Book Review: The Geek’s Guide To Dating by Eric Smith


Before I start I’ve got to make a confession: I haven’t dated anyone in 25 years as I am that rare breed of geek that managed somehow to attract and maintain the interest of a human female at an early age, which is why I’m currently trying to write this post with three kids running around my feet filling my house with glee while simultaneously attempting to destroy it.

Having to date again would terrify me beyond belief, but things are a lot different now than they were 25 years ago. Geek culture has advanced toward being a pop culture phenomenon and technology has advanced beyond anything I could have comprehended when I was a teenager. Fear not, lonesome geeks, there is hope – and it’s name is Eric Smith.

The Geek’s Guide To Dating is a beautifully designed and practical real world instruction manual for both the uninitiated first-timer and the more experienced (yet probably still unsuccessful) of our ilk on a quest for anything even resembling romance.

Absolutely teeming with beautiful 8-bit graphics and geek culture references from the more popular T.V. shows and movies and games to more hardcore comic references and even boardgames no-one is left out. Smith cleverly uses these references to obliterate the long existing preconceptions of how women should look and behave (sorry guys Manic Pixie Dream Girl doesn’t exist and you will most likely never date Number 6 from Battlestar Galactica) while firmly implanting an essential need for respect and understanding of the opposite sex.

Referring to the reader as “Player One” from the start, Smith first invites you to select your character and proceeds to advise on how to meet someone in the real world before switching to the more comfortable online social media options, providing invaluable tips, how-to’s and do’s and don’ts on getting to that elusive first date.

Moving on to preparing for an actual date, “Ready, Player One” rightly recommends avoiding the cliched clothing options and opts mainly for the more practical approach although there is a section for the more adventurous including “How To Emulate The Best-Dressed Guys In The Geek Canon”, be it Han Solo (rogueish but classy), Mal Reynolds (suspenders optional) or Neo (you too can transform from Mr. Anderson to The One).

So, suited and booted it’s time for the first date scenario . This chapter initally offers advice from an unlikely source in “By Your Command: A Cylon’s Guide To Dating” which is more useful than you might think, before moving on to a First Date Simulation and hopefully beyond with useful troubleshooting guides and a bonus Boss Level for advanced dating such as moving in together or meeting your newfound love’s family for the first time.

Of course it may not all go to plan. You may at some stage find yourself rejected, dumped or dating outside your species but fear not, there is plenty of sound advice on how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, buy a Firefly class spaceship and roam the galaxy looking for adventure and fiscally attractive opportunities. But there’s always hope.

Although it is largely aimed at the male, female geeks need not despair either, with a practical guide on how to adapt the book to their own needs and at the very least it provides a valuable insight into what makes us tick for those who may be interested in dating someone a little outside their comfort zone.

Always enjoyable, often hilarious and never condescending, The Geeks’ Guide To Dating is the perfect antithesis of the old-fashioned pick-up manual often seen lurking in the back of comic book small ads, the major difference being – this one could actually work.

Published by Quirk Books


Amazon UK