General List Rules

About the Feminist SF, Fantasy & Utopia Listserve

Interested in talking to other people about the works of Ursula Le Guin, Marge Piercy, Suzy McKee Charnas, Elisabeth Vonarburg, Joanna Russ, Octavia Butler and many others? Want to find out more about these authors, and other writers like them?

The Feminist Science Fiction, Fantasy & Utopia ListServe is a space for discussion of this literature. It is a mailing list, which means that every email will go to all subscribers mailboxes.

It is a primarily unmoderated list, which means that I will not be selecting or censoring comments. People can ask whatever questions they want about the topic, with one broad exception. Because I have been on many listserves relating to feminism which have inspired anti-feminists to harass other members, or engage the entire listserve in discussions about the nature, purpose, etc., of feminism, I wish to make it clear from the outset that this listserve is for discussion of the literature. Discussion of feminism as a philosophy belong on a feminist discussion group. Discussion of feminism, as it pertains to literature or particular works of literature, is perfectly appropriate. I will remove people from the listserve who behave in an inappropriate manner after one warning.

General Guidelines for ListServe Behavior:

  • Don't "flame" other people -- be considerate & polite.

  • There are many authors who subscribe to the list, and many list members know many authors personally. Since we're all being kind to everyone else, remember that the author you're talking about may be within hearing distance -- be considerate & polite.

  • If you have something to say, say it! Other people are interested in your opinion -- that's why they joined a discussion list.

  • Conversely, if you don't have anything to say, don't say it. On a moderate-to-heavy traffic listserve, it is not helpful to send postings saying "I agree" or "yeah!" If you don't have additional thoughts which expand or add to or confront the original post, then send your comments to the original poster privately.

  • If you wish to comment about a posting but the comment is not really on topic, consider sending it to the original poster privately. You can make good friends by starting private discussions this way.

  • Please try to stick to the general topic. Many people on the listserve may not be very talkative but are very interested in the topic. They subscribed to read about feminist science fiction, fantasy & utopian literature. This is not a list just about feminism, or a list just about SF/Fantasy/Utopia. It is a list about the intersection of the two. Please respect that by not wandering too far into the weeds and help others respect it by gently steering your own responses back toward feminist SF/F/U without negative comment or reaction.

  • When in doubt about the direction a particular thread is taking, it may help to label your own response "off-topic" or "O-T" in the Subject line, so that those who wish to avoid even the hint of an off-topic post can simply filter your own post, and any post in response to your post, directly into the bit bucket. There are many legitimate reasons for making an off-topic post, such as introducing yourself, telling us about your own experiences with feminist SF/F, and bringing in bits of personal background information that are very useful for social reasons not not directly on topic. Most of us are social creatures, and enjoy hearing that you were born in Surrey (or Poughkeepsie) and read voraciously as a child, but there are those who don't.

  • If someone else is not sticking to the topic, don't chastize or berate them. Try bringing the topic back to feminist sf-f-utopia with a related, non-judgmental, transitional posting that is ON topic. That will be more clever and much more useful than a comment that is only about "keeping the list on topic," and it can help keep the list a pleasant place to be.

  • Don't make assumptions about other people. The list is very diverse, including men and women, people from many nationalities, ethnic origins, religions, ages and different experiences. Respect the other participants and the experiences they bring to the discussion.

  • When responding to posts, be absolutely ruthless about trimming quoted text. Copy only the bits that really matter, without which your own comments are difficult to put in context. It quickly becomes tiresome wading through endless layers of deathless -- or more properly undead -- prose for the second and third times while searching for the trace of a new thought or other sign of life.

These rules are subject to change when we see how they work!

This list began 3/2/97.