Book Selection Process

During the nomination period (announced on the FeministSF-Lit list) list members can nominate any feminist "speculative fiction" book. Nominated books can include novels or short story collections and can be any flavor of SF such as science fiction, fantasy, utopian fiction, alternative history, etc. but should not include critical essays. If you nominate a short story collection, be sure to specify which stories in particular you think the group should discuss. When you nominate a book, it's important to include a description of why you feel the group should select it. The description will be included in the nominated books list on this web site (see e.g. nomination list of February 1999), to help members decide which books to vote for.

Books may be recent or "classic", but they must all be available in mass market or trade paperback in order to keep the price within everybody's range. This unfortunately eliminates the out-of-print or very new books, but there's still plenty of great material that qualifies. Please confirm the availability of any title before nominating it by contacting Maryelizabeth at Mysterious Galaxy (or by looking it up on

During the nomination period, you can nominate one book per person, by sending email to the FeministSF-Lit list with "BDG Nomination" in the subject line. Please include relevant information like publisher, ISBN and list price in your nomination.

A volunteer collects the nominations daily during the nomination period and updates the nomination list on this web site. If a person nominates more than one book, or if the nomination doesn't include full information or does not appear to be available for purchase, the volunteer will return the nomination e-mail.

Members vote for four books each, and the four books receiving the most votes are read and discussed in alphabetical order by title for the next four months. If multiple works by a single author are nominated, all votes for that author's works are counted together; if the total votes for the author's works are among the four highest, then the book by that author with the most votes is selected for discussion.  Nominations are open for one week, and then voting is open for a week.

Book discussion titles may be purchased anywhere or borrowed from the library -- we recommend supporting your local independent feminist or SF bookseller. For those without such resources, Mysterious Galaxy offers a 15% discount on book discussion titles.

View nomination lists, including recommendations, from the selection rounds in October 1998, February 1999 and June 1999.