The UK Concessionary level is available in the UK to students, the unwaged, and pensioners.
Digital Member level membership is available to international (non-UK resident) members. These members receive digital versions of our publications instead of mailed print copies. All other features of a standard BSFA membership are still included.
See FAQ below for more information.
The BSFA was initiated by a group of fans in 1958, and was soon established and run as an official national body by readers, authors, critics, booksellers and publishers, with the aim of appreciating and encouraging science fiction in every form. Many famous authors, critics, editors and publishers have been members through its history and many more continue to be today. Being a member of the BSFA puts you in touch with like-minded people across the country and beyond; whilst linking you to a rich tradition and enabling you to contribute to a vibrant future.
2. Exclusive magazines
As well as publishing articles for free online, we produce Vector and Focus, two fabulous print magazines, sent out regularly and exclusively to BSFA members. By being a member, you will also be supporting the publication of open access content, including the websites, The BSFA Review, and Fission.
3. Improve your writing
The BSFA is committed to encouraging both new and established writers of science fiction and speculative fiction in general. One of our publications, Focus, is filled with practical advice and information from established authors and industry experts. We're also launching a new fiction publication, Fission, in 2021.
In addition, the BSFA runs the Orbiters series, workshopping groups where writers can regularly submit their work to gain constructive critiquing from their contemporaries and also contribute their thoughts on the work of others.
Members will also receive a regular newsletter with newsflashes from the world of science fiction, literary awards, book news, interviews, and all sorts of related events.
5. Nominating and voting in the BSFA Awards
The BSFA Awards are among the most significant genre awards anywhere. One of the factors that makes the awards so special is that they are not decided by a panel of judges behind closed door, but in an open vote by the wider membership of the BSFA. Have you ever looked at the winner of an award and thought, “That’s ridiculous! Book B should have won”? Well, join the BSFA and you can influence the outcome next time around.
6. Affordable fees
The BSFA is a non-profit making organisation. The people who make it happen do it as a labour of love. Every penny of membership fees is utilised to provide services and benefits to our members.
7. Looking towards the future
Pandemics allowing, we are looking to returning to hosting live events, including author talks and spoken word. We have a rich history of regular London-based events, as well as a mini-convention hosted together with Foundation. We plan to expand our events around the UK.
BSFA members have the right to attend, contribute, and to vote at our Annual General Meeting, helping to steer the organisation into the future. In 2020 we hosted our first AGM online (out of necessity). It worked well, and it's likely this will be how we do them in the future.
When can I vote in the awards?
If you are joining the BSFA around awards time, don’t worry: you are eligible to nominate and vote as soon as you’ve paid your membership fee, even if you haven’t been assigned a membership number yet. Please check out the rules around eligibility (e.g. you can't nominate something you wrote yourself).
I have joined but I haven't received anything.
You should get an automated email as soon as you've joined, and an email newsletter roughly once a month. If for some reason you don't, please get in touch with our Membership Officer.
Can I get a BSFA membership as a gift for someone?
You sure can. Get in touch with our Membership Officer.
Who counts as a pensioner?
For purposes of BSFA membership, you are eligible for the pensioner concessionary rate if you are 65 or over.
Who counts as a student?
For purposes of BSFA membership, you are eligible for the student concessionary rate if:
Who counts as unwaged?
We leave this for members to interpret and judge for themselves, but it certainly doesn't mean "receiving no earnings whatsoever." If you receive or are eligible for Universal Credit, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, PIP, or DLA, you are eligible to claim this membership level.
What is a Community Membership?
The BSFA also makes a limited number of memberships available free and/or discounted through partner organisations, including the African Speculative Fiction Society. Many of these places are funded by generous donations from our members. The availability of these memberships comes and goes, depending on levels of donations.
What exactly is a joint membership?
You'll just get one envelope through the door for the two of you, but you'll both be full members, with rights to participate at the AGM, in the Orbiters, and the BSFA Awards.
I've just joined. Can I expect something in the post?
The BSFA sends out physical publications three to four times a year, so depending when you join, you might not get something right away. If you have joined and there is a particular copy of something you're interested in, get in touch with the relevant editors. We don't have extensive vaults of back issues, but we often have copies of very recent issues, or can supply digital versions.
Do I have legal obligations as a BSFA member?
Technically, yes: you are joining the BSFA Ltd. (England and Wales Ltd. Co. No. : 00921500), registered under the UK's Companies Act, a company limited guarantee (not shares). In the event that the BSFA were one day to be liquidated, you would be liable for up to £1 to pay any debts.
Why isn't the digital only membership available to UK residents?
Digital membership is something the BSFA is rolling out very carefully, to ensure we protect the organisation's finances so that we are able to fund publications, activities, and other benefits for our members. In 2021 the BSFA trialled a digital only membership for international members, since the rising cost of international postage was making the £45 international membership too expensive for many. We're continuing to explore this space and as always would love to hear from members or prospective members your ideas about what the BSFA could be doing digitally.