My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As with all short story collections, there are some stories that hit you harder than others. Here, part of that depends on your style of geekiness and part depends on the types of stories you enjoy. Overall, this is a solid collection, but a few of the stories suffer if you’re not up on the terminology that goes with that particular world.
In (I think – I already returned the book) “Definitional Chaos” by Scott Westerfeld, it took a while to get into the story because I was so distracted trying to figure out the terminology. Some stories, though, feel more universal to experiences of nerdiness – in Wendy Mass’ “The Stars at the Finish Line,” not being a space geek didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. Quite the opposite – it made me want to head out to the middle of nowhere on a clear night and do some star gazing.
Some stories are more about getting the in-jokes (I think “One of Us” by Tracy Lynn would fall flat without knowing at least a handful of the references) and others combine that nicely with emotional resonance. Libba Bray’s “It’s Just a Jump to the Left” had plenty of geekiness and a surprisingly touching ending.
Recommended if you identify as a geek, nerd, etc., or if you’re looking for a smart, funny short story collection.
Source: my public library