Geek Wisdom

Like any Dragon*Con attendee, featured guest Stephen H. Segal has long lived by the maxims that lead all our geeky lives:  All that is gold does not glitter / Not all those who wander are lost (The Lord of the Rings); Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent (Foundation); With great power comes great responsibility (good old Spidey!); Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering (I think you know this one); DON’T PANIC (you’d really better know this one).

All this wisdom and more—so much, much more—come together to form the vast and varied cultural canon of modern life, yet they aren’t all located in one convenient omniscient volume like The Complete Works of Shakespeare or the Bible. That is, they weren’t until now. Segal, former editorial and creative director of Weird Tales, gathered a team of four multifaceted and award-winning writers from across the geek culture spectrum to compile what really should be the official Dragon*Con holy book. Geek Wisdom collects almost 200 of the most memorable quotes from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Matrix to Zero Wing and features corresponding essays that are hilarious, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and profoundly inspiring.

On Sunday in the Hyatt’s Edgewood conference room, Segal asked audience members to call out their fandoms of choice and then read corresponding excerpts from the book. Willy Wonka, Catwoman, The Princess Bride, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and the Superfriends have all taught us more than we know. Geek Wisdom explores our favorite aphorisms with a compassionate and optimistic touch that will have every nerdy reader in laughter, tears, and probably tears of laughter.

This compilation is a healing balm for anyone who’s ever struggled with being different, finding true love, and trying to save the world like the superheroes of our beloved canon. If only someone had shown this book to Edward Scissorhands as he cried, “I’m not finished!” because, as Geek Wisdom points out, “You don’t have to be finished to be awesome.”

Author of the article

Nivair H. Gabriel has whiled away her twenty-four years of life on Earth as a writer, feminist, engineer, photographer, and fangirl. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and has contributed to, Fantasy Magazine, Pittsburgh Magazine, MIT's The Tech, and the Hugo Award-winning Weird Tales. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she works as a technical writer by day and sometimes sleeps by night. She believes that the existence of Jon Stewart is proof of God's love for humankind. This is her fourth Dragon*Con.