Many people accompanied and supported me on the long and winding road of writing this book. I can mention only a few of them. My academic supervisors Rosi Braidotti, Toine van den Hoogen and Anne-Marie Korte time and again challenged me to transgress my own limits of thinking; Anne-Marie not only as a supervisor but as a true friend for years on end. Several other people also critically read (parts of) the manuscript. First of all I have to name David G. Tomas, who kept sending his valuable comments on content and style from across the Atlantic with unflagging interest. Sarah Lefanu, Maaike Meijer, Liana Borghi and Christien Franken offered many creative suggestions about the interpretation of Tiptree's text.
The Dutch network of female researchers in religious studies (OPP) always provides fruitful surroundings for developing new questions and ideas, in particular its annual study weeks at the beginning of January. Of its participants I want especially to name Maaike de Haardt, whose genuine interest in my work is very encouraging, and Jonneke Bekkenkamp, my colleague in religion and literature in Amsterdam.
I wish to express special gratitude towards the women of De Zolder (The Attic), Christien Franken, Geertje Mak, Jann Ruyters and Denise de Costa, for their stimulating mix of knowledge and gossip, the food and cigars, and above all, their friendship. Some people who were helpful in the prehistory of this study have to be recalled as well: Grietje Dresen, Herman Wegman (who died too an untimely death), Theo de Wit. Furthermore, the residency on the bioapparatus at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 1991 offered a great opportunity for starting up my project, as did the two years' research appointment at the Department of Women's Studies of the Arts Faculty at Utrecht University.
In the final stages of writing this book, life sometimes was almost too full to grasp. My mother and my dear friend Betty died, while little Frederiek and Noraly entered my life. With his wit and care, Anton Simons has helped me to keep my emotional sanity and intellectual imagination. I cannot thank him enough (he prefers a bottle of Scotch, anyhow).