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Rec.arts.sf groups, an introduction

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Archive-name: sf/groups-intro

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Recent changes:
  Jan 12, 2006: Changed Ansible archive location to
  Dec 31, 2004: Added alt.books.jack-chalker, and a note to about the new group.
  Sep 12, 2004: Changed subscription info for Bujold mailing list
		Also changed one-liner description of to
		  have the URL to a filk FAQ with information about the

Send questions and updates or comments to:

1. What does the 'sf' in 'rec.arts.sf.*' mean?
2. What rec.arts.sf.* groups are available?
3. What other 'sf' groups are available?
4. What mailing lists are there for similar topics?
5. What other resources are available on the net (WWW, gopher, etc)?
6. What are the current charters for the groups under rec.arts.sf.*?

1. What does the 'sf' in 'rec.arts.sf.*' mean?
  The 'sf' means 'Speculative Fiction'.  According to the call for votes
that created the original hierarchy, this was defined as: Both science
fiction and fantasy, as well as that vast blurred mass of material in

2. What rec.arts.sf.* groups are available?

Here's a short, one-line-per-group listing of the groups:

rec.arts.sf.misc	Replaces rec.arts.sf-lovers as the catch-all
rec.arts.sf.announce 	Announcements (moderated:
rec.arts.sf.composition	Discussion about writing speculative fiction
rec.arts.sf.fandom	Fannish activities, cons, etc.
rec.arts.sf.marketplace	Personal for-sale notices
rec.arts.sf.movies	SF movies that don't have their own groups	Reviews of sf/fantasy/horror works (Moderated)	Science and theory related to sf
rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting Topics relating to Star Wars collecting      SW games: RPG, computer, card, etc.       General information about SW (Moderated)
rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc       Miscellaneous topics about SW
rec.arts.sf.superman	Discussion of Superman		SF tv shows that don't have their own groups	Discussion about the Babylon 5 TV show Info about Babylon 5 (Moderated)	Moderated    Quantum Leap TV, comics, cons, etc.
rec.arts.sf.written	Novels, stories, etc.
rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan	Books by Robert Jordan

3. What other 'sf' groups are available?
	Discussions about the movies, the show, and anything and everything
	related to Dr. Who.
	A distillation of news and information about Star Trek, including
	synopses of new episodes, convention reports, station airing times
	around the US and the world, and other tidbits of factual information
	about Trek.

	Moderated: send submissions to; questions
		or comments should be sent to
	Star Trek, all shows, movies, books, etc, related to the original
	show.  There's a monthly informational posting in those groups and
	news.answers and rec.answers which describes the groups in detail.  See
	for information on filking and the newsgroup.
  alt.books.terry-goodkind	The works of Terry Goodkind.
  alt.books.terry-brooks	Discussion of Terry Brooks Works
	Virtual reality  via prose interaction.	Discussion of published/televised worlds.
	Jack Chalker discussion, especially of the Well World series.
	(Nathan Brazil is the primary character in the Well World stories.)
	(This has mostly been superseded by alt.books.jack-chalker.)
	McCaffrey's Pern; also some discussions of her other books.
  alt.fantasy.conan	Robert E. Howard's characters, principally Conan.	Edgar Rice Burroughs' works.
	An attempt to write a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, inspired by
	Douglas Adams.  Ongoing for several years.
	A Science Fiction Forum.	Discussion of HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS.	Discussion of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS.	Discusion of the subtext in X:WP.

4. What mailing lists are there for similar topics?

  Good question; I don't know, for the most part.  But I'll be adding them
as people tell me about them, and I believe there's a posting that lists
them, that I'll try to get permission to use. (SF-Lovers Digest)
  Moderated, medium-to-high traffic.  This is gatewayed to/from
  some of the newsgroups: .written, .tv, .babylon5(.info), .movies,
  .reviews, .announce, .fandom, and .misc all feed into the Digest,
  while .written, .tv, .babylon5, .movies, and .misc are gatewayed.
  (There are actually a collection of lists.)
  For subscriptions or questions, send mail to:
  SMOFS deals with convention-running. A low-traffic list.
  To get on smofs, send mail to  However,
  you should not join this list unless you have some experience with
  con-running.  It's not a general purpose mailing list.

========    - Filk music in the UK

To subscribe, send an Email to with


in the text body, or go to

The mail-lists are hosted by a BBS, which serves as a Fidonet/Internet
gateway for UK SF fans, and are themselves gated to related Fidonet echoes.
Lois Bujold Discussion List
The Lois McMaster Bujold Mailing List exists to allow discussion of the
works of Lois Bujold. If you wish to join the list send an email to with subject blank and message body of
(assuming your name is Miles Vorkosigan if it isn't, substitute your own name
instead, not your email address).

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

Mercedes Lackey Discussion List
The Mercedes Lackey Mailing List exists to allow discussion of the
works of Mercedes Lackey. If you wish to join the list send an email to with subject blank and message body of
(assuming your name is Vanyel Ashkevron if it isn't, substitute your own name
instead, not your email address).

to subscribe to either, send an email message of the usual form
or for help with subscribing write to
Pat Reynolds -
There is an SF-list run at :

subscribe sf-list yourname

The list owner (Morgan Bottrell) must add you manually to the list.

There is a 'fantasy' list run by the same person, with the same directions
(use 'fantasy' instead of 'sf-list') - or so I presume; I wasn't given more
exact instructions.

The Liaden Unverse interest list can be written to at
to subscribe; this is concerned with the works of Sharon Lee and Steve
There's a mailing list for writers, SFnF-Writers.  To subscribe, send
        subscribe sfnf-writers

======== (SF News)
Moderated, low traffic. Compiles news on all manner of speculative
fiction, in all media, from various USENET, mail, and WWW sources and
reader contributions. Archives available at
To subscribe, send mail to with "subscribe
sf-news" in the message body. 

The description of this mailing list is:

This List is intended for the discussion of Science Fiction (speculative
fiction). Whether you just like to read it or write it, feel free to
join in. The only proviso is that all discussions be kept mature and polite.
Posting of story ideas is welcome.  Criticism should be well thought out & 
constructive! Tips on gaining publication are a plus! Feel free to discuss new
authors or old. If you know of SciFi authors with websites, feel free to post
them. Without readership, authors have no outlet for their ideas.

You can join this list by going to the following web page:

Dedicated to Laurell K. Hamilton's works (dark fantasy) (name not given).
The details are at

The list,  Fantasy & Science Fiction discussion list,
has changed subscribtion and mailing addresses.

New details:  Fantasy & Science Fiction discussion list
To subscribe send a blank email to
FSF is a friendly spam and flame free mailing list for the discussion
of anything fantasy or SF related.  New opinions are always welcome.
The emphasis is on friendly (dis)agreement.  We have participents in
many different countries around the world.
The list has an archive of previous posts at
To read the list FAQ go to
The Research Triangle SF Society has an email list for discussion of
all things sf-related (although the topics do wander pretty far afield
sometimes!).  It's primarily for folks in central North Carolina, but
others are always welcome.
To subscribe, send email with a blank subject line to:

In the body of the message, type:
subscribe rtsfs yourname

5. What other resources are available on the net (WWW, gopher, etc)?

Please feel free to send me any URLs you might have, and a description of
what's available at that URL.

SF-Lovers web pages:
  (Related to the SF-Lovers Digest list described above in 4; archives
   are available through this.  Also available are links to a lot of
   other SF-related sites, including author home pages.)
The SF archive at Lysator:

	ftp:, /pub/sf-texts
WWW sites related to Mercedes Lackey:

WWW sites related to Lois McMasters Bujold:
The Bujold Nexus at

The Bujold Nexus contains information about and pointers to other sites with
info on Lois. It is the authorised Bujold Web site, and Lois often
contributes snippets.

It is mirrored at
Hugo award winner Ansible is archived at

Harper Collins has an excellent site at
A Science Fiction Resource Guide.  Covers almost everything there is in
the net on Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Includes links to most author
and genre FAQs, movies, TV, creative name it, it's
probably there!
----- is a ftp site with contains SF related stuff.
Includes archives of their SF-Digest, various genre FAQs and a
bibiography of authors' books.

ftp: anonymous ftp to


WWW FAQ on Isaac Asimov.  This is an extensive FAQ on Isaac Asimov.  It
covers both his writing and his personal life.  Contains pointers on
other stuff on Asimov on the net; bibliographies, some reviews and
miscellanous items.  A ASCII-based FAQ is also posted monthly on the
newsgroup alt.books.isaac-asimov.

BTW, a pointer to this FAQ is included in the SF Resource Guide so you
need not include this in your intro.  The reason I'm putting this here
is because I worked on the FAQ...};-)



Del Rey books have a gopher site.  The DRIN (Del Rey Internet
Newsletter) is archived there, as well as FAQs related to Del Rey.
Excerpts of upcoming books can be found here.  

gopher: (under subdirectory Del Rey Books)
www   : gopher://

There is also a Del Rey website:


Information about Tor Books can be found at -- this is a 
huge installation featuring information about forthcoming books, sample 
chapters from some of them, announcements of interest, and links to 
bookstores, other sf publishers, sf online, and author home pages.


Internet Book Information Centre (IBIC).  A information center for
general books, but includes points to genre specific stuff.



The Stilyagi Air Corps Calendar.  It's a listing of SF/F Conventions, and
"Stilyagi Parties" (Gatherings of Michigan fandom at people's homes that
are open to the public.)  The list is maintained by Chad Childers, and
is kept current.  (*MUCH* more so than the convention listing at


Authors of the Liaden Universe homepage:


A site dedicated to Marion Zimmer Bradley and to the Darkover series:

In English:

In French:


Science Fiction Weekly is the leading electronic publication covering 
the world of science fiction. They cover news, reviews, original artwork 
and celebrity interviews, and they are freely available on the World Wide 
Web at:

They are currently published in conjunction with the Sci-Fi Channel,
although the editorial content is produced independent of the 
Sci-Fi Channel and its staff.


There's an on-line writer's workshop/critique group:


A world wide web page on Internet Info about the Hitchhiker's 
Guide to the Galaxy:  



What's there: European SF Convention listing and various articles on 
convention running which are being continually updated and new additions 
are welcome. The Intersection post-con analysis "Another Fine Nessie" 
should be there, as well.



Off of, there are: FAQ:
Soon-to-be if not already there: FAQ for alt.binaries.multimedia.xena-herc
  with over 300 URLs for fans of HECRULES and XENA (and even fans of Bruce
  Campbell/"Army of Darkness").
Witch World Page:
Witch World Message Board:


		New England Science Fiction Association

		Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society
	These are both fannish organizations (volunteer, 
	not-for-profit) each runs an annual regional convention.
	LASFS runs the occasional World Con


The SF-Lovers Convention List, containing listings of
conventions all over the world.
The URL is:


The Fannish Email Directory:

6. What are the current charters for the groups under rec.arts.sf.*?

Here's a list, in the same order as the groups appear in the list in question
2.  I use the word 'current' because, while most of these haven't changed
since the dawn of creation, the one has changed to
include a new submission address.

     Charter: Group rec.arts.sf.misc will be the general-purpose
              and spillover group for science fiction and fantasy
	      discussions that do not find a more specific subgroup 
	      under rec.arts.sf.*, or that would otherwise require 
	      wide crossposting among the other subgroups.

rec.arts.sf.announce (moderated, <>)
     Charter: (moderated) Announcements of happenings in the
              SF world, such as cons, including calls for con
              participation, readings, deaths, honors, new SF
              mailing lists, periodic postings of rec.arts.sf
              subgroup charters and other administrivia,
              signings, TV specials, meetings, shop openings and
              closings, etc. Not for personal or commercial ads.
     Send submissions to:; questions to
	the moderator address above.


     Charter: Before discussing the newsgroup, one must define 'sf', for 
	      which I refer to the original CFV for the group that created 
	      the rec.arts.sf.* hierarchy:  "Both science fiction and 
	      fantasy, as well as that vast blurred mass of material in 
	      between."  This charter mirrors the position of the HWA:  
	      Horror is an emotion, not a genre.  If the Horror takes place 
	      in a speculative fiction book, it can be discussed in an sf

	      The rec.arts.sf.composition newsgroup would include, but not be 
	      limited to the following types of discussion:

	      General writing questions, to be answered from the sf 
	      perspective.  This includes market research, submission 
	      format and discussions on the process of writing itself,
	      as it connects with the writing of sf.

	      Discussion of the process of writing speculative fiction 
	      between professionals, aspiring writers or the merely interested.

	      Discussion of the methods and processes of worldbuilding, 
	      the creation of new, alternate or historically-based worlds
	      in which speculative fiction is often set.

	      This newsgroup is not meant to replace or significantly 
	      overlap other groups.  As such, topics that are on-topic 
	      and useful in other groups should be kept to those groups.  
	      That would include, but not be limited to the following

	      Discussion connected to writing, but not specifically
	      to sf, nor with an important sf slant should be posted
	      in misc.writing.

	      Discussion about the science used in speculative fiction
	      should be posted to
	      Discussion of existing written work should be left to

	      As well, the charter specifically excludes the posting of work 
	      unless that posting is specifically related to a topic that is
	      being discussed, and is used in that context, and quoted briefly.
	      Posting of work to be read and/or critiqued is excluded from the
	      charter of this newsgroup, for a number of reasons.  For 
	      those who wish to avail themselves of the group's resources, a 
	      specially marked header, "CRIT:  " will be used to post short 
	      requests for critiquing or reading, with all followups directed 
	      to email, the poster's web page, rec.arts.prose, or any other
	      valid forum, rather than the newsgroup.

	      As for advertising, overt advertising is excluded from the 
	      group, particularly off-topic overt advertising (the kind that 
	      doesn't care what this charter says anyway).  Tactful, brief, 
	      infrequently posted references to information that can be 
	      found elsewhere will be tolerated, but advertisers must tread 
	      that fine line carefully if they wish to avoid flamage from 
	      ad-hating regulars.

     Charter: Discussions of fannish activities; meant to provide
              a new home for the SF-related part of the traffic
              currently posted to alt.fandom.* and similar
              postings current in rec.arts.sf-lovers.

     Charter: A place for personal wanted-to-buy and for-sale ads
              for SF related materials.  Personal ads only;
              commercial ads belong in comp.newprod or commercial
              advertising channels, not elsewhere on USENet.  Do
              NOT crosspost ads; those looking to buy or sell SF
              stuff will be reading this group and just annoyed
              by ads mixed in elsewhere.

     Charter: Discussions of all aspects of SF related movies not
              otherwise covered in more specific groups (such as
              the Star Trek group).  Specifically includes
              screenplays looking for producers, and discussions
              of novelizations as compared to the movie base;
              discussion of novelizations independent of the 
              related movie belong in .written. (moderated)
	Charter: Reviews and critical discussion of SF/fantasy/horror 
		 works.  Works include novels, short fiction, movies,
		 music, periodicals, art, etc., that are of interest to
		 the SF community.  Reviews are expected to conform to
		 the guidelines in the FAQ "Welcome to"
		 posted to the group periodically and available by
		 anonymous FTP on the host []
		 (file: sf-reviews/welcome).  Archives of the group are also
		 available on in the directory misc/sf-reviews.  
		 Submissions should be sent to;
		 comments to the moderators should be sent to
     Charter: A home for the spinoff discussion of real and
              speculative science and sometimes about how the
              laws of science could be used in creating new SF
     Charter: A group for discussing general television SF, both
              live acted and cartoons.  Note that some tv shows,
	      (such as Dr. Who and Star Trek) have their own
	      specialized newsgroups as well.
     Charter: is to be an unmoderated newgroup
	      dedicated to the following topics:

              * The plots and characters of "Babylon 5" episodes.
              * The possible ties between episodes in the 5-year story arc
              * The special-effects techniques and technology
              * Musings and speculations about where the show is going.
              * AND NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT story ideas and/or fan-fiction.

	      J. Michael Straczynski, Babylon 5's creator, (hereafter: JMS)
	      has stated flatly that for legal reasons that if any story
	      ideas appear on a "B5" newsgroup he will be forced to leave the
	      electronic forum. This would be, to our reckoning, a
	      net.tragedy, and is to be avoided at all costs.

	      Solutions such as forfeiture of copyrights to JMS with all
	      postings, etc, have been considered, but ultimately rejected.
	      This forum can only survive through the good will of its users,
	      PLEASE do not destroy it for the rest of us.

	      In the event of legal action in the future resulting from
	      someone's disregard of this rule, I offer myself, Brian Badger,
	      to be subpoenaed to testify as to the nature of this charter,
	      and its prohibition.  It's an ugly job...
	Charter: The purpose of this group is to provide an uncluttered
	      resource of information and news pertaining to the television
	      program _Babylon 5_. is a
	      moderated newsgroup, which means that all articles must be
	      submitted to the moderator for approval before they will be
	      posted.  Articles appearing in this newsgroup should generally
	      fall into one of the following categories:

	      1) Official press releases and notices pointing to coverage
	      of _Babylon 5_ in the media (but copies of copyrighted
	      material *only* with expressed permission), and announcements
	      of B5-related events such as conventions and star appearances.

	      2) Episode schedules, guides and summaries, and announcements
	      of airing time changes.

	      3) Announcements, commentary and background material on
	      _Babylon 5_ from J. Michael Straczynski, the show's
	      executive producer.  This will include compilations of
	      his writings from online services such as GEnie and
	      CompuServe and very selective repostings of substantial
	      commentary from  The latter
	      category will specifically *not* include his short answers
	      about details of past episodes.

	      4) Other material believed by the moderators to be of interest
	      to a broad base of B5 fans.

	      Volume should not exceed a few messages a day.

	      Submit proposed articles to:
     Charter: will be designed to create a specific
	      forum for discussing the many aspects of the Quantum Leap
	      television series, which is now in syndication on two cable
	      networks.  The aspects that can be talked about are (but are
	      not limited to) the television program, the comic book, QL
	      conventions, the video releases, and whatever else can be found
	      to talk about between the "Leapers."  Now, the group will be
	      unmoderated to allow more freedom on what can be talked about.
	      There has, as of late, been a considerable amount of QL traffic on  Perhaps the new newsgroup would allow more
	      space for other discussion on, and would be an exclusive place for
	      Leapers to talk.  Also, many Usenet sites do not have Alt.ql
	      creative as a group choice and, therefore, do not know of the
	      existance of QL discussion.

     Charter: A group for discussing the general SF which is seen
              by its audience in written form, whether printed or
              online.  Note that many more specific groups in
              rec.arts.sf.* exist to pull some traffic from this
              group, but in general, this is where new releases
              are discussed, informal reviews given, continuity
              topics discussed, authors compared, and is the
              starting point for many threads which should
              eventually be moved to more appropriate groups.
              (Please cooperate when the call is put forward to
              move a discussion to a more specific group.)

     Charter: This newsgroup, rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan, was
              created in July 1994 for the discussion of books written
              by contemporary author Robert Jordan.  In particular, this
              newsgroup is concerned with his ongoing "Wheel of Time"
              series, but also covers past and future works by him.
              Fandom is specifically included within the purview of this
              charter.  The group is unmoderated.

Leanne Phillips
"Do not meddle with the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick
to anger."  (I don't want to hear other versions.  I've heard them all before.)
Words to live by: "Violence is the refuge of the incompetent."
	(Yes, I know it isn't right; it's deliberate.)
We have tasted fear./We have breathed in grief.
We have swum in hate./We have witnessed strength.
- Last verse of my poem in memoriam of the September 11 tragedy.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM