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The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of Science Fiction Feminisms
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The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of Science Fiction Feminisms

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  45 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In her cultural history of science fiction feminisms, Dr. Merrick explores the stories told about feminist science fiction by the various communities responsible for creating feminist sf culture, including authors, editors, fans, and scholars from across the disciplines. The Secret Feminist Cabal will appeal to every member of the feminist sf community, to fans and critics ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 343 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Aqueduct Press (first published 2009)
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As someone who wrote part of her graduate thesis on feminist literary utopias, I loved this book. It joins and chronicles the conversation about feminist science fiction. I found it irresistible, and picked it up at WisCon 35, the feminist science fiction convention. Published by Seattle's feminist sf Aqueduct Press, the book is on the 2010 Tiptree Award Honor List. As well as a good read, I admit it is also sheer fun carrying around a book titled The Secret Feminist Cabal.

The book pairs well w
Maggie Gordon
The Secret Feminist Cabal is a very dense and thorough exploration of the history and development of science fiction and feminism. The focus of the work is largely on people, not fiction. While books and short stories are discussed, much of the book looks at who was important and why during different eras of sf history. Merrick does into great detail about not just important authors, but fans and theorists as well. She weaves structure into what seems like a complicated mess of events, showing r ...more
The research is thorough and some of the chapters excellent, but the writing overall is far too academic to be readable. For myself as a non-academic reader, it was slow and painful going with bursts of brilliance.

The chapter dealing with cyberpunk was a standout and the whole book worth reading just for that. I also enjoyed the tracing of fannish history through the years.
Kirstyn McDermott
Jul 03, 2010 Kirstyn McDermott rated it really liked it
Excellent scholarly overview and theoretical discussion of SF and SF fandom over the past century or so from a feminist standpoint. Very crunchy indeed. Will have to re-read this again soon to absorb everything more fully.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in feminist literary theory -- warning, the book is not a pop "Feminism 101" text and does require active brainpower while reading; this is *never* a bad thing -- or seeking an alternate history of science fiction.
Apr 30, 2012 Andrea added it
Shelves: nonfic, feminist
Some fascinating parts - particularly the section on Marion Zimmer Bradley - but overall rather heavy going.
Dense, but still an interesting overview of SF and feminism; I was hoping it would tell me about some formative texts I'd missed, but alas, I think I've heard of (and generally read) most of the names that came up.
Norman Cook
Jul 30, 2010 Norman Cook rated it it was ok
A comprehensive survey of the history of feminist activity within science fiction literature, this book is a bit more accessible than Farah Mendlesohn’s book On Joanna Russ because it covers more ground and is not as rarified. Nevertheless, it’s probably not of great interest to the average fan.
Mills College Library
809.3876 M5688 2009
A.C. Buchanan
Dec 24, 2015 A.C. Buchanan rated it really liked it
Well written, well researched and in places very interesting book, but overall I found I didn't quite get as much out of it as the effort I had to put in to reading it.
Anna "Andi"
Feb 09, 2013 Anna "Andi" rated it really liked it
Well written, well researched and in places very interesting book, but overall I found I didn't quite get as much out of it as the effort I had to put in to reading it.
Jul 06, 2010 Lonnie marked it as to-read
My copy of this ebook was made available as part of the 2010 Hugo Voter's Packet as a part of my membership to the 2010 WorldCon.
Jess McCabe
Oct 06, 2010 Jess McCabe added it
Shelves: goodreads
Abandoned about 200 pages in. This started life as a PhD thesis and unfortunately you can tell.
Sean the Bookonaut
Dec 08, 2012 Sean the Bookonaut rated it really liked it
Review to come
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Helen Merrick is a Senior Lecturer in Internet Studies at Curtin University
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