Comic book superheroes, fantasy kingdoms, and futuristic starships have become inescapable features of today’s pop-culture landscape, and the people we used to deride as “nerds” or “geeks” have ridden their popularity and visibility to main- stream recognition. It seems it’s finally hip to be square. Yet these conventionalized representations of geek culture typically ignore the real people who have invested time and resources to make it what it is. Getting a Life recentres our understanding of geek culture on the everyday lives of its partici- pants, drawing on fieldwork in comic book shops, game stores, and conventions, including in-depth interviews with ordinary members of the over- lapping communities of fans and enthusiasts. Benjamin Woo shows how geek culture is a set of interconnected social practices that are associated with popular media. He argues that typical depic- tions of mass-mediated entertainment as some- thing that isolates and pacifies its audiences are flawed because they do not account for the conver- sations, relationships, communities, and identities that are created by engaging with the products of mass culture. Getting a Life combines engaging interview material with lucid interpretation and a clear, interdisciplinary framework. The volume is both an accessible introduction to this contemporary subculture and an exploration of the ethical possibilities of a life lived with media. Benjamin Woo is assistant professor of communi- cation and media studies at Carleton University. 6 M Q U P S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 C O M M U N I C AT I O N S T U D I E S • C U LT U R A L S T U D I E S Getting a Life The Social Worlds of Geek Culture benjamin woo What the“triumph of the nerds”can tell us about the place of media in people’s lives. S P E C I F I C AT I O N S March 2018 978-0-7735-5284-5 $32.95A CDN, $27.95A US, £22.99 cloth 6 x 9 272pp eBook available