so when you are female, and can blend into cliques that don’t necessarily idolize Star Trek or Japanese Anime, you tend to carry your speculative fiction love around as a terrible, dark secret.
You don’t talk about it. You hide your books at home. You don’t wear “beam me up scotty” t-shirts.
So when you (usually accidentally) find another person in one of those cliques who professes to know who LeGuin, Asimov, De Lint, and Gaiman are, you are usually pleasantly suprised.
I’ve had that happen to me twice or three times. Once in college I went into a friend of a friend’s dorm room and spotten sci fi books. I felt instantly connected and at ease (hi Laura). Then again, here in Japan, an MIJer (hi winnie) confessed to me she liked spec fic. It was great. Recently she traveled down from Shizuoka and I got to meet her in person. It was great. I wish we lived closer so we didn’t have to spend all that money mailing books to each other!
Up until now, I haven’t really hung out much with groups of people who qualify as sci fi nerds (don’t take offense, I include myself as a sci fi nerd). Usually it’s just been one or two at a time. However, I am being offered a chance to hook up with some Japanese heavy duty sci fi nerds. I would love to go and see what shape that takes here, but the whole “having two daughters under the age of 5 with a husband soon to be in Canada” thing is keeping me from it.