Editors' biographies

Click the links below to go directly to specific biography:

Batya Weinbaum

Founding Co-Editor:
Robin Anne Reid

Past Associate Editor:
Ritch Calvin

Advisory Board:
Suzy Charnas
Diana DiPrima
Pamela Sargent
Gloria Orenstein
Constance Brereton

Contributing Editors:
Marleen S. Barr
Samuel R. Delany
Darko Suvin

Book Review Editor:
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Interview Editor:
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Creative Writing Editor:
(Currently Open. Please click here for more information.)

Copy Editor:
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Batya Weinbaum, Editor

Batya Weinbaum

Batya Weinbaum taught multicultural literature at Cleveland State University, 1998-2003. She currently teaches humanities, myth and modern life, image of women and civilization, and introduction to womens’ studies online at SUNY Empire State College, Center for Distance Learning, where she has worked since 2007. She has worked as a Subject Matter Expert designing a course based on the Virgin of Guadalupe as a Great Cosmic Mother for Ivy Bridge College of Tiffin University, where she also taught writing; she works as a skills flex advisor at Gaia University and just came onboard as an English instructor at American Public University System.

In 2012 she published On the Palmist Road; in 2013 Feminist Voices will appear from Aqueduct Press. In 2010, her published  novel Nightmares of Sasha Weitzwoman appeared with Femspec Books, an imprint of Femspec. She received her Ph.D. from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1996, and a Masters from SUNY Buffalo in American Studies in 1986. She has published Islands of Women and Amazons: Representations and Realities (U of Texas Press, 1999); two books of feminist theory with South End Press; a collection of short stories with Clothespin Fever. Her critical work has appeared in such journals as NWSAJournal, Studies in American Jewish Literature, Utopian Studies, Monthly Review, Review of Radical Political Economics, Extrapolation, Science Fiction Studies, Foundation, Women in Judaism, Biography, Frontiers, and Studies in Progressive Judaism as well as Peace Review. She has also published fiction and poetry in venues such as Home Planet News, Spectrum, Key West Review, Feminist Review, Town Crier, Big Fish, and ThoughtCrime. 

She is the mother of one, lives with two cars, and is working on an eight act play titled Waiting for Justice.She has been presenting professionally on painting from the Divine Feminine, performance art, happenings, and  teaching feminism online. Her paper on the creation of new scholars by the use of journals in freshman composition hybrid classes appeared in the Journal of Scholarly Publishing. She sells her own art online at jewelryofthegoddess.info and  reclamationproject.info, Proceeds help to support the functioning of the journal. Her art is in numerous galleries and stores, including in Ohio, Virginia, VT, and at the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore. She has written and published extensively about the sf writer Lelsie F. Stone, Star Trek, and  women activists in political movements in Palestine/Israel.

Contact info:

E-mail: batyawein@aol.com


Robin Ann Reid, Founding Co-Editor

Robin Reid

Dr. Robin Anne Reid received her doctorate in English at the University of Washington in 1992. She also has a master's in creative writing, and a second master's (from the Bread Loaf School of Literature) in English. She is a professor of Literature and Languages at Texas A&M Univeristy-Commerce.

Her areas of teaching are creative writing, critical theory (critical race feminism, gender/queer theories, and sociolinguistics), and new media, specifically fan studies. Her publications include poetry, critical theory introductions to Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury, and she is the editor of the first encyclopedia on Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy. (Greenwood 2008). Her essays have appeared in Style, Extrapolation, Tolkien Studies, English Language Notes as well as in a number of anthologies. She is currently working on two book-length projects, one of which queers Harold Bloom to analyze slash elements in fan and original fiction, and another on race and racism imbroglios in online media fandom.

Contact info:
E-mail: Robin_Reid@tamu-commerce.edu


Ritch Calvin, Past Associate Editor

Ritch Calvin

Ritch Calvin is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Women's and Gender Studies at SUNY Stony Brook. He is currently the Vice President of the Science Fiction Research Association and the media reviews editor for the SFRA Review. His work has appeared in Femspec, SFRA Review, Extrapolation, Science Fiction Studies, the New York Review of Science Fiction, the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and Utopian Studies.

Suzy Charnas, Advisory Board

Born in Manhattan, New York, Suzy McKee Charnas was educated at Barnard College and New York University. She served in the Peace Corps 1961-62, got her MAT upon returning home, and taught high school until moving to New Mexico with her husband and turning to writing full-time. Her work includes Science Fiction, Y-A fantasy, mainstream fiction, and non-fiction books and stories, and a stage play based on her novel The Vampire Tapestry, a cult-classic. She was awarded the Nebula Award, Mythopoetic Society Award for a best children's book, and a Gilgamesh Award for best fantasy story. Her short story Boobs won the Hugo Award for best short SF in 1989. Her books include: Walk to the End of the World (Ballantine 1974), Motherlines (Berkeley, 1978), The Conqueror's Child (Tor 1999), The Furies (Tor Books 1994), which together make up a futurist, feminist epic, currently available from Tor Books; the complete series won the Tiptree Literary Award; Dorothea Dreams (Arbor House 1986), reissued by Aqueduct Press in 2010; and a Y-A trilogy soon to be available online. She is currently working on two new books, and on making older, OOP works available again in electronic format.

Contact info:
Website: www.suzymckeecharnas.com


Diane DiPrima, Advisory Board

Diane DiPrima is a poet and author who resides in San Francisco. She is one of the original writers from the Beat Generation, and is an author of many books, such as Revolutionary Letters, Pieces of a Song, and Memoirs of a Beatnik. She has a popular workshop titled Word and Image where she teaches how to combine the written word with a painted or photographic image. In 1993, she received an Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the National Poetry Association (refer to: http://dianediprima.com/bio.html). In 1999, St. Lawrence University awarded her with an honorary Doctor of Literature degree. She was the founder of The Poets Press and Eidolon Editions, two publishing houses that focused on the writing of innovative and avante-garde poets (refer to: http://www.rooknet.net). She wrote an autobiographical memoir called Recollections of My Life as a Woman, which was published in 2001 by Viking. Femspec's Batya Weinbaum wrote a review of the memoir for the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering. Some of Diane DiPrima's books can be found on Amazon.com.

Contact info:
E-mail: ddiprima@earthlink.net


Pamela Sargent, Advisory Board

Pamela Sargent has won the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and has been a finalist for the Hugo Award. She is the author of several highly praised novels, among them Cloned Lives (1976), The Sudden Star (1979), The Golden Space (1982), The Alien Upstairs (1983), and Alien Child (1988). Watchstar (1980), Eye of the Comet (1984), and Homesmind (1984) comprise a trilogy. The Shore of Women (1986), one of Sargent’s best-known books, was praised as a compelling and emotionally involving novel by Publishers Weekly. The Washington Post Book World has called her one of the genre's best writers.

Gregory Benford described her novel Venus of Dreams (1986) as "one of the peaks of recent science fiction." Venus of Shadows (1988), the sequel, was called "alive with humanity, moving, and memorable" by Locus. Child of Venus, the third book in this trilogy, was described as masterful by Publishers Weekly.

Sargent is also the author of Ruler of the Sky (1993), an epic historical novel about Genghis Khan. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of Reindeer Moon, commented about this novel: "Scholarly without ever seeming pedantic, the book is fascinating from cover to cover and does admirable justice to a man who might very well be called history’s single most important character." Sargent's Climb the Wind : A Novel of Another America was published by HarperPrism in 1999 and was a finalist for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. Among her edited anthologies are Bio-Futures (1976), Afterlives (with Ian Watson, 1986), Women of Wonder (1975), More Women of Wonder (1976), The New Women of Wonder (1978), Women of Wonder:The Classic Years (1995), and Women of Wonder: The Contemporary Years (1995).
Sargent’s novel Earthseed was reissued by Tor in 2007, along with a sequel, Farseed. The third novel in this trilogy, Seed Seeker, has a publication date of November 2010.

Contact info:
Website: www.pamelasargent.com
E-mail: pamsargent@gmail.com

Gloria Orenstein, Advisory Board

Gloria Orenstein is Professor Emerita of  Comparative Literature and Gender Studies, University of Southern California. Professor Orenstein researches women's studies in contemporary art, literature and culture; and has written extensively on ecofeminism in the arts; surrealism; women and surrealism; shamanism and Jewish women artists. Her first book, The Theater of the Marvelous: Surrealism and The Contemporary Stage, paved the way for her pioneering work on the women of surrealism. She has also written extensively on The Women of Surrealism with her recent article in the book "In Wonderland" that accompanied the exhibition "In Wonderland" that opened at LACMA in 2012. She has written The Reflowering of the Goddess, a feminist analysis of the movement in the contemporary arts that reclaims the Goddess as a symbol of a paradigm shift and a change in our mythos and ethos. She has co-edited "Reweaving The World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism".  In the seventies she co-created The Woman's Salon for Literature in NYC, and created a feminist salon in Paris called Le Lieu Dit from 1978-79. In 1987, she co-created an Ecofeminist conference at USC, and became the student of The Shaman of Smiland for a few years. She has written briefly on Shamanism. Professor Orenstein also continues to pursue her interests in the avant-garde and feminist arts and literature.

Constance Brereton, Advisory Board

Batya Weinbaum

Constance Brereton in her own words: 

All my life I have loved mountains, fields, woods and rivers, stones and fields.the winding path through tall grass and the view at the edge of everything. I was told by a mentor once "when you come to the edge and can go no further you will learn to fly." I have. I was also told "not everyone can do that"  and now I understand. The summer fields where as a child my mind expanded to see paintings in the sky and faries dancing on the soft green moss. lying on my back in the woods with my dog Shep at night gazing into endless starry space ,all that  soft blanket of blackness absorbing me.

Sleeping on northern islands in  dense pine forest with my sons in  electric  ocean storms  fierce  wild winds   and not getting  wet. going out  onto the grass at our farm in northern Virginia in hard rain and lying on our backs laughing , holding hands as the lightening  and wind  echoed over us, trees  falling, and rain  water puddling underneath us ,feeling the earth worms coming up, touching our skin.

The passion of all that. how do you, I, paint passion? write passion? live like that?

 December 1972    I walked alone on a path in the Shenandoah  woods carrying  my  husband, , in a box of ashes. To the river.

 My  four young sons  at the farm house.with the other people waiting for me to return  to say something, give them something of what I had learned.  I was  minister to myself and others that  day. way  before  I  became a minister.

Weeks later not knowing what to do my friend suggested "get your house in order" so I took the boys out of school, stopped working as a family therapist and we built the house. It was a large harpsichord and clavichord factory , lots of huge windows looking into the woods. I could see a beautiful home .

and i learned to hear grass grow    to see the exquisite raw beauty of life     the razors edge of magnificence

Two years later  we were invited to drive to San Miguel  Allende Mexico with two other families for Easter -- and -- did not return.  In Mexico I could begin painting  again. My house is still in San Miguel. over the years we lived  high in the desert mountains with the Chichimeca Indian  and I worked as artist on sight at Bonempak and Yaxhilan , two Mayan sites in Chipas ,Mexico on the Ucimacinta River  which borders Mexico and Guatamala ,made a school for my sons   and fifteen other  international students  from eight to eighteen years old, a one room school house for ten years , modeled after Summerhill , in England  and my ideas of  what exciting education  could be,which they all graduated from, eventually going on to universities after spending a two year Robinson Crusoe  kind of experience out in the world. they all finished high school at fourteen which was too young for university.  I taught  a class in the psychology of creativity and studied at the Instituto De Allende , the international art school ,and painted, made wall hangings, carded wool. worked in ceramics and graduated with a degree in studio art. I had acquired an undergraduate degree in Boston  at garland college years earlier in education with a minor in painting. I was born an artist.

After my sons were on their own I went to Europe and painted in southern France. people said I was influenced by Chagall and Picasso ---- not a surprise since the views I was looking at in Vence  France  I had first seen  in their paintings! Then on to years in Asia on the borders of conflict  photographing, drawing, writing , working with people in refugee camps on the Mekong learning  more of what the world holds. the experience of people. loving people, beginning to understand the ways of difference and the inexplicable strength of people, no matter the experience. the bond of life to itself.

I returned to Mexico. how did we get the way we are?, How can we do what we do to each other? As I sat on the roof of my home looking at the beautiful view   I was completely unsatisfied. I yearned  to know more, to know everything, to answer my inner questions of human nature, the creative and the destructive capacity. A person suggested I would be just what the Graduate Theological Union, Starr king School at Berkeley wanted. I applied and spent ecstatic years , from 1986 to 1992 in school. learning  after  so much life experience  this school was the icing on my cake. I went to seminary to " get to be a better painter" and they accepted me. The study of theology, for me the understanding of contemporary myth  full fills my wanting to make what I can make out of my life experience. I painted in the graduate dorm, my walls  hung in canvas  full of color, and linseed oil. learning how to paint mythic  ideas big.To write my stories, to tell my stories. My experience at Starr King School was a profound recognition and a gathering of my life experience and knowledge and a gratitude to those who guided me into the knowing of myself in relationship to life., in the largest sense.

I taught a  seminar class Art as Theology at seminary for two years . Creativity in creation , and we had a show, wine and cheese at the end.

After  graduating and  then completing two years as Tertiary Care Chaplain at U.C.Med center San Francisco I returned to Mexico where I was ordained in 1993.

Constance Brereton's most recent work can be seen here.

Marleen S. Barr, Contributing Editor

Marleen BarrMarleen S. Barr is known for her pioneering work in feminist science fiction and teaches English at the City University of New York. She has won the Science Fiction Research Association Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction criticism. Barr is the author of Alien to Femininity: Speculative Fiction and Feminist Theory, Lost in Space: Probing Feminist Science Fiction and Beyond, Feminist Fabulation: Space/Postmodern Fiction, Genre Fission: A New Discouse Practice for Cultural Studies, anOy Pioneer!: A Novel. Barr has edited many anthologies and co-edited the special science fiction issue of PMLA, the journal of the Modern Language Association of America.

Contact info:
E-mail: barrm@hotmail.com


Samuel R. Delany, Contributing Editor

Samuel Delany, born in New York, attended the City College in New York, 1960, and 1962-63. As a writer, he won the Nebula and Hugo Awards. Samuel Delany is also a noted author of scripts, a director, and an editor for two short films. His best novel is Babel-17, a winner of the Science Fiction Writers of America Award in 1966. Samuel Delany has also earned the notation as the innovative and imaginative science fiction writer of today. He currently teaches Queer Studies at Temple University. His other books include The Bridge of Lost Desire (Arbor House 1987), Dhalgren (University Press of New England 1996), Atlantis: Three Tales (Wesleyan University Press 1995), The Star Pits (Tor Books 1989), and Equinox (Masquerade 1994).


Darko Suvin, Contributing Editor

Darko SuvinDarko Suvin was a professor of English and Comparative Literature at McGill University in Montreal until he retired. He serves Femspec as a Contributing Editor and a noted author. His books include the ground breaking Russian Science Fiction 1956-1974 (1976), Metamorphoses of Science Fiction (1979, translated into six languages), Victorian Science Fiction in the UK: The Discourses of Knowledge and Power (1983), Positions and Presuppositions in Science Fiction (1988), and 13 other books on Brecht and drama or political epistemology; the latest one is Defined by a Hollow (2010)). In 1973-81 he also edited Science-Fiction Studies.

Contact info:
E-mail: darko.suvin@alice.it


William Clemente, Editorial Board

William Clemente, Editorial Board

Since 1992, Bill Clemente has taught at Peru State College in southeastern Nebraska, where he is a Professor and Chair of English. His teaching schedule includes a variety of courses, including Non-Western Literature, Film Studies, Creative Writing, and World Literature. A few years ago, he introduced a composition course that focuses on Science Fiction, which he tries to teach once a year.  Director of the college's Honors Program, he also offers a course on Asian Literature.  A reader of sf for nearly forty years, Bill has been a fan and a student of Feminist sf for the past decade and some change.  He was also a judge for the James Tiptree Award, which honors gender-bending Speculative Fiction. His publications in that area include essays on James Tiptree, Jr. and Suzy Charnas. Bill and his wife, Linda, are also the authors of a biography of one of Canada's premier authors: Gabrielle Roy: Creation and Memory. In addition, Bill is an avid bird watcher and the editor of The Nebraska Bird Review.


Joan Gordon, Editorial Board

Joan Gordon is an Associate Professor of English at Nassau Community College. She is an editor of Science Fiction Studies and has co-edited two volumes of scholarly essays for UPenn with Veronica Hollinger, Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture (1987) and Edging Into the Future: Science Fiction as Contemporary Cultural Transformation.

Veronica Hollinger, Editorial Board

Veronica Hollinger

Veronica Hollinger is Professor of Cultural Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. She is co-editor of the journal Science Fiction Studies and has published many articles on science fiction and speculative literature, especially queer, feminist, and postmodern fantastic fiction.

She has co-edited several scholarly collections: Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture (U of Pennsylvania P, 1997), Edging into the Future: Science Fiction and Contemporary Cultural Transformation (U of Pennsylvania P, 2002), and Queer Universes: Sexualities in Science Fiction (Liverpool UP, 2008). With her colleagues at SFS, she is also co-editor of The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction (Wesleyan UP, 2010).

Contact info:
Website: http://www.trentu.ca/culturalstudies/faculty_hollinger
E-mail: vhollinger@trentu.ca


Sylvia Kelso, Editorial Board

Veronica Hollinger

Sylvia Kelso is currently an adjunct lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville, North
Queensland, Australia. She has taught English there since 1985 and is currently teaching a semester course in Creative Writing. She has published poetry, including a contribution to an Australian Women's Anthology, short stories, in Antipodes: A North American Journal of Australian and New Zealand Literature, and Australian and US anthologies, and five fantasy novels, with two more novels forthcoming. Two of her novels were finalists for best fantasy novel of the year in the Australian Aurealis genre fiction awards. Her critical essays have appeared in Science-Fiction Studies, Foundation, the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Para.Doxa: Studies in World Literature, and The New York Review of Science Fiction. She guest edited a volume of new work on Ursula K. Le Guin for Paradoxa in 2008, and a collection of her critical work, Three Observations and a Dialogue: Around and About SF was released in 2009. She is currently a consulting board member for Para.Doxa. She has a Ph.D. on the interaction of feminism with modern Gothic and science fiction, and an MA in Creative Writing.


Gina Wisker, Editorial Board

Gina Wisker is coordinator of Women's Studies at Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge, UK where she is also director of learning and teaching development and teaches English literature. Her publications range from postcolonial: Postcolonial and African and American Women's Writing: A Critical Introduction (Macmillan 2000), Insights into Black Women's Writing (Macmillan 1993), to horror and fantasy: It's My Party: Reading Twentieth Century Women's Writing (ed.1994), Fatal Attractions: Rescripting Romance in Contemporary Literature and Film (ed.Lynne Pearce 1998), and several essays on women's vampire fictions in, among others,The Companion to Gothic (ed. David Punter), and on Angela Carter, and she co-edits Spokes, a poetry magazine. She was brought up all over the world , re-visits and travels at every oppportunity and lives in Cambridge UK with her husband, two sons, and two small dogs. She edited the special women's horror issue of Femspec.

Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Editorial Board

Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor is an associate professor of Women’s Studies and English at Penn State University.  She is author/editor of four books, the most recent of which are Postmodern Utopias and Feminist Fictions (Cambridge UP, 2013), and The Scandal of Susan Sontag (co-edited with Barbara Ching; Columbia UP, 2009). She has published numerous articles on nineteenth and twentieth literature, and more recently on women’s utopian literature.  Her current project, a book entitled Regarding Climate Change, will analyze how climate change narratives in literature and art.  These artworks offer complex scenarios provoking reader/audiences into critical thinking about how climate change and ecological threat generally might affect how we live in the future(s).  Central to this study are epistemological and narratological issues related to transformative thinking (or the lack thereof), affective politics, and feminist movement.

Jennifer Swift-Kramer, Editorial Board


Jennifer Swift-Kramer entered the field of gender studies after profiling Sally Ride and Mildred Trotter for Gale's groundbreaking collection of scientific biographies.  Her chapter on Stephen W. Hawking was included in The Monstrous and the Unspeakable: The Bible as Fantastic Literature, which was digitized in 2002.  Her most recent publication is an obituary for Joanna Russ in Femspec.  She is a lifetime member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars and former Steering Committee Member of the National Women's Studies Association's Independent Scholars Task Force.  She currently serves on the Technology Intensive panel for William Paterson's University Core Curriculum, is a new member of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and networks for various causes on Facebook.

Suzanne Bellamy, Editorial Board


Suzanne Bellamy is an Australian artist and writer, Director of Mongarlowe Studio Workshop in Australia, a published Woolf and Stein scholar, who exhibits internationally in text/image fusions using painting, printmaking and sculpture, as well as writing and producing performances based on women's history and modernist enactments . Most recent work includes Visiting Artist at campuses in the USA, exhibited at Acorn Gallery, Clemson University South Carolina (2013), at SUNY Oswego and Syracuse Central Gallery (2010), at Bute Hall University of Glasgow (2011), where she produced and wrote a Libretto for the Pageant in Woolf's novel Between The Acts. She is currently completing a dissertation on Australian Modernism and its International Context at the University of Sydney, and producing a jazz/text fusion performance work entitled "Two Saints In One Act" for the International Virginia Woolf Conference in Chicago June 2014. Suzanne works out of a solar-powered studio in native bushland in southern NSW Australia, a prolific journal writer, gardener and scholar/artist.