Book Review - Whedonistas

At OSFest I picked up a copy of Whedonistas, a book of essay on the various TV series created by Joss Whedon. I read the book while at the con.

It's from the same press that published Chicks Dig Time Lords, and follows a similar format. There are essays by women about Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and Doctor Horrible's Sing-Aong Blog. The pieces come from fans, authors, and two interviews are included: one with writer/producer Jane Espenson, the other with Juliet Landau (Drusilla).

One of my favorite pieces in the book is an appreciation of Firefly's Kaylee. It points out that though Kaylee is smart and a good engineer, she's also a young woman who likes to feel attractive and is deeply in love. This is an important point: female characters are often forced to be either smart or girly, rarely both. It's something I'm going to keep in mind as I write more about Lisa Herbert and her adventures.

The downside of this book is that it's not so much "warts and all" as CDTL. There wasn't that much criticism of the series or of fandom. I think both of these are due to the fact that Whedon's works only go back to the mid-to-late 1990s. Standards are higher for genre TV, and fandom has become more diverse. I would be curious to revisit this subject in another ten years.

That said, this is a good book to buy if you have any interest in Whedon's work. I give it 3 out of 5 stars at Goodreads.

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