Frequently Asked Questions
Notice: Please do send comments, feedback, and suggestions.
This is a new mail form! Hopefully it'll let me prioritize comments so I can
respond to people in a reasonable length of time.
In response to a question about "what is feminist science fiction" I will reply:
1) I addressed several of these issues in the Whys & Wherefores document, and 2) this is a frequently
asked question document. I'm answering questions that are frequently asked!
- I'd love to talk with you, or someone else, about science
- Try the listserves. That's why we
set them up. There are a lot of people on them (200-300 as of 4/2002) who
just itch to talk about feminism and science fiction.
- I have a book report due. Can you please help me find
information about Author Jane Doe?
- Probably I won't get back to you on time. Try searching the
website for what you can find; then search the Internet more broadly; then
go to the library and look in their catalog. You might also try reading
the listserve archives, or consider subscribing
to one of the lists for a while, posting your request, and seeing if you
can get good answers. Good luck.
- Will you take review copies?
- Yes, I will, if I think it's relevant subject matter. I can't
promise a favorable review obviously, nor can I promise a timely review,
due to the exigencies of student life and spare-time web-mistressing.
Contact me at email@example.com with a description of your work
and I can give you a mailing address at that time.
- "I hate feminism and feminists," or "I think women don't
know their places," or "Why don't you go back to the kitchen?" etc.
- Really, I don't care. Please don't bother to write me and let
me know. At most I'll show your
letter to a friend and we'll laugh at your typos and misspellings.
[The anti-feminists who have written me over the years have been largely
semi-literate.] Instead, I suggest you do some basic research: look up
feminism on the Internet; visit the websites of feminist organizations [Feminist Majority or National Organization for Women]; read
about feminism, and other struggles of oppressed people. Talk to people
you haven't talked to before, and be open, and friendly, and willing to
hear new things and learn things. Do some exploration. Maybe you'll
learn something and change your mind. If not, at least you'll be a little
smarter when you argue with someone who cares about your opinion.
As to why I don't go back to the kitchen: in fact, my lesbian
lover and I love to cook. We cook men's testicles and eat them just
before our satanic baby-sacrificing rituals, which give us the power to
lure other women into lives of sin and degradation. If you have any
suggestions for how we can "encourage women to leave their husbands,
kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become
lesbians" [Pat Robertson, on "the feminist agenda"] please let us, or Pat,
- Do you have Ursula K Le Guin's or Sheri Tepper's (or another
particular author's) email address?
- No, I almost certainly don't; and in those few instances where I
might know an author personally, I don't put anybody in touch with them,
for any reason, whatsoever. Your best bet is to contact them through
See if they have websites with a contact email
address. Or try their publishers. In general, to contact an
author, you contact their agent. This information can be found by
using reference books like Contemporary Authors (found in
most libraries). If you can't find an agent, try sending it to the
author c/o their publisher. If you're trying to find their
literary estate or contact for republishing something, also try WATCH (Writers, Artists, and
Their Copyright Holders).
- Why isn't this site a whole lot better? Why, for instance,
don't you have reviews of every book you mention?
- Hmm, because I have more than full-time work doing other
things, and this is just a hobby? And because the same is true for all
the other people I know who have kindly
contributed reviews or assistance over the years? If someone would
like to make me a one-year grant of approximately
$50,000 - $100,000 I would be delighted to spend a lot of time
improving the site.
- Do you publish original fiction and poetry here?
- No, I do not. Try a publisher. (A list of publication venues is being
created.) If you have it published somewhere (even on the Net), you can
send in a citation and if appropriate it will be listed in a site
bibliography (including the "unevaluated
or other" bibliography). If I or another reviewer for this site reads
it we may decide to list it in the primary author bibliography.
- I've looked in all the new bookstores for a particular book
but can't find
it anywhere. How do I get out of print books? (one of Sheri Tepper's older
books, for instance)
- First of all, check your local used bookstore. You may even have
a science fiction bookstore or a women's bookstore nearby.
Secondly, I'll try to figure out (real soon now) a few bookstores that will
do out-of-print or hard-to-find mail-order service, but I think these
bookstores do mail order (no endorsement is here implied):
Third, check your local library! Even if your library doesn't have it -- they
can probably do an inter library loan and get it from another library
- Why haven't you listed My Favorite Author Here?
- Maybe a few reasons. One, it might be that none of the fem-sffu reviewers
(who are mostly me) have gotten to your favorite author here. Please
check out the other listing -- there are lots
authors here that have been recommended to me that I just haven't gotten to
yet. It may also be that you will find your author listed on the Other
listing with an explanation of some sort. If you disagree, feel free to write
in and tell me. Finally, I may just not have heard of the author or the work.
Please let me know.
- What are some good books to read?
- Try checking out Recommendations: Feminist Science
Fiction / Fantasy
& Utopian Literature for Beginners.
- What is "spam-spelling"?
- "Spam-spelling" is spelling something deliberately wrong, to
foil spammers and spiders. Some spammers use spiders to index pages on
particular topics, and then create email lists based on the contents of
the pages. Because I've gotten tired of getting sexual and p*rn spam,
I've started using spam-spelling for certain trigger words.
Unfortunately it can make it more difficult to use search engines. On any
site dedicated to feminist, gender, sexist analysis, there will be a lot
of words that such spammers would pick up; so I wouldn't want to
spam-spell most words that spammers would look for. But I'll use
spam-spelling on words that are not mission-critical and get indexed in
particularly inappropriate, tedious, or spam-prone ways.
PFAQ: Previously Frequently Asked Questions
At last! A question I can archive.
- How can I get the PBS movie of Ursula K Le Guin's The Lathe
- PBS after a lot of effort is finally rebroadcasting it, and
will be releasing it on DVD in Fall 2000. For more information about the
film check out the Le
Guin web page on performances of her work, or go to Channel 13's
official Lathe of Heaven
We welcome your comments, suggestions,
and offers of assistance.
Please be patient while waiting for us to
get back to you.
These pages are edited and maintained at http://www.feministsf.org/
by Laura Quilter.