By Lisa Fary
There are times when my jobby job requires me to go inside churches. I’m never very happy about this, my school being a public one and me being a heathen pigdog, but it’s not for sermonizing. It’s just meeting space for professional development or state testing, so I suck it up and go.
This time. . . well, let’s just say “rage” and leave it at that.
Maybe it’s the Christian easy listening looping in the hallway, loud enough to be heard in the testing room. Maybe it’s being locked out of the building in the cold for 15 minutes (without my coat) when I ran out to the car. Or maybe I’m just hungry hulking because I didn’t get breakfast this morning.
Whatever the reason, I fight the urge to run through the hall, shouting the lyrics to ‘F**k the Pain Away.”
The music seeps in from the hallway. My head plays Peaches silently in combat. Each moment I can, I pick up Sarah Kuhn’s book, One Con Glory, and read a few pages, creating a cone of normalcy – foul-mouthed, geeky normalcy – around my folding chair.
Sarah Kuhn is a veteran geek entertainment journalist who has written for IGN.com, Geek Monthly, and Star Trek.com. With One Con Glory, she brings us a believable – and relatable – heroine in a rom-com set in a convention.
The set up is simple:
Julie, intrepid geekgirl reporter, is covering GinormoCon (not a stand in for SDCC, which is name-checked) for her publication with the ulterior motive of snagging an action figure at a con-related auction. Conventions being like prom, summer camp, and the middle school cafeteria rolled into one stinky blister pack, naturally, drama ensues.
Julie’s voice is a familiar one; she is, after all, a fangirl with critical thinking abilities and a low tolerance for stupid (and a blog). A lot of us are likely to hear ourselves echoed in her voice. Which isn’t to say we’ll agree on everything.
Yes, I argued with a fictional character about the merits of Babylon 5 over Deep Space Nine.
And defended to her the existence of fanfic and slash (as presented by the fabulous Sylvia Bond).
And mentally yelled at her, “Some of us need those chunky eyeglasses, OK? My scrip won’t be contained by wire frames.”
One Con Glory is short, more novella than novel, with some funny extras at the end. Being such an enjoyable read, the normal thing to say would be, “It ended too soon!” But, Kuhn knows the secret that so many don’t: when to stop. One Con Glory, like Firefly, Pushing Daisies, and NextWave, ends while it’s still fun and in my good graces. It will never jump the shark or abuse my fan loyalty (I’m looking at you – yeah, you know who you are).
Short and even a little sweet, One Con Glory is $10 well spent (and an excellent tool for quelling rage in uncomfortable work settings). You can read an excerpt from the book here, and you can buy it here.
Lisa Fary is a graduate of the creative writing program at Florida State University and holds an advanced degree in Special Education. Her earliest influences are Princess Leia, Rainbow Bright, Astronaut Barbie, and her 6th grade teacher, Ms. Palmer. She’s angry that it’s almost 2010 and she still doesn’t have a hovercraft, but will accept a jetpack as consolation. That jetpack had better be pink with a rhinestone monogram.