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Note: We're turning over the bloggy keys to Roger Pseudonym as a temporary guest blogger. Roger is a pro writer, but isn't anyone working on the site; his views and experiences are his, not ours, he's not speaking for the site, etc. He's convinced us he has some things to say to certain folks that are useful to say. You can read more about Roger in the 'about' bits. He's got more truthy things to say to nerds, continuing with...

Personal Grooming

You catch more flies by smelling bad

Jul 22, 2015   [permalink]

[About...: This Guest Bloggy Glamorous Geek's Guide Thing ... Roger ... You ]

What you wear under your clothes is at least as important as the clothes themselves, so make it a point to bathe and shave daily, take care of your teeth (bad breath will kill your cred faster than leprosy and Tourette's combined), use deodorant, sit up straight, and generally keep yourself tidy. A lazy Sunday is all well and fine, but if you plan to slink from your Fortress of Solitude and face the real world, you never know who you're going to run into. Looking and smelling like a homeless person is not going to help you, ever.

I shouldn't have to say any of this; for most people it's so basic it doesn't get discussed at all, past about the fourth grade. But I see nerds all the time who fail this test, who stink and slouch and look like they slept in a hedge, are unpleasant to stand next to and embarrassing to be seen with, and nobody ever seems to tell them. They get that they're unpopular, but they don't know why. So, no offense, but even the painfully obvious is going to get discussed here, because some of you out there actually need to hear it. Bathe, Oscar!

On a related note, you also need to get your hair cut on a regular basis. Seriously, put a recurring event in your Outlook calendar so you don't forget. Your hairstyle is an important part of your overall look, and you want to maintain it at least as well as your anal-retentive neighbor maintains his lawn. If you let it go too long, then you'll not only look unkempt, but when you finally do get it cut the sudden change in length and style will be a lot more noticeable, drawing attention to the fact. The only exception I can think of is if you're putting in a ton of overtime at work, in which case "I don't have time for a haircut!" is an acceptable—even cred-enhancing—thing to say.

For men, short hair is easier to care for but needs more frequent maintenance. Long hair can make men look kind of freaky, but some women find it artistic and sexy, and if it fits with your overall personality then yeah, go for it. But wash and condition it every day, do not tie it back in a pony tail, topknot, bun, or any kind of shit like that, and don't lean over and drag it in other people's food. I've seen this happen, and it's way gross.

For women, I'll advise against short hair unless you're going to do something really interesting with it. Long hair is going to be more attractive with less effort, and I assume that has some rational appeal for you. As for barrettes, scrunchies, headbands, etc., these things are tricky to get right, so unless you have help I would steer clear. Just use a curling iron or something to give your head some character.

What about hair color? There are lots of options these days, not just for women, and yes, blondes really do have more fun, but brunettes are perceived as more intelligent and more mature, and redheads as more passionate. Really! Daring colors like pink and blue might be fine if you work at Piercing Pagoda or Orange County Choppers, but in most office and lab environments you should probably hold these to a highlight or two along the sides.

As for graying or thinning hair, you're never too young to start worrying about it. Most women cover up their gray without thinking twice, but men have a harder choice to make. When you get to that certain age, gray hair might lend an air of authority, particularly if you're in a senior tech position or angling to move there, but for junior dudes losing their hair or its melanin prematurely, I tend to think the gray (or the male pattern baldness) makes you look like you've been left behind. I started going gray in my mid-20s, and several of my friends started going bald, so I know what I'm talking about here; a hair-challenged engineer is either an overpriced has-been whose edge is slowly blunting, a coward who never grabbed for the brass ring, or else a clod who tried but couldn't reach it. I'm not saying any of these things are true, but if they look true you're screwed anyway, so why risk it? Rogaine and Just For Men are effective and cheap, and no one has to know. And hey, the business guys are doing it too, so even if they find out, they're not likely to care.

Or you could go the other way and bleach out your gray. Weirdly, it's only the salt-and-pepper look (or the thinning-but-combed-over look) that makes you seem old; for some reason, a full head of hair that's uniformly white or platinum gives a much younger, more vigorous impression. So does shaving the whole pate, which is just about the only hair option that's allowable for men but not women. Go figure.

Facial hair? Sure. Beards and moustaches can be trimmed into countless styles that not only express your personality, but also make it clear that yes, you do actually have a personality. You don't want to be too off-the-wall here (that Ming the Merciless or reverse-Hitler will get you beaten up), but the main thing is to look like you've made an effort. Even three-day stubble can be cleaned up around the edges to make a rugged-yet-classy impression.

Lookin' good

CORRECT: My friend Chris' facial hair says, "I am a man of action who actually owns some sort of beard trimming device."

Lookin' not so good

INCORRECT: My friend Paul's facial hair says, "Get that camera out of my face. In fact, don't look at me. At all. Ever."

If you're a woman, shave or wax your legs and armpits, please. The only thing less appealing than a hairy hippie chick who knows better is a hairy nerdy chick who doesn't. Smooth nerdy chicks are kinda hot, though. How smooth? Well, what you do with your bikini zone depends on who's going to see it and why, but the prevailing philosophy these days seems to be that less is more. Look up "landing strip" for guidance here, or take a peek at the girls in Playboy to see what I'm talking about. You should probably try to look (ahem!) like an adult, but the one absolute rule here is that nothing should peek past the edges of an actual bikini. Really. Seriously.

On a related subject, you may be surprised what a difference perfume and cologne can make in your life. You don't want to be that receptionist who sits all day in a Bhopal cloud of toxic sandalwood vapor, but a splash of after shave, a dab of cologne and a strategic spritz of body spray can add that hard-to-define finishing touch that people really respond to. We're still animals, you know.

Now, you didn't hear this from me, but you might even consider doctoring your scent with synthetic pheromones from the Athena Institute. This cocktail was invented by actual scientists from actual MIT, and if used correctly it's clinically, double-blindedly proven to get you 40% more sex than you'd otherwise receive. Of course, 1.4 times zero is still zero, so if you got no skills this stuff won't help, but presumably you do carry some level of charm and appeal and have some chance of scoring with the opposite sex (or the same sex, if that's your thing). If so, why not stack the deck at least slightly in your favor?

And the benefits may not just be sexual. If you believe the Athena scientists (who are fellow nerds, after all), pheromones are odorless to the conscious parts of our brains but strongly active in the limbic system, sending machine-level signals about how strong, aggressive, confident, dangerous, and successful we are. It's a cheap trick (well, a hundred-dollars-a-bottle trick), but it might just attract/annoy/unsettle the business guys and gals who (like it or not) control your destiny. OK, most of the time they're not getting close enough to smell your neck, but when you find yourself crammed into a taxi or an airplane seat or an insufficiently air-conditioned conference room, would you rather smell like Comic Book Guy or like some weirdly intriguing man of mystery?

If you do use pheromones, though, just don't tell anyone you're hacking the most intimate corners of their brains, or they may compensate by being extra-super-duper unimpressed.

More anon.

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Guest Blogger: Roger Pseudonym
The Glamorous Geek's Guide to Surviving the Real World—Winning Money, Success, and Love On a Planet Full of Jocks and Charmers

Jul 22, 2015   [permalink]

Note: Aburt is turning over the keys to Roger Pseudonym. To clarify any possible confusion, Roger is not Aburt. You don't know Roger. Well, maybe you do. Roger is a pro writer. You can read more about Roger in the 'about' bits. Anyway, he's got some truthy things to say to nerds, starting with...

Clothes

A fashion statement using actual fashion

[About...: This Guest Bloggy Glamorous Geek's Guide Thing ... Roger ... You ]

I once watched a daytime talk show where a bunch of angry, pierced, leather-clad punk kids with green hair were complaining about how badly the world reacted to them.

"People treat you like the clothes you wear," one young woman complained.

Well yeah. Hate to break it to you, sweetcheeks, but aside from holding out the weather and covering the reproductive sockets, that's what clothes are for. Oprah (or Rikki Lake, or whoever was hosting) clucked sympathetically at these kids when she should have smacked them upside their chrome-studded skulls. Clothes make the man—even cave people knew that!

This is also reflected in how police treat suspects; no one doubts that if you dress like a thug you're more likely to be treated like one, whereas if you dress like a golfer or a movie star, you'll at least get arrested politely. And guess what? When it comes to fashion, we're all cops.

Now, if you're a woman, half a dozen episodes of TLC's What Not to Wear (2003-2013) can tell you everything you need to know about clothes and makeup. You may think you look just fine the way you are, and maybe that's true. Maybe you do. You may even think people should get over appearances and appreciate you for who you are inside, and you may be right about that as well, but let's at least not frighten them away in the mean time, hyah? A tiny amount of color around the eyes, of coverup on the blemishes, of thought and care in the wardrobe choices will make a huge difference. I've watched this transformation in dozens of nerd women, and never once met one who was sorry she'd done it.

If you're a man, the task is even easier, because you can just ask your booth-babe communications major of a girlfriend for advice. Hahahahaha, just kidding; we both know your girlfriend wore a Cthulhu pendant and shock-pink hip boots to your brother's wedding and is no more qualified to give fashion advice than, well, me. Seriously, though, you might try looking up an older TV show called Queer Eye For the Straight Guy (2003-2007) or, more painfully, picking up some issues of Maxim, GQ, or People for some guidance on different looks that may work for you. Or hire a personal shopper / image consultant? This will probably pay for itself within a year, if not sooner, in both improved job prospects and reduced expenditure on ugly clothes. Failing that, here are a few for-dummies guidelines:

First, it never hurts to dress a little nicer than the people around you. You can slob it up occasionally—especially if you're trying to make a particular statement (e.g., "I just completed a 5K, bitches!")—but you're not cool enough to get away with it as a habit. I'm not kidding about that, boyo. You're really not.

Second, on a typical day you should wear one (or at most, two) "down" elements and the rest "up". Blue jeans with a dress shirt and shoes. Dress slacks and shoes with a solid-color t-shirt. Or dress like a hobo, but throw a nice Armani jacket over the top. Or wear a swimsuit and flip-flops and that koa wood necklace you bought in Hawaii, with a tasteful Tag Heuer wristwatch.

Lookin' good

See? Not too bad. The surfer necklace and scruffy beard are "down" elements. The rest is a combination of Armani and bespoke.

Armani? Tag Heuer? Yes. And Coach, and Louis Vuitton, and even Calvin Klein. This is a refrain you'll be hearing a lot from me: while swanky or well-known brand names can't make you cool, they sure as hell won't flag you as uncool. In fact, luxury brands are usually also high-quality products that will last a long time, and if you find a style that fits your frame, they give a favorable impression that says you care about yourself, and at least allow for the possibility that you might be cool. Custom or "bespoke" items can do this as well, for clear scientific reasons.

"Signaling theory" is one of several newish fields that straddle the borders of psychology, sociology, economics, and evolutionary biology, and basically posits that the things we wear on our bodies are exactly analogous to the poisonous red of a tree frog or the iridescent "eyes" of a peacock's tail. I.e., their purpose is to signal our genetic fitness to potential mating partners, hunting partners, golf buddies, and predators. They also signal our tribal affiliation, so that awesome periodic table T-shirt of yours (you know, the one where the radioactive elements glow in the dark) is unconsciously meant to reassure your fellow nerds, from a distance, that you are not going to stuff them in a gym locker, and might even fancy a game of 3D chess.

Unfortunately, it also signals to the jocks, on some dim amygdalic plane, that they should stuff you in a locker and that you might ask them to play some stupid-ass game they don't see the point of. Who needs that? On the other hand, taking this concept too far can land you hard on the other rail. That hockey jersey you have in the closet? Fugeddaboudit. Even if you're a die-hard fan of the team, even if you actually play hockey yourself, you're still a nerd, and a sheep in wolf's clothing will not fool the real wolves. Just make `em hungry.

No, what you want to do is abandon the jock-nerd axis entirely and signal in the orthogonal direction of success. Now, success doesn't necessarily mean money, and money doesn't necessarily mean fancy clothes. I'm betting the last guy you saw in a tuxedo was a men's room attendant, and the last millionaire you saw was passing incognito in a t-shirt and khakis. But pay attention, because that shirt may have been 20% silk and cost a hundred and eighty bucks at Tommy Bahama. The watch and sunglasses and shoes will give him away, too, if you know what to look for, and guess what? He knows what to look for. Why signal "sloppy assperg" when you could broadcast "savvy something-or-other" instead? And hell, if you're also wearing a tasteful Cthulhu pendant he won't know what the fuck that is, or care, unless he does, in which case you probably just made a new friend.

Cool watch

A cool watch can make you look like Brad Pitt.

Eyewear? That's tricky, because nerds are supposed to have glasses—the thicker and heavier-rimmed the better. It's fun to defy the stereotypes, but let's face it: you've spent way too many hours with your nose in a book or staring at computer screens to get by on your original equipment. Contacts and laser surgery are always an option, but if you're anything like me, you don't want nobody touching your eyeballs nohow. So you probably do wear glasses, and they probably do look pretty dorky, but so what? They're not exclusively a nerd appliance, and they do at least give off a vibe of competence, so just let the optometrist's assistant help you pick the right frames, and call it good.

I like amber photochromic lenses myself—a little triumph of function over coolth—but just as an aside, my extremely nerdy father owns a pair of actual rose-colored glasses. He doesn't wear them very often, but I've encouraged him to, because they're actually rather striking, and make him look like a movie producer or eccentric billionaire. He's a retired software engineer who keeps his hand in with various projects, and I suppose he's past the age where he feels a need to look striking, or really to project any "look" at all, but I'm not past the age when I want my dad to look cool if my friends are around.

But I digress.

Interestingly, what we "wear" includes vehicles. Thanks to a million-plus years of human evolution, the body maps in our cerebral cortex are actually elastic enough to incorporate temporary elements such as hats, tools, robotic forklift suits and yes, cars. Neurologically speaking, our wheels really are an extension of our bodies, and as important to our projected image as the clothes we wear. More on this later.

Anyway, personally I do wear nerd t-shirts when I'm at a gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts. First of all, t-shirts are standard garb there, and dressing any fancier than that just makes you look like a narc. Plus which, I've already got on the boots and jacket and helmet and gloves, and I rode in on a friggin' motorcycle, so that signal is about as sent as it's going to get. Why waste valuable real estate on a redundant Harley Davidson shirt when a well-placed Jedi Republic logo can ping for fellow techies in the crowd? Conversely, if I'm at science fiction convention I will wear the Harley shirt, or maybe a Boston Marathon running jersey, because my very presence already tells everyone I'm of the tribe. Here, what I want to signal is that I'm a fit, well-rounded person with cool outside interests.

See, even among your fellow nerds, the clothes actually matter.

More thoughts anon.

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Most Common Story Titles

Apr 10, 2015   [permalink]

Before I begin...

So, yeah, I've been pretty bad about blogging recently. :) I've got a plan to do something about that. (This post isn't it.) I'll be having a guest blogger take some turns, so watch this space. I think you'll find it quite interesting. Okay, on to this post:

I saw in Neil Clarke's post a list of most-common short story titles submitted to his market.

Interesting, I thought. I wonder what the most common titles have been in Critters. Critters has seen about 25,000 submissions, so it should be a comparable data set. (Compared to his 50,000.)

Well, they are:

    12: The Gift, Sacrifice

    11: Redemption

    10: Choices

    9: Homecoming

    7: Legacy, Inheritance, Faith, Awakening

    6: The Price, The Box, Reunion, Remembrance, Release, Rebirth, Chrysalis, Afterlife,

    5: The Wish, The Voice, The Tunnel, The Other Side, The Hunt, The Changeling, The Calling, Sticks and Stones, Skin Deep, Shadows, Road Rage, Requiem, Reflections, Lost and Found, First Contact, Discovery, Crossing Over, Broken, Avatar, Ashes to Ashes, All That Glitters

    4: The Traveler, The Tower, The Rose, The Prophecy, The Prisoner, The Oracle, The Meeting, The Last, The Invasion, The Interview, The Hive, The Heart of the Matter, The Guardian, The Game, The Book, The Black Rose, The Apprentice, Spare Parts, Smoke and Mirrors, Sixth Sense, Rescue, Keeper, Identity, Hide and Seek, Hero, Freedom, Forever, Empathy, Emergence, Descent, Coming Home, Blood Ties, Birdsong, Anima, Alone, Adrift

Not a single "Dust"! :)

And lots of "Homecoming", but no "Home"; nor "Hunger".

So, me wonders, what are the titles our lists have in common, and not?

Only on his list we find...

Deus Ex Machina, Disconnected, Dust, Flight, Genesis, Going Home, Happiness, Heartless, Home, Hunger, Last Call, Memories, Monsters, Night Terrors, Perchance to Dream, Rain, Red, Skin, The Choice, The Collector, The Dark, The Door, The End, The Fall, The Machine, The Visit, The Wall, Voices

Only on the Critters most common list are...

Afterlife, All That Glitters, Anima, Ashes to Ashes, Avatar, Birdsong, Blood Ties, Choices, Chrysalis, Crossing Over, Descent, Discovery, Emergence, Empathy, Faith, First Contact, Forever, Freedom, Hide and Seek, Identity, Keeper, Redemption, Release, Remembrance, Requiem, Rescue, Reunion, Road Rage, Shadows, Sixth Sense, Smoke and Mirrors, Spare Parts, Sticks and Stones, The Apprentice, The Black Rose, The Book, The Calling, The Changeling, The Game, The Guardian, The Heart of the Matter, The Hive, The Interview, The Invasion, The Last, The Meeting, The Oracle, The Price, The Prophecy, The Rose, The Traveler, The Tunnel, The Voice, The Wish

And, drum roll, on both lists, we have:

Adrift
Alone
Awakening
Broken
Coming Home
Hero
Homecoming
Inheritance
Legacy
Lost and Found
Rebirth
Reflections
Sacrifice
Skin Deep
The Box
The Gift
The Hunt
The Other Side
The Prisoner
The Tower

So, those are your weeners, my friends, titles really really often used.

Go forth and write stories, with, um, not those titles. :)

-----

Okay, so, next time, we'll have us a special guest blogger. Stay tuned!

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Looking for Beta Testers for Smartlinks for Smashwords Authors

Dec 13, 2014   [permalink]

Looking for some beta testers! If you publish through Smashwords, and want to include promotional links to your other titles, but can't because Apple doesn't allow non-Apple links—and you would, of course, want your links to point elsewhere outside of the Apple edition... Then I've got a solution for you to check out.

We developed a "smart link" at ReAnimus Press to solve this, and I've just put a public interface on it so any other Smashwords authors can use it. The smart links seem to work well (and Apple has been satisfied); I haven't found any bugs in the public interface, but I could use some help making sure the public interface to it is working correctly.

So if you publish multiple books with Smashwords (otherwise this wouldn't be of use to you), drop by here—

www.ReAnimus.com/smartlinks

—and enter the info for your Smashwords titles. Then you can put the actual smartlinks into your books and update them at Smashwords; that part works great and we've had them approved for Premium status. Let me know if you find any problems or confusing bits. Thanks!

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Looking for Volunteers Who Sell Books, for an Experiment

Jun 21, 2014   [permalink]

Y'all know I love experiments...

Sooo, I'm trying an experiment with a physical means of selling ebooks—and looking for volunteers... You get free ebooks (an All Access Pass to ReAnimus's entire ebook catalog), the fun of participating in an innovative experiment, and, of course, you get a share of the proceeds. :)

So, do any of you out there happen to sell print books in person? For example, at a dealer's table at cons, or if you work in a book store, or some other store that has books on a shelf, etc.

(This experiment doesn't apply to online sales or mail order, since it's already easy to sell ebooks online.)

This experiment would be selling ReAnimus's titles (Ben Bova, Robert Silverberg, etc.), but if it proves viable, it could be of use to all authors who want to sell ebooks of their work through bookstores, cons, and so on.

If you do work with physical book sales, let me know if you're interested in helping with the experiment! Should be quite interesting.

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ReAnimus's First Acquisition - Advent Publishers!

Jun 6, 2014   [permalink]

ReAnimus is pleased to announce we have acquired Advent Publishers! Advent is now a subsidiary of ReAnimus Press, and we will continue to publish Advent's titles under the Advent name. Advent was founded in 1956 by Earl Kemp and others, and has published wonderful books by the likes of James Blish, Hal Clement, Damon Knight, E.E. "Doc" Smith, and many others. Advent's high quality titles have won and been finalists for several Hugo Awards, such as The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy and Heinlein's Children. Watch this space for ebook and print editions of all of Advent's current titles!

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Random Thoughts on Apparently Silly Ways to Do Math

Mar 20, 2014   [permalink]

I just noticed on facebook another rant about wacky ways of doing math and parental frustration that kids get marked down for getting right answers but not "the right way" (whereas other kids get full credit for getting wrong answers but having tried "the right way").

I've no kids and never seen these wacky math methods before -- and, full disclosure, am a math/computer science Ph.D. / professor sort of person -- but I do understand why one could be graded on whether you understood the process and not just if you got the right answer.

In the real world, you get to decide which tools to use to solve a problem. But first, somebody has to teach all the different tools you can use.

A non-math example would be in real life, you get to choose between hammering nails to hold two boards together vs. using a screwdriver and screws vs. glue, etc. But someone has to first teach you the pros and cons of nails vs. screws vs. glue.

If someone is teaching you how to properly hammer a nail, and as "homework" says "nail these two boards together," and you come back having glued them, you may be failing to learn how to use the hammer correctly.

Or, another example might be, your car won't start. You can (a) realize it's not a blown engine but just a dead battery and get a jump start from a friendly passerby or (b) have your car towed to a dealership where you buy a new car because you ignorantly think yours is completely broken and let the nice car dealers talk you into a purchase. :) If you skipped the "lessons" in life about knowing when your battery is dead and what to do about it, you might make a very costly decision to buy a new car when you didn't need to. In that case, getting the "right answer" (i.e. driving home in a car) isn't the only thing that matters; understanding the method (how to jump start a car) does matter.

The purpose of a given math homework problem might be to understand a certain way of doing something, so that later in life you can decide to use that tool (or a different one).

I do think getting the right answer is also extremely important, and that needs to be stressed too. My hunch is teachers and kids don't necessarily understand that learning how to use a certain tool is sometimes the point of certain homework. (And sometimes getting the right answer using any tool is the goal of the homework.) I never learned this "number line" thing that this facebook post was about, part of something called the "common core", which I know nothing about. (No kids, remember?) :)

In analyzing this "number line" thingie, I can see how it works, and it turns out it's one way I've done math in my head for years. I use various methods in my head to do math, depending which I think will get me the answer the easiest. (I'm still slow at simple math. I probably should have tried harder in school to learn the methods.) :)

Maybe the homework/etc. needs to say, "The purpose of this question is to practice and understand the XYZ method" or "The purpose of this question is to get the right answer, use any method you want." Then both kid and parent would understand the motivation behind the question.

(There may also be a third purpose: Learning how to think. Learning the whole process of analyzing a problem, analyzing what tools you have to use, figuring out which approach best alone or in combination, etc.)

Getting the right answer is usually what matters in real life, but if you don't understand all the different tools at your disposal, and know how to reason things out, you may go through life trying to hit everything with a hammer. :)

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System Changes I Hope You'll Like

Mar 17, 2014   [permalink]

I've been busy with the minions... I hope you like these upgrades:

Faster Network Connection

The old network connection from the world to the servers was getting saturated, so I've upgraded the connection. It was already at the max from the old provider, so I've switched to a Comcast Business connection. Lots faster! I hope you notice and enjoy the faster response time!

Let me know of any problems you notice.

New Comment System Added

Not the most exciting thing to announce, but I installed a new comment system on the blog here. It uses the Facebook comment system. Check it out and let me know if it's working okay for you!

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What if Google Knew Who You Were Talking About... and Told Them?

Mar 17, 2014   [permalink]

Random musing of the day: Google knows a huge amount about what web sites you visit, when, and what you looked at. Would it be okay with you if Google also told the owner of those web sites who you are and each time you visited and what you did there?

Apparently LinkedIn does this.

Is it just me who thinks that's creepy? Would it be okay if Google did this?

It strikes me as very P.K.Dick-ian, and not in a pleasant way: "Hey, Pat, Google Mind Reader here, wanted to let you know that Sandy Smith was just thinking about you. Click here to see what they were thinking."

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On Signing SFWA's Founder, and Other Goings on at Chez Aburt

Feb 26, 2014   [permalink]

W00t! Just signed! DAMON KNIGHT, founder of SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.), original "Futurian" with Asimov, Pohl, et al., co-founder of the Clarion writers workshop, namesake of SFWA's "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award" — and author of scores of books and a gazillion short stories. We'll be publishing (almost) everything he wrote, and, hopefully, the anthologies he edited, such as the famous ORBIT series. Stay tuned!

Special Deal just for me bloggy friends!

Just for listening to me babble on—and in honor of Jerry Sohl getting named on the Writers Guild of America's list for 101 Best Written TV Series(!)—get his science fiction horror mystery thriller NIGHT SLAVES ebook for just 99 cents! Good now through Feb. 28th. Use coupon code "blog214" in the ReAnimus Press store. (Enter the code before clicking Add to Cart.) Enjoy!

Jerry Sohl wrote over two dozen books (from major publishers) and a slew of episodes of Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He's less known today (having passed away), but his books are still fun to read, and I'm glad ReAnimus gets to bring them all back.

Congrats to the Nebula Award Critterfolk!

I haven't tallied up how many, but I see a whole bunch of Critterfolk among the list of Nebula Award finalists. Congratulations!!!

Preditors & Editors

As you may recall, I've taken the reins of the Preditors & Editors site, after the death of P&E's founder, Dave Kuzminski. I've been working to update the site, in terms of content (lots of new warnings and such), features (improved on a system to help authors promote their new books that Dave was working on), communications (added a couple email lists to send out updates), and look (not that this new look is the best ever, but I hope you'll agree it's an improvement over the old look). :) I hope you find it all useful!

Four More Ben Bova books published!

Four more Ben Bova ebooks you'll want to read because he writes such good stuff. All are $3.99:

FORWARD IN TIME by Ben Bova Future shocks from the award-winning Ben Bova! Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

MAXWELL'S DEMONS by Ben Bova Science fiction and science fact, humor and adventure, all await when you enter the unpredictable world of... MAXWELL'S DEMONS Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

TWICE SEVEN by Ben Bova Ben Bova's universe is always more than the sum of its parts... Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

THE ASTRAL MIRROR by Ben Bova A dozen and a half views of the world, past present and future, as seen through the Astral Mirror.... Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

This brings us up to a whopping 20 books from Ben!

The Science of Middle Earth

THE SCIENCE OF MIDDLE EARTH - Just released in paperback!

You won't be able to put this one down—it's a must read if you're a Tolkien fan. By Nature editor Dr. Henry Gee, a wonderful book explaining things like, how did Frodo's mithril coat ward off the fatal blow of an orc? How was Legolas able to count the number of riders crossing the plains of Rohan from five leagues away? Could Balrogs fly?

Grab it from... Amazon

The Gilded Basilisk

You should definitely read THE GILDED BASILISK, because basilisks and dragons are cool. :) Chet is also a SFWA pro author, so he's proven to the galactic elite that he can string words together in a most pleasing way. And he's a nice guy. Mainly, you should read it because it's a good book. Lots of Amazon reviewers agree with that. I know you'll enjoy it. :) Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

Chet was also interviewed in the newspaper. Go Chet!

Edward Bryant

We've just finished releasing all of (multiple Nebula Award winner) Ed Bryant's books. If you've been waiting, the wait is over!

Because of Ed's financial needs, almost all the profits from this book go directly to Ed. Donations to help with Ed's medical and other financial needs are also most appreciated via www.FriendsOfEd.org. Thank you!

The final batch includes:

PREDATORS AND OTHER STORIES by Edward Bryant - $3.99 Troubling tales as only Ed Bryant can tell.

Ed Bryant's stories from the anthology Night Visions 4: Hardshell featuring all original stories by Dean R. Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, and Edward Bryant.

The "Author Introductions" before each story are themselves a work of art and not to be missed.

Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

FETISH by Edward Bryant - $3.99 Modern day witch Angela Black faces some strange goings on with an old flame. Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

TRILOBYTE by Edward Bryant - $2.99 A trio of twisted little tales from the master of twistedness. With an introduction by Tim Powers. Grab it from... ReAnimus Press Store | Amazon

And LOTS more

Read about all our other cool new releases, because we've got a whole bunch of stuff you'll enjoy reading. (Plus you'll find another coupon code there for another book!) :)

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How Many Spaces After the Period, Take Two

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Yay! Amazon KDP Adds Payments and Foreign Exchange Report

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Enter to Win a FREE KINDLE!

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Henry Gee's amazing SIGIL TRILOGY is on sale for the Solstice! Book One is FREE!

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Micro-rant: Irritations of Paperless Billing

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25% OFF Cybermonday and LOTS OF NEW RELEASES at ReAnimus Press!

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Nook Sales Fall Off Cliff and Other Irregularities - Big Problems at Barnes&Noble

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Bestseller BAD KARMA: A True Story of Obsession and Murder by Deborah Blum, just released in paperback from ReAnimus Press

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22 Norman Spinrad titles back in print from ReAnimus Press — including a first print release of MEXICA!

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MEXICA, by Norman Spinrad - Hot off the presses!

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Nano-rant... Argh! Why can't web browsers save your form posts if you accidentally close your window???

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The Demise of our Car Culture? Not.

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Critters Server Dying Replaced

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Random Musing of the Day: Annoyed at Target

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FREE Weekend Special! - Download SIEGE OF STARS, Book 1 of THE SIGIL TRILOGY for Free

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Harlan Ellison Helps Ed Bryant! Get their PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES and you can too!

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THE SIGIL TRILOGY has been nominated for Best Novel in the British Science Fiction Association awards

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Why I Voted For Obama, and Think It's Better If He Wins

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Hey, Target, What's With Selling So Much Expired and Nearly Expired Food? Ick.

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Hey, Credit Card Companies etc. - Quit Bugging Me To "Go Paperless"

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Survey time! How do you like your trilogies?

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RAGE OF STARS - Michael Moorcock, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nancy Kress all love it!

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Books at a steal for Talk Like A Pirate Day!

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New Comment System - Beta Testers Wanted

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UNDERHANDED CHESS - A hilarious handbook of devious diversions and stratagems for winning at chess

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One of the Best Books I've Ever Read

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Tired of the Doublespeak of "Cutting the Deficit"

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W00T! Henry "Nature Futures" Gee's SIEGE OF STARS, Book 1 of The Sigil Trilogy, is now in ARC!

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Fans of Print Remain Hopeful vs. Ebooks, Despite the Cold Equations

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Olympics coverage in prime time: Booooooooringgggg.

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THE MARS MONOPOLY - an original Ace Double by Star Trek master Jerry Sohl

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Ben Bova's TEST OF FIRE from ReAnimus Press

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Thoughts on Smashwords Finding That Higher Ebook Prices Are Better

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Libraries and Ebooks - An Interesting Question

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Something Wicked This Way Came

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Survey!

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99 cent special on I, ALEPPO from Star Trek master writer Jerry Sohl

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Beta Testers Needed

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Ben Bova's ESCAPE!

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I forgot - today is International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day again! Free book!

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When Two is Not, Apparently, Better than One

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Like a Newly Found Heinlein Book - POINT ULTIMATE by Jerry Sohl

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A fun poem for writers - what a language we have!

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DOJ Ebook / Apple / Publisher Lawsuit First Thoughts - Arrghhhhh!!!

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Useful New Features from the Post Office - and More They Could Do

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Staying Alive - New Ebook on the Business of Writing from Norman Spinrad

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Special 99 cent Deal on Ben Bova's EXILES TRILOGY

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How To Improve Your Speculative Fiction Openings - Amazing Research

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ReAnimus Press Updates: 30+ New Books from Ben Bova, Norman Spinrad, Jerry Sohl, Wil McCarthy!

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Solved! How to keep your facebook sorted by "Recent Stories First"

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Ben Bova's THE CRAFT OF WRITING SCIENCE FICTION THAT SELLS is out from ReAnimus Press

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What could B&N, Smashwords, etc. do better? Share your ideas...

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Five review copies of A Private Mutiny and Side Effects available - email me if you're interested

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A Private Mutiny, Ben Bova's Latest Ebook, and Amazon

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Meet Biff America

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20% off Bova, Silverberg, Spinrad - everything in the ReAnimus Store

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Are We Beginning to Enter a Post-Capitalism Era?

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Eek! Heads up: Facebook Hides Messages You May Not Know About

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How the 1% Could Set a Good Example

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99 cent Special on Ben Bova's THE WEATHERMAKERS on Amazon from ReAnimus Press

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A GUIDE TO BARSOOM from ReAnimus Press - Just went live!

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Analyzing the Amazon Lending Library

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Recycle Your Money

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New tool for Smashwords authors

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What Greedy CEOs Need to Understand (it's not that difficult)

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So, Where do you buy your ebooks, and Why?

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Ebooks and Bridging the Digital Divide

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Survey Says: People Really Like Ebook Readers

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If Amazon is Clogged With Spam Ebooks, Who is Buying Them?

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Eternity is a Loooong Time

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Caveat Emptor - Aburt and the $5 Epic Fail Site

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It's Freebie Friday in the Critter Members' Bookstore! http://critique.org/c/store

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I'm still here, but the Rapture took my cable modem

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It's Freebie Friday in the Critters Members Store!

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A paper-like screen you can roll up and crumple...

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Fascinating characterization article about the science of Good and Evil

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A mischievous thought on HarperCollins' limiting libraries to 26 loans of an ebook...

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Musings on the State of Space and Time and Travel therein

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Nooks now got Apps

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Nooks for under $75!

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New eBookstore - http://critique.org/c/store

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Milestone: AAP reports ebooks are now the #1 book format

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The Evolution of the Golden Ratio

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The end of Rejection Dejection?

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Bill & Ted's new movie title, my suggestion

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Kindle - What price for ads would you pay?

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Dear American Idol: About those critiques...

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Ebook Sales Continue Massive Growth, Numbers as Projected

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Nearing the breakeven point selling your own ebooks

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Free ebook: Use coupon code NZ24U to read "A Sailor on the Sea of Humanity" at http://bit.ly/hfuAlL

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Publisher to limit number of ebook library checkouts

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We're living in a Simulated Universe? Are you sure?

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B&N eliminates their dividend, Stock falls 16%

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Making an Ebook for Kindles and iPads and Nooks, Oh My!

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Email Blog Alerts

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Ebook Sales Cannibalizing Print

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Survey on book earnings

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If you made a movie out of the worst book ever written, would it be the worst movie ever made?

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Borders Declares Bankruptcy -- While Amazon Sells More Ebooks than Paper

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Tip of the Day: A Quick Way to Minimize Pain

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Displaying What You Read With Ebooks?

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What Do Ereaders Need To Improve?

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Signs, Portents, Omens; and the Future of Selling "Physical" Ebooks

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Saving Moolah with Media Mail for Manuscripts

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2011 - The Year of the Ebook?

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Ebook sales -- Comparing Apples to Apples, and Besides, it's Not the 10% Today, it's the "If This Goes On..." Tomorrow

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Evidence Found of First Internet, Early 1900s

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What's the best price for an ebook? -- A Survey

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What Can Publishers Do For Authors in a Mostly-ebook World?

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How to Sign an Ebook

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Refinancing -- How to tell what's good: http://tech-soft.com/loancompare

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Digital paper demonstrated — cool!

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The TSA Has Gone Too Far

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Why DRM is bad, reason #732

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Critters is 15 today!

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New Feature -- Credit Sharing Among Workshops

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Unveiling — Workshops for Everyone!

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First impressions: Pandigital Novel ebook reader review

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Tweaking the site

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Are you prepared for The Big One?

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Stephen King now reads half digitally

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.epub and .mobi Files for Manuscripts

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Better Late than Never

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