Critical Writing on Feminist SF & Fantasy

The purpose of the Feminist Science Fiction, Fantasy and Utopia Listservs is summarized by their creator, Laura Quilter, as follows: "Interested in talking to other people about the works of Ursula Le Guin, Marge Piercy, Suzy McKee Charnas, Elisabeth Vonarburg, Joanna Russ, and many others? Want to find out more about these authors, and other writers like them? The Feminist Science Fiction, Fantasy & Utopia ListServs are spaces for discussion of this literature." In practice, discussion has expanded to include movies and television as well as the treatment of women in SF works not considered feminist (i.e. Dune, The Lord of the Rings). The several hundred members of each list hail from several different countries and include some published authors as well as a majority of unpublished fans; the discussion is wide-ranging, spirited, and literate. And yes, there are some men.

I was a member of the original FemSF list from its early days until June 1999, when I became too fed up with what I considered a fairly hostile takeover by non-feminists. At that point I decided to focus my attention entirely upon the FemSF-Lit list, which had been created in April 1999 as a moderated forum for "on topic" discussions that would not stray from the subject of feminist science fiction, as the other list frequently had. I spend a fair amount of my free time reading messages, writing messages and reading books suggested by list members. In short, it's my favorite internet activity.

I've compiled these archives for anyone who is curious about my hobby. There are seven archives so far. Clicking on the link that says "Go to the Top of the Archive" will, logically enough, load the archive and position your browser window at the top of the document. Clicking an individual post title will also load the entire archive but will take you directly to the top of that post. Repeated titles indicate additional material on the same topic. The term "BDG" in a title indicates that the posting was part of the organized monthly Book Discussion Group. Eventually I would like to add hypertext links where appropriate, but for now the messages remain essentially as they appeared when I posted them.

Indexed by Reference to Author
Go to the Index Page

16 May 2002 to 12 January 2003
Size: 58K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
05.16.02  Recent Reading -- Help!
08.28.02  BDG: The Fifth Sacred Thing
08.30.02  BDG: The Fifth Sacred Thing
09.03.02  BDG: The Annunciate
10.02.02  BDG: The Annunciate
10.03.02  BDG: The Annunciate
10.25.02  Gender, Myth and Star Wars
11.04.02  BDG: Babel-17
11.05.02  BDG: Babel-17
11.08.02  BDG: Babel-17
11.11.02  Vampire Tapestry
BDG: The Saga of the Renunciates

21 February 2002 to 7 May 2002
Size: 85K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
BDG: Illicit Passage (swapped with next message for clarity)
02.21.02  BDG: Illicit Passage
02.24.02  BDG: Illicit Passage
02.24.02  BDG: Illicit Passage
03.05.02  BDG: Illicit Passage
03.14.02  BDG: The Gate to Women's Country
03.15.02  BDG: The Gate to Women's Country
03.15.02  BDG: The Gate to Women's Country
03.15.02  BDG: The Gate to Women's Country
03.15.02  BDG: The Gate to Women's Country
03.16.02  BDG: The Gate to Women's Country
BDG: The Dispossessed
BDG: The Dispossessed
BDG: The Dispossessed
BDG: The Dispossessed
BDG: The Dispossessed
BDG: The Dispossessed
BDG Postscript: The Dispossessed and We

26 June 2001 to 28 January 2002
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BDG: Beggars in Spain | BDG: Always Coming Home | BDG: Always Coming Home | BDG: Brain Plague | BDG: Brain Plague | BDG: War for the Oaks | BDG: War for the Oaks | BDG: War for the Oaks & Very Far Away from Anywhere Else | BDG: A Woman's Liberation | BDG: A Woman's Liberation | BDG: A Woman's Liberation

24 August 2000 to 6 May 2001
Size: 79K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
BDG: Not of Woman Born | BDG: Ash, with some spoilers for the other volumes | BDG: Wicked | BDG: Wicked | BDG: Wicked | BDG: Wicked | Problematic Feminist Utopias | BDG: Nights at the Circus | Matrix with boobs | BDG: Conqueror's Child | BDG: Conqueror's Child | BDG: Conqueror's Child | BDG: Conqueror's Child --  Religion | BDG: The Terrorists of Irustan | BDG: The Northern Girl | BDG: The Northern Girl | BDG: The Northern Girl -- Violence & Prosperity | BDG: The Northern Girl -- Violence & Prosperity | BDG: The Northern Girl -- Characters | BDG: The Northern Girl -- Characters

19 April 1999 to 15 February 2000
Size: 68K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
Recent Reading | Mission Child | The Conqueror's Child | BDG Nomination: The Slave and the Free | Eleanor Arnason | BDG: Wild Seed | BDG: Wild Seed | Arslan | BDG: The Slave and the Free | BDG: The Slave and the Free | BDG: The Slave and the Free | BDG: The Slave and the Free -- Satire | BDG: The Slave and the Free -- Bek and the Man Problem | BDG: The Slave and the Free -- Bek and the Man Problem | BDG: Flying Cups and Saucers | Female Characters in Harry Potter and Diana Wynne Jones | BDG: "Chemistry" | BDG: Dawn | BDG: Dawn / Contact | BDG: Dawn / Xenophobia  | BDG: taking off from Dawn discussion

26 November 1998 to 2 June 1999
Size: 60K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
"The Cost to Be Wise" | "The Cost to Be Wise" | "The Cost to Be Wise" | BDG: The Sparrow | BDG: The Sparrow | BDG: The Female Man | BDG: The Female Man | The Female Man vs. "When It Changed" | Le Guin’s The Eye of the Heron | BDG: The Female Man: Favorite Quote? | Le Guin’s The Eye of the Heron | The Left Hand of Darkness and Pronouns | Generations of SF Writers | "Hard" Science Fiction | BDG: A Fisherman of the Inland Sea | BDG: Jaran |
The Matrix | The Matrix | The Matrix

3 November 1998 to 25 November 1998
Size: 69K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
BDG: The Snow Queen | BDG: The Snow Queen | Re-reading Childhood Favorites | Introduction to Adult SF | World’s End | BDG: The Snow Queen | Re-reading Childhood Favorites | The Snow Queen and Incest | The Snow Queen and Incest | Re-reading Childhood Favorites | Nature / Nurture | Re-reading Childhood Favorites | Democracies in SF & Fantasy | BDG: The Snow Queen | Book of the New Sun Reference | Man = Chimp? | Man = Chimp? | Man = Chimp? | Statistics | Man = Chimp? | "Evil" Philosophers and Feminist SF | "Evil" Philosophers and Feminist SF | Dark Water’s Embrace | Dark Water’s Embrace | Dark Water’s Embrace | Dark Water’s Embrace | Dark Water’s Embrace

16 July 1998 to 29 October 1998
Size: 75K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
Good Intros to Feminist SF | Good Examples of SF Romance | Elgin’s Characters | Elgin’s "For the Sake of Grace" | Elgin’s Characters | Reverse Oppression | Elgin and Russ Writing for a Niche Market | Sales of Feminist SF Books | Joanna Russ and Her Anger | Women’s Hard-Won Rights | The Female Man | Male Characters | Snow Crash | BDG: Black Wine | Walk to the End of the World and Grimness | Essentialism & "The Matter of Seggri" | Fake/Real Violence | An Exchange of Hostages | An Exchange of Hostages | An Exchange of Hostages | An Exchange of Hostages | Ursula Le Guin and Politics | The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of | Wolfe, Le Guin, Disch | Ursula Le Guin and Politics | Wolfe, Le Guin, Disch

27 October 1997 to 15 July 1998
Size: 75K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
Le Guin, The Dispossessed and Time | Starship Troopers | Star Trek Women / 7 of 9 | Thoughts on The Sparrow | Nature / Nurture and Cloning | Dreamsnake and the Morality of Sex | Fictional Same Sex Relationships & Reading Comfort | Pair-bonding in Humans / Sociobiology | Selfnames in A Door Into Ocean | McCaffrey and Female Characters | Documentation of Matriarchal Cultures | Women and Violence | McCaffrey and Female Characters | Male Heroes | BDG: Dreamsnake & STDs | BDG: Dreamsnake & STDs | BDG: Halfway Human | Dragon’s Winter by Elizabeth Lynn | Reading Suggestions for a Young Male / McCaffrey | Barbara Hambly & Romantic Mismatches | BDG: The Mists of Avalon / Sexuality | BDG: The Mists of Avalon / Sexuality 

16 April 1997 to 21 October 1997
Size: 76K -- Go to the Top of the Archive
The Female Man | Science and Sexism | Children's Fantasy | So who is on this list? | Elizabeth Hand | Woman on the Edge of Time | Woman on the Edge of Time | Elizabeth Hand | SF and Ecology | Event Horizon / Star Trek | Le Guin and Literary Silences | On Femininity and SF | Off Topic – Wage Gap | *On* Topic – Wage Gap | Jessica Atreides / Dune | Women in Dune | Women in Dune | What do women want? Power? | *On* Topic – Wage Gap | Women and Nature | Raising Kids | Tolkien | Tolkien

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