she first appears as a pathetic contestant in the costume contest, “a fierce-looking redhead who might have outweighed the average calf” and whose dress would have been pretty if it was “ten sizes smaller”. Her ability is not mentioned as the book goes on, once Brenda latches onto a skinny, obnoxious, virgin nerd. She needs a room to stay in and someone to pay for her meals, and he’s her ticket, even though she finds him boring and unattractive. But once she finds out he’s studying computer science, she’s determined to get pregnant to keep him around so he’ll get her a big-screen TV.
Look at that! It’s a woman hanging around a con just to entrap and exploit guy geeks. Isn’t that what everyone was afraid of? And 24 years ago, to boot! And written by a female author! Only problem is, even this exploitative “femmefan” (as the girls are referred to) gets something out of SF and reads the works on her own, enjoying the escapism that lets her forget how unhappy she is with herself. So she doesn’t even qualify as “fake” all that much.
Meanwhile, Colleen Doran has an even more shocking expose that proves that fake MALE geeks can exist, in a piece called Jonathan Frakes: Booth Babe or Menace? which delves into history to find out that Commander Riker Jonathan Frakes once went around dressed as Captain America
…and wasn’t even a real nerd. Yes, fake geeks could be anywhere around us, and we must be eternally vigilant.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.