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The Nerd as Hero?

A frequent complaint from women is that there are no screen roles for the older lady. There might be an element of truth to that if you neglect actresses like Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, and Judi Dench (who, at 74, goes to-to-toe with James Bond). Another neglected demographic is geeks. Pretty much any man in a geeky role is played for laughs. If he is an accountant he will be played as meek and simpering. If he is a computer or engineering type he will be played as a misfit who is socially incompetent. You can be fairly sure the role will not be heroic.

Far worse, from a nerd hero perspective, you would imagine are romance novels. You know those books whose cover features longhaired beauties falling into the arms of buff heroes. If cinema will not feature geeky heroes what hope is there for romance novels?

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only is there a romance novel with a nerd hero but an entire series. Yes, an entire series. It is called, surprisingly enough, “The Nerd Series” by Vicki Lewis Thompson. Obviously you would not believe me unless I provided a link.

Of course, reading the small print (if not the novels themselves) reveals that the heroes are not particularly nerdy. In one novel the computer programmer is able to land a pilotless plane because of his flight simulator and gaming experience. As far as representing nerdish/geeky types as heroes, it is start.

But nerdy reader, do not get carried away with fantasies of falling into favor with the babes. One Amazon reviewer had this to say:

…And MAYBE that all might have been acceptable if Charlie had been a much more interesting hero. But it seems like VLT set out to make Charlie as normal and as nerdy as could be. He’s reserved, repressed, only slightly funny, and an overall nice, fairly handsome guy.

In other words, he would be a great nerd hero if only he was not such a nerd. I mean he is only slightly funny.

Nerd heroes? As the say, truth is stranger than fiction even heroic nerd fiction.