Diehard fangirl Julie loves Buffy marathons, fighting about comic book continuity, and being left alone. But more than anything, Julie loves Glory Gilmore, a mostly-forgotten C-List superheroine from the world of '80s comics. For years, she's longed to reclaim the precious Glory action figure that's eluded her grasp so many times before. And one fateful weekend, she has the chance to do just that. Of course, no great quest is ever simple. Before she can triumph over the forces of loudmouth nerds and clueless Mundanes everywhere, Julie will have to deal with an avalanche of unexpected obstacles. In the midst of battles for videogame supremacy and frustrating encounters with a supremely irritating TV pretty boy, she'll be forced to reconsider her fandom and reevaluate her life. She might even have to talk to people.
Sarah Kuhn is the author of Heroine Complex—the first in a series starring Asian American superheroines—for DAW Books. She also wrote The Ruby Equation for the comics anthology Fresh Romance and the romantic comedy novella One Con Glory, which earned praise from io9 and USA Today and is in development as a feature film. Her articles and essays on such topics as geek girl culture, comic book continuity, and Sailor Moon cosplay have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine, AngryAsianMan.com, IGN.com, Back Stage, The Hollywood Reporter, StarTrek.com, Creative Screenwriting, and the Hugo-nominated anthology Chicks Dig Comics. In 2011, she was selected as a finalist for the CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) New Writers Award.
My inner geek (well hidden behind tattoos and a swear word laden attitude) is squealing like a little piggy over this gem because let me tell you, it was pretty fucking awesome (and I hate that word).
Julie is a feisty, no holds barred heroine and Jack is just bloody adorable. Add in comics, Star Trek and Buffy (that show still beats a lot of the modern crap about), and you have a brilliant little book.
I loved LOVED this book! This is the kind of geek girl lit that I want to see become more and more of a trend. In fact, this needs to be a movie! It's not every day you find a female geek character in a a book as not only a MAIN character but a likeable one at that. Julie is a character you feel for, root for and want to go to Comic-Con with! It's a fun rom-com that doesn't insult those of us who love to flirt in Klingon. Do yourself a favor and read this book!
Julie has trouble keeping Glory Gilmore in her collection of dolls..After a certain event she's once again left without a Glory and it just so happens the Con she'll be attending is auctioning one off. She also has some interview a guy while at the Con..And what a shock she outright hates him and of course he LOVES Glory Gilmore too, he's also a geek but she keeps saying he isn't until he properly proves himself as one....*rolls eyes* Seriously, it just gets more predictable as you read that I'm just going to stop right here...lol
My good friend Sarah Kuhn wrote this awesome book about a lady nerd on a quest for a rare action figure named Glory Gilmore (GILMORE GIRLS REFERNCE FTW!) A must read for all nerds everywhere who know what it's like to obsess over minutiae and attend crowded cons while dealing with the geek's disease - social anxiety.
There were cliches and stereotypes, characters that were "real" and "layered" in really obvious ways (the hot actor ruining the character he plays in the adaption of Julie's favorite comic book is actually an honest to goodness geek like her deep inside! Yawn.), but there were also some amusing bits, and yes, some recognizable characters among the cliches. It was ok. Read in one sitting, so not a huge commitment, in any case.
And Angel is so not Buffy's soul mate. They're too fundamentally different and will just continue to grow apart. So there.
Sometimes you just need something light and fun to get you through the day and this was my particular savior the last couple of days. Being the nerdy girl that I am (and the fact that I was literally at a convention this weekend) the setting was perfect and I enjoyed all the video game and comic book references. I enjoyed the quick romance, however, I kind of wish this was a full book rather than a novella. I would have liked to get to know some of these characters better. All in all good fun though and a super quick read.
Years Decades of Star Trek, and this little novella is what finally made me notice that I, like the protagonist, consider The Prime Directive to be a completely valid philosophy to apply to most of the life I've discovered on this planet. Thank you Sarah Kuhn for giving such a quirky, interesting, entertaining voice to mildly misanthropic/introverted geek-ish women everywhere. And for giving her a hot male lead, because every real world geek-guy I've ever know would rather have an FHM model on his arm that a girlfriend who understands what he's talking about. Erm, sorry, back to One Con Glory...
Despite being an avid science fiction/fantasy reader and watcher, I never even developed an interest in playing Pac Man, let alone anything more complicated, so I've never connected with this need to turn it all into an action movie (Can I shoot it? Can I shag it? Can I blow shit up and steal that bag of gold?). Novels that dip into geekdom tend to be so focused on the game-players viewpoint that its incredibly refreshing to see something (with romance too!) set in this environment and for it to feature a con-going protagonist who doesn't spend all weekend with a controller in her hand. The list of reasons why I adore Julie is really, really long!
I wish the book had been 200-400 pages longer so that the story and characters could have been fleshed out properly. What Sarah Kuhn has done with 100 pages is delightful and deserves room to grow, and any criticisms I have always boil down to the fact that at this short length it has no choice but to read like a movie script and not a novel. It's also the first time a switch in formats in a book (here it's Julie's blog vs Julie's 1st person voice) hasn't felt like the author was trying too hard.
I also think One Con Glory is an elaborate non-fandom-specific-RPS-Mary-Sue-fanfic, but that's a compliment in my world. Don't pretend you wouldn't love to be locked in a room with the cast of Firefly. Don't pretend you don't have a written list of things you'd do to/with them. With illustrations.
One Con Glory is an entertaining but very short trip through the world of nerd culture.
It's obvious that the author has a real love for this world, and it's always great to see someone who actually cares enough to get the facts right.
But to be perfectly clear, this is practically a fangirl fairy tale. Even though the author swears that the main character isn't just a stand-in for herself, it's hard to shake the feeling that this is a couple of explicit paragraphs and name changes away from being the ultimate David Boreanaz slashfic. And by that I mean that it turns out that the lead actor in the main character's favorite series is just as lonely and misunderstood as she is, and (OMG!) only needs the right fangirl to come along to draw him out of his shell. That sentence was a little snarkier than I intended it to be, but still, that's the gist of it.
But even with that, this is still an entertaining book. Like any die-hard nerd will when reading One Con Glory, I felt like I absolutely knew all of these people. And it's nice to read a story about comics fans without a single stereotypical lives-with-his-parents, wildly overweight social outcast (which isn't to say there aren't social outcasts here, but they're less broadly defined).
Slashfic-leanings aside, the only real problem I have with this book is that it's very short, and a little slight. Nobody's saving the world here. All of the relationships are settled in the end, but still, I found myself wanting more. I like these characters and want to know what happens next.
Although even if Sarah Kuhn doesn't return to these exact characters again, I'd very much like to read a more substantial novel from her. She has a good voice, and a firm grasp of the inner-workings of nerd culture. Is nerd lit a genre yet? If not, maybe it should be. And maybe Sarah Kuhn can write the first truly great work in it. This isn't that book, but it's still worth the very brief period of time it will take you to read it.
This is a fantastic geek/fandom romance from a smart author! Full of all sorts of apt pop culture and sci fi references, interesting, quirky characters (I swear I've met some of them before), and nail-biting romance to top it all off. Recommended for self-proclaimed geeks, anyone who's been to a convention, comic book fans, and anyone who enjoys fan fiction. :)
Such a charming read! I loved the snarky heroine and the way Kuhn captured con-life and the Hollywood setting. My only real complaint that it's only a novella and I wished it was a longer, more complex story because I enjoyed the writing style. I'm now reading her superhero romance, Heroine Complex, which is quirky and delightful as well.
A fun and charming novella set in a comic convention. It nods at many nerdy pop culture things, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (grr... argh), Star Trek and mega-fans of television superhero IP's. I dug this. A cute romance story with a location I am familiar with. Worth checking out, for sure. I'd love a longer novel of this type with a deeper delve into con-culture alongside the lovely love story.
This was a cute, one-sitting read. The very specific references will likely alienate readers who don't have those exact reference points from particular fandoms within certain time frames, but these will also delight everyone who gets them.
I find fans exhausting. I know that may sound a little weird coming from a guy who's rereading the entirety of the Discworld books in order, but I do. I just don't have the sort of mental energy required to take a deep dive into anyone subject. I've read and reread all the Harry Potter books and seen all the movies, but I'll be damned if I can tell you who the nicknames apply to on the Marauder's map.
But beyond exhaustion, I also find fans fascinating. I've watched countless videos where people pick apart the lore of the Dark Souls games. I'm almost always game to hear a fan theory about Star Wars. In general I like their reviews and their thoughts about the things they love. (Except fan fiction, but that's a separate issue.)
I feel like One Con Glory does a decent job of capturing both elements. Julie is equal parts likable and infuriating, a nerd opinionated about everything except anything that might make her vulnerable.
And the premise is indulgent in a way that many fans think but that few articulate: The idea that a fan might meet a celebrity and find out that they're just as passionate about the nerd topics of the fan as the fan is.
This story also capitalizes on my general love of a good romantic comedy. More than many genres, the romantic comedy requires character progress. Otherwise it's just the story of two people meeting each other and having a nice life, which doesn't really generate a lot of dramatic tension.
This story has the benefit of knowing how to not overstay its length. It last 100 pages, which feels about right. I can almost guarantee that expanding it would have involved more secondary stories (I almost said sidequests), and it doesn't feel like it needs that.
I only had two real issues:
1. Sometimes the prose moves the way Netflix Daredevil fights, a bit too ostentatious for the circumstances (Seriously, DD, most of those backflips did not help you fight that guy). Some sentences became labyrinthine mazes of referential content without really adding enough to justify their own presence. Writer, you're clever enough without it.
2. There's sort of a gate-keeping mentality with some of the characters that I found a little unpleasant, mostly with Julie quizzing Jack Camden to see if he's a real fan. Not everyone's enjoyment of a thing is a nightmare deep dive into completionist behavior. I acknowledge that it makes a certain amount of sense for the character, but I still disliked it.
It was a solid read and definitely makes me want to purchase her upcoming full-length novel.
- The character of Braidbeard is here because the male fan world is 80 - 90% guys just like him.
- It always feels awkward when writers create a fictional property for their characters, especially when the fictional world contains lots of real properties. I'm not sure what a good alternative would be, though. Using a real property would probably come off as sycophantic.
- The protagonist is very sparsely described. Some people whine about this, but I think it's a good tendency, because it lets the reader form their own image within certain parameters. Also, with first person it makes sense because there are people who don't spend a lot of time evaluating their own appearance.
I can't remember exactly where I heard about this book, but I do remember thinking that it sounded like some fangirly, nerdy goodness. But now for confession time: when I started, I was pretty concerned. The first couple dozen pages weren't ringing true for me and I was having trouble getting a grasp on the characters/situation. So I was ready to sadly take one for the team and finish it in a rush to better reach my reading goal for the year. Stupid reading goal. Still way too far away.
However! Once the scenes at the con started, things were looking up. It became all at once a combination love letter to the unabashedly enthusiastic nerd and nerd culture, and the kind of fantasy romantic comedy that would appeal to such nerds. I mean, consider it: 1. You meet the star of the comic-book-inspired television show based on the comics you've always loved (the star you've always disdained as a geek poseur - I hate those). 2. You discover that not only is the stunningly handsome star no poseur, oh no, he is in fact a raging nerd from your exact fandom. 3. You then discover that this stunningly handsome and successful nerd finds you fascinating and appealing. What's not to like?
Also, I found it pretty easy to identify with Julie. She has all the right opinions on Buffy's true soul mate (Angel). The right opinions on why Angel is Buffy's true soul mate (I Will Remember You). The right opinions on The Doctor's best companion (Donna). I mean, the girl know's what's up.
One Con Glory is a fantastic geek romance book. It is a short and wonderful read about geek writer, Julie. We follow her on her quest to find her childhood comic book heroine figure, Glory Gilmore. The main character is smart, funny and you root for her all the way. It's such a great book that my sister and I mention in the video review that it would be a great movie. After a quick google search, I've found out it is being made into a movie! It is full of nerdy and nostalgic references. However, it doesn't matter if you don't get any of the nerdy references you'll still enjoy the book. If you love comics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Comic-Con, great female geek characters and happy romantic endings you will love this book.
Loved it! I've been looking for an awesome Con based romcom for ages. Many have had aspects I've liked, some I've flat out despised but this one did it for me in every way. The geek references come fast and furious. Look, I had a "My other car is a Romulan Warbird" sticker on my first car, so yeah, this made my heart happy. But mostly I just loved the romance. It's short. More a novella than a novel so that was a bit disappointing because I wasn't ready for it to be over. And I think a longer length would have added to the character development but honestly, still loved it. Loved the snark, loved the sweet. Love Sarah Kuhn for writing it.
Ok cinque stelle probabilmente sono troppe per un romanzo breve e così semplice, ma mi è piaciuto tanto, perciò al diavolo tutto, io gli do cinque stelle e basta! Potrebbe diventare un piccolo film sullo stile di Big bang theory e avrebbe un enorme successo è troppo carino. Semplice, ironico, ma così reale e scritto bene! La storia appassiona, niente di incredibile o stratosferico, ma carina da morire! Per tutti i nerd e i fan di serie televisive di questo mondo, da non perdere!
This book is a lot of fun for con-goers. Light and frothy, taking place at a comic book convention, Julie and her friends reference enough pop culture entries to make your head spin. If you've never been to a con and are curious, this would be like looking over the shoulder of someone who does go.
It's short and pretty slight, but it was a nice diversion to read at lunch at work. I'd read more by her.
I've never read a Super Hero comic, never been to a comic convention, am not a fan of the fantasy/sci-fi or even chick lit genre, and I still really enjoyed this little read! I'm sure tons of insider high-minded geek trivia was lost on me, but Kuhn's combination of detailed fast-paced action, endearing characters and romantic meet-cutiness would grab any reader.
Thea: I was actually a little nervous starting this novella – I don’t think I’ve ever known an author before reading their work. I love author Sarah Kuhn’s online voice, but writing fiction is a horse of a different color if y’know what I’m sayin’. But, a few pages into One Con Glory made me realize that I really need not have been so worried – because this is one damn awesome, geektastic book. Well written, zippily paced, with a healthy smattering of nerdiness and romance, One Con Glory totally rocks. I loved it.
Ana: Holy Lord of the Rings! This novella is bloody fantastic! Starting with the nifty title, and the cool cover, plus with the inside being awesomely well written, in a perfect balance of geekness and romance. In other words: this is a M.F.A. (Made For Ana) book and I am totally in love with it.
On the Plot: The basic premise is simple – a diehard Glory Gilmore fangirl and press writer named Julie attends GinormoCon as part of her job. While she’s there, she has the opportunity to interview Jack Camden – pretty boy star of the television adaptation of her favorite superhero comic, Periodic Seven. Julie goes to her one-on-one with her skepticism in check, but her own jaded expectations firmly ingrained – she immediately sizes Jack up to be another one of those irritatingly pretty but basically vapid actors that knows nothing of the source material he’s portraying. Imagine her shock, then, when she discovers that not only is Camden a fanboy, but a genuinely nice guy with an inner-geek? On this trip to GinormoCon, Julie’s curmudgeonly world view is about to be rocked, from the most unexpected sources.
Thea: One Con Glory is written in a brisk, sure-handed style, split into three separate parts. I cannot stress enough how clever this novella is, in both form and function. Each of the three parts begins with an entry from Julie’s blog, GloryGilmoreLives.com, and each entry pertains to the following story – whether it be about the Glory Gilmore action figures Julie has lost, the inviolability of the Prime Directive, or the lurking, indestructible nemesis that is Schmthulu. It’s also kinda cool how there are three parts of the story, and there are three Glory Gilmore action figures that Julie has lost over the course of her life.
So far as the actual writing and plotting are concerned, there’s nothing more I could have asked for from One Con Glory. It’s fast, it’s sweet, it’s got all the popgeek references you could want and manages to integrate those into the story without ever sounding forced (it never feels like Julie is using popgeek culture references to show off how incredibly cool/ingrained in the culture she is; rather, it feels natural). I also have to commend Sarah Kuhn for choosing to create a non-existent superheroine and comic as her central icon in the story. Glory Gilmore is an obscure heroine that does not exist in the DC/Marvel/etc cannon – and I think this was a wise choice. Instead of turning into some ode to Wonder Woman or Jean Grey which might have been awkward or could have overwhelmed the story, this fictitious Glory Gilmore is a completely fresh character that allows us to understand Julie’s connection to the heroine, more so than focusing on the superheroine herself.
Ana: Yes, yes what Thea said. But MORE. I cannot stress enough how much I loved this short story for its cleverness and heart. In a small, confined space of 100 pages, Sarah Kuhn manages to write a story with a past, a present and a future without EVER getting sidetracked.
It is a fresh story because the geekness of the main character feels genuine; it is an unique story because it invents a whole series of comics, with amazing story arcs that matter to Julie and it connects the dots of her life. I am being cryptic on purpose because there is a revelation of sorts relate to Glory Gilmore’s arc and Julie‘s arc. It is a heartwarming story because this is not about plot, it is about character and we all know that is just my cup of tea. It also helps that I know what the Prime Directive is and I too have an opinion on the most important issue of whether Scott and Jean are the ultimate Marvel pairing or not.
This is a fast read, a smart read, an awesome read. Sarah Kuhn is ready, folks. I welcome her to my reading world with open arms and I beg for MORE.
On the Characters:
Thea: Just as with the writing, the characters are fantastic – they are the heart of this story, and damn if I didn’t love them. Julie, our intrepid heroine, narrates the novella in the first person. She’s incredibly funny, she’s intelligent, she’s got a biting wit – but this also means that she’s a bit abrasive and emotionally closed off. She protects herself with her hard outward demeanor, yet Ms. Kuhn allows us glimpses behind the facade as Julie’s walls (or should I say shields?) are slowly worn down. To accomplish all of this in a full length novel, to create a heroine as compelling and layered as Julie, is no small feat. To do it in a scant 100-some pages? Now that’s impressive. I loved Julie. I loved how flawed and very human she is – and I love that when it comes down to it and she’s gotta close her eyes and take the emotional plunge, she handles it.
Of course, there’s also Jack Camden. I picture Jack as one of those pretty CW boys – you know what I mean:
Basically, Jack is the holy grail for fangirls. He’s gorgeous, he’s smart, he’s sensitive, and – oh yeah – he’s also an ubergeek who knows his comics, is a badass at guitar hero, and can talk about continuity snafus until the cows come home. Despite being so obviously compelling, Jack also has some nice development over the course of the novella. Yeah, he’s a bit of a too-good-to-be-true heartthrob, but he’s also vulnerable and puts himself out there for Julie. And that’s cool.
There are two secondary characters who also deserve mentions – Braidbeard (nicknamed for his…braided beard) and Mitch (Julie’s best bud). I liked the animosity that underlies Julie and Braidbeard’s friendship (a scene later in the book really makes both of these characters come together) and I loved Mitch and Julie’s friendship as well. Mitch in particular has a fabulous scene with Julie where he calls her out on her crap – and again, it feels completely real. I loved it all.
Ana: I too, loved the characters – all of them. Julie though, takes the cake for being a fully-realised, fleshed out character, with real issues to deal with. She comes across at first as standoff-ish, somewhat abrasive woman, always with an Opinion about everything. I loved her character arc, the self-evaluation that she does and the realisation that she needs to put herself out there and take the risk. And I loved how there was this parallel in which she reclaims both a Glory Gilmore and her own heart.
Then, there is Jack. Holy Smokes, Batman! Jack is the dream guy for any self-proclaimed fangirl: someone who is both hot and geek, shy and confident and above all, emotionally available. He is not without his own issues though, which makes him human rather than merely a wet dream.
I loved their relationship and I especially LOVED the progression of their story and how Sarah Kuhn inserted a bit of sex and a bit of mystery too. The Guitar Hero scene? Akin to everything I love about romance. And so help me Yoda when I read the scene with the Glory Gilmore connection, I said to myself: this woman, she can SO write. Mitch and Braidbeard were great secondary characters as well each being a counterpart to a side of Julie. One being a friend, the one a nemesis (and everyone needs a nemesis).
To sum up, I loved it all, dudes! And I will shup up now with my muy lameo attempt at being cleverly geek as it is clear I will never ever be as smart as Sarah Kuhn.
Final Thoughts, Observations and Rating:
Thea: If you couldn’t tell, I loved this novella. I loved it. With its prickly (but lovable) heroine, tongue-in-cheek look at conventions, and genuinely heartwarming romance, One Con Glory has it all. (Yes, I just used our blurb right there shut up don’t judge me!)
Ana: (Thea, you cheeky monkey! Damn you for getting there first!). One Con Glory has a perfect mix of everything I love: popgeekery and romance; great writing, plotting and great characters and I LOVED it.
As someone who loves going to Comic Book conventions, I was excited when I read the synopsis for One Con Glory. Julie is a huge fan of the character Glory Gilmore, who ties into this story in different ways. Set at Ginormocon, Julie is set to do an interview with Jack, one of the stars of a TV show based on the comic that featured Glory. Julie is not looking forward to this, as she feels that Jack just says stock answers and doesn't engage his true self. One Con Glory is a fun, engaging book, that captures the joy of comic con. As Julie gets to know Jack more, we see different sides to them both. This leads Julie to come to realizations about her own life. I felt Julie's transformation was done well, she is a complicated character, and sometimes hard to like, but she has a wry sense of humor and you can see what's going on underneath her front. If you love stories set at Comic Con, and all that ensues, I would check this book out.
Sarah Kuhn became a favourite new author of mine this year, so imagine my delight when I discovered she had also written a geektastic short story as well.
One Con Glory starts off a little shaky. Techniques and traits I adored in Heroine Complex were still being honed, and Julie is a bit hard to cheer for at the start, because she's kind of unfairly mean. But part 2 kicks in and the interactions with Jack in particular were so darn charming. The story finds its groove and by the time of the finale, I was all heart eyes for these lovable goofballs. I am largely giving this story 4 stars because of the Q&As at the end, because damn that was sweet. I'd like this for Evie and Aveda too, please.
So it's a long wait until Bea's book. But at least it'll be a treat next spring! Maybe another secret novella from this author will spring up in the meantime! A girl can hope.
Sarah Kuhn’s books are fun and upbeat, but also get you so attached that you wish there was more of the world you could dive into right now every time you finish one of her stories. I was still on a Heroine Worship high when I picked up One Con Glory, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this novella for its own reasons. It reads a bit like a romantic daydream and has a lot of personality (is that a weird thing to say about a book?), and I loved the addition of the author interview at the end. And like I said, this too is a story with an upbeat energy that lingers, and just makes you want more.