Blog

Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Nov 01

Critter Notices

Critters is 21!

Yes, 21 years ago Critters was born. Wow! Thanks so much to all of you, who've made it such a resounding success!

Books from Critters!

Check out Books by Critters for books by your fellow Critterfolk, as well as my list of recommended books for writers.

Space Travel for SF Writers

Hot off the presses from ReAnimus Press! Space Travel - A Science Fiction Writer's Guide— An indispensible tool for all SF writers that explains the science you need to help you make your fiction plausible. (Also via Amazon)

New Book from a Critter Member

**NOW IN PRINT EDITION TOO!** Awesome new book, HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SPECULATIVE FICTION OPENINGS, from a Critter member whose unearthed a shard of The Secret to becoming a pro writer. Really good piece of work. "...if you're at all concerned about story openings, you'd be nuts not to read what Qualkinbush has to say." —Wil McCarthy, author of BLOOM and THE COLLAPSIUM

P&E Seeks New Caretaker

Unfortunately, much of the data on the P&E site has become stale and outdated, and needs a new caretaker with the time required to update the site. The listings are being removed until they can be updated by a new caretaker.

Note that the P&E/Critters Annual Readers Poll will run as usual in January.

If you are interested in taking the reins of P&E, and possess what's needed — at least 20hrs/week to volunteer, excellent investigative skills, in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry, ability to detect scams from not-scams, thick skin, good web site skills, good writing ability — please get in touch. Thanks for your interest!

Interviewed!

I'm being interviewed live on public radio for Critters 20th birthday. For those who want to listen, it's on the 10am (Mountain time) show on Thursday, 11/19/16, on Colorado Public Radio - www.cpr.org has streaming on the site or it's 90.1 FM in the Denver area. [Interview is done, you can listen on the site]

Free Web Sites

Free web sites for authors (and others) are available at www.nyx.net.

ReAnimus Acquires Advent!

ReAnimus Press is pleased to announce the acquisition of the legendary 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 the likes of James Blish, Hal Clement, Robert Heinlein, 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!

Network speeding up

I'm switching the connection over to a new, shiny 10X faster network because of all the load. There might be bits of downtime as your boxes learn new addresses and things. Should be brief. Let me know of any prolonged outages you see.

Preditors & Editors Changeover

With the very sad passing of Dave Kuzminski, who ran P&E, I've taken over the P&E duties. Lots of what I hope are improvements; check it out at pred-ed.com.

Critters Server is Dying has been Replaced

See important details here in my blog. Let me know if you find anything that isn't working right. (Manuscripts are now available for this week, FYI.)

Book Recommendation

THE SIGIL TRILOGY: The universe is dying from within... "Great stuff... Really enjoyed it." — SFWA Grandmaster Michael Moorcock

Announcing ReAnimus Press

If you need help making ebooks from manuscripts or print copies—or finding great stuff to read—look no further! An ebook publisher started by your very own Critter Captain. (And with a 12% Affiliate program.) [More]

~~~

MORE NEWS & NOTICES >>

CRITTERS STORE >>

 

FEATURED BOOK

~~~

CRITTERS STORE >>

Weekly Notes


Notes for 30-Nov-2016...

New book on writing from yer ol' Critter Captain, with 100% of the
proceeds benefitting the Critters Fund Drive.

	FUTUREPROOFING YOUR WRITING by Andrew Burt - $2.99
	How to avoid anachronisms in fiction to keep your prose timeless...

		ReAnimus Press Store: www.ReAnimus.com/1561
		Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B01NABB8S5/?tag=critters3a-20
		[Also in paperback]

	50% off in the ReAnimus Press store for a limited time with
	coupon code: FUTPROOF !!

	So you're reading along in the Bourne Ultimatum, you're with
	Jason Bourne on the run, he's caught sneaking out to the
	car--interrogated by the baddies--and boom, he says, "I'm just
	driving out on the highway to find a phone, that's all." He
	what? Doesn't he have a cell phone? While in 1991 there were no
	cell phones to speak of, today it's awkward for a character not
	to have one, and this leaves the reader feeling the story is
	dated. Yet it could have been easily avoided.

	Technology changes so fast--and changes life so fast--that if
	you aren't careful as a writer, your masterpiece could quickly
	sound dated, and needlessly rob you of readers and sales.
	Science fiction is even more prone to this problem, when fictional
	technologies become real--but not in the way described--or,
	worse, are bypassed and laughably unreal.

	The good news is that, other than the Major Assumptions of your
	story, chances are little of your story truly relies on
	you nailing down specifics about many things that might get
	outdated. This book presents techniques to "futureproof" your
	writing, whether set in the distant future or the ever-changing
	"modern day."

And also helping out the fund drive is my other writing ebook,

	Having Relationships With Characters on the Road to Great Fiction
	by Dr. Andrew Burt - $2.99

		http://ReAnimus.com/1422 
		Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N22ADNM/?tag=reanimus-20
	
	(Shhh! A Secret of Great Writing)

	An article originally published in the SFWA Bulletin on
	fascinating statistical correlations found between the amount of
	interpersonal relationships in "well regarded" vs. "ordinary" SF/F
	stories. In addition to the article are supplemental materials,
	including much that wasn't published because of space limitations.

	This has huge implications for your writing (at least in terms of
	what sells better) and also offers a possibly useful tool for you
	to find books you want to read while browsing in the bookstore.


                                   -+-
Woohoo!  Congratulations to...

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my feature on
	Christine Taylor Butler". {http://file770.com/?p=32001}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my feature on
	A.J. Alston". {http://file770.com/?p=31996}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my feature on
	Constance Cooper". {http://file770.com/?p=32031}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my feature on
	Brian Lowe". {http://file770.com/?p=32043}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my feature on
	Jonathan Miller". {http://file770.com/?p=32048}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my feature on
	Tony Bertauski". {http://file770.com/?p=32103}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my feature on
	Kris Rusch". {http://file770.com/?p=32096}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my feature on
	David Levine.  Way back when I was reviewing for Tangent, I
	reviewed 2 of David Levine's short stories, Pupa and Teaching
	the Pig to Sing". {http://file770.com/?p=32153}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my interview with
	Sharon Joss". {http://file770.com/?p=32065}

	- Carl Slaughter, who reports "File 770 posted my interview with
	Marshall Ryan Maresca". {http://file770.com/?p=32126}


Please report your Woohoo!s via the www.critters.org/telldaworld.ht web page.

                                   -+-

This week's Most Productive Critter award, for 10 critiques (at time
of judging), averaging over 600 words each, goes to...

	Robert Harpold

To redeem an MPC, visit:  www.critters.org/usempc.ht

Congratulations!  To everyone else -- Crit early and often!

(For an explanation of the MPC award, see the www.critters.org/award.ht page.)

                                   -+-

Recommended Reading...
One of the best writing books - Secrets from the 6-time Best Editor
Hugo Award Master, Ben Bova: THE CRAFT OF WRITING SCIENCE FICTION THAT SELLS 
http://ReAnimus.com/store?item=1144
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Critters Workshop
----------------------------------------------------------------------

This week we have... [get from http://www.critters.org/private/mss.php ]...
                                                 
     Title                      	Author
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Week of 30-Nov-2016 (Crits due 7-Dec-2016):
 SF  Crossroads Lullaby Rev2            [mpc] Katherine and Dennis O'Connor -#26379
 F   Death Perception                   Joel E. Roosa -#26380
 F   Sneaking Out                       Darla Jackson -#26381
 F   Rise of the Cryptbringer Chapter 25-27  Keir Puplett -#26382
 F   Chasing Flowers                    L Chan -#26383
 F   The Vampire Hunter part 6          Kim Smeltzer -#26384
 SF  A Lucky Few                        Jeff Sullins -#26385
 SF  We Will Be Fooled Again            Ray Franklin -#26386
 H   The Middendorf: Part Five          Don Sabo -#26387
 F   Blood Ties                         Jamie Edmundson -#26388
 F   Old Doc Kahdtpease's Five-story Stairway to Heaven  Spencer Luster -#26389
 F   The Rising Dying Sun: Origin of Fire, Chapters 0-4 resub: Y  Anthony White resub:Y -#26390

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Recommended books on writing:

THE CRAFT OF WRITING AND SELLING SCIENCE FICTION by Ben Bova
	ReAnimus Press Store: http://ReAnimus.com/store?item=1144
	Amazon: http://Amazon.com/dp/B006MAZPEI

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SPECULATIVE FICTION OPENINGS By (Critter member) Robert Qualkinbush
	http://ReAnimus.com/store?item=1184 | http://Amazon.com/dp/B007O272ZI

STAYIN' ALIVE - A WRITER'S GUIDE by three-time SFWA President Norman Spinrad
	How things really work in the art and commerce of publishing
	http://ReAnimus.com/store?item=1179 | http://Amazon.com/dp/B007SIC4I8

EXPERIMENT PERILOUS: THE 'BUG JACK BARRON' PAPERS by Norman Spinrad
	(A 99cent essay on SF and writing)
	http://ReAnimus.com/store?item=1180 | http://Amazon.com/dp/B007MF3MS8
 
Because you might enjoy it... WORLD-BUILDING by STEPHEN L. GILLETT
The blueprint for SF writers to create amazing, realistic fictional worlds.
http://reanimus.com/store/?item=1482
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pieces up for critique in other workshops...

In the lit workshop - http://critique.org/lit :
 L   The Farmer                         Magnus D. Jorgensen -#26253

In the mystery workshop - http://critique.org/mystery :
 T   Darkness of a Killer - Murder in Trick City Book 1= chapter's Inrto -  Priscilla Soares-Wilson -#26254

In the nonfiction workshop - http://critique.org/nonfiction :
 NG  Plugged Into God, Preface          Rick Weber -#25313

In the script workshop - http://critique.org/script :
 SC  Bounty Hunters                     Avant Hall -#23842

In the kids workshop - http://critique.org/kids :
 YL  The Maker                          David Anderson -#26353

In the comics workshop - http://critique.org/comics :
 CO  Bureau of Beasties                 Charlie Boatner -#25820

In the western workshop - http://critique.org/western :
 W   A Message to Santa Fe, Chap 1-3    Frank Coombs -#25375

In the romance workshop - http://critique.org/romance :
 R   To Treasure All These Things - RFDF  Christine Lebednik -#26313

In the video workshop - http://critique.org/video :
 VS  The Gallery of Henri Beauchamp     Jay DeTalente -#21424

In the music workshop - http://critique.org/music :
 MP  The Shade Riders and Nocturnal Ned song  Beth Zurkowski -#21675

In the photo workshop - http://critique.org/photo :
 PH  Dry Mud and Cinder Cone            Bill Wight -#19627

In the art workshop - http://critique.org/art :
 AI  The Dark Jester in an Archway      Joy Landa -#25620

In the website workshop - http://critique.org/website :
 WW  Powerscript Website                Ronald Hurst -#22230

In the critters workshop - http://critique.org/critters :
 SF  Crossroads Lullaby Rev2            [mpc] Katherine and Dennis O'Connor -#26379
 F   Death Perception                   Joel E. Roosa -#26380
 F   Sneaking Out                       Darla Jackson -#26381
 F   Rise of the Cryptbringer Chapter 25-27  Keir Puplett -#26382
 F   Chasing Flowers                    L Chan -#26383
 F   The Vampire Hunter part 6          Kim Smeltzer -#26384
 SF  A Lucky Few                        Jeff Sullins -#26385
 SF  We Will Be Fooled Again            Ray Franklin -#26386
 H   The Middendorf: Part Five          Don Sabo -#26387
 F   Blood Ties                         Jamie Edmundson -#26388
 F   Old Doc Kahdtpease's Five-story Stairway to Heaven  Spencer Luster -#26389
 F   The Rising Dying Sun: Origin of Fire, Chapters 0-4 resub: Y  Anthony White resub:Y -#26390
----------------------------------------------------------------------

You might also like... MAELSTROM by ROBY JAMES
A great historical romance
http://reanimus.com/store/?item=1345

Standard notes:

HELP:
If you need help with anything, see http://www.critters.org/help -- there
are FAQs and a form to ask questions.

HELPING CRITTERS:
Critters is donation funded & volunteer run, so if you'd like to
help out with our current fund drive or otherwise, please visit
http://www.critters.org/donate.php -- Thanks!!

HOW TO SEND CRITIQUES:
Remember to send the critiques directly to me, critters@critique.org, so
I can forward them to the authors _and_ give you credit for your effort.
Please send only one critique per mail message (makes it easier to
archive).  Please make sure the "#" symbol and manuscript number are in
the email Subject: line, like Subject: #1234.  (Conversely, if you want
ol' Aburt to personally read the message, i.e., it's _not_ a critique,
don't put a "#" in the subject or I won't see it.  Also -- put my current
anti-spam code word in there: see http://www.critters.org/antispam.ht .)

You may also send your critiques via http://www.critters.org/webcrit.ht .

Note that all critiques will be available to everyone to read the next Saturday.

DIPLOMACY:
Remember, authors and critiquers, we're all friends here.  Be polite.  Be
considerate.  Be tactful.  You can say you thought a story was drivel in a
courteous way.  Try to point out the good and the bad; offer alternatives
if you can.  Never, ever, attack the author -- only the story.  Authors:
Remember that some reviewers may lack tact.  Try to be understanding,
but if you get any that you feel are just plain mean-spirited, too short
to be of any use, or too "feel good," let me know and I'll withhold the
reviewer's "credit" for that story and/or cajole them into something
more insightful.  See http://www.critters.org/diplomacy.ht for more...

CRITIQUE LENGTH:
If you want to send a short critique that you know is too short for
credit (200 words or less of your own meaningful content) please put
"NC#" in the Subject (NC=No Credit, like Subject: NC#1234) -and- say
something like "not for credit" inside your critique.  (Remember also that
for MPC purposes, a critique must be 300 words or more.)

CHATTING:
Comments -other- than critiques (such as discussion of the critiques,
or Woohoo! announcements, or chit chat) should be posted to one of the
official Critters discussion forums (See the http://www.critters.org/newsgroups.ht
web page for full info, guidelines, etc.)  Don't post stories or critiques
(mail those to critters@critique.org).

QUOTING:
Please pare the ms. down if critiquing in-line (don't quote the whole ms.!).
Other format rules are at http://www.critters.org/format.ht .

EVERYTHING'S ON THE WEB:
Past reviews are on the web page.  The current week's manuscripts are
also there, as are prior mss. and even some rewrites.  There's a Master
Page Index (site map) with tons of links to common items.

AUTHORS:
Authors for this week -- if you aren't getting email'd critiques from
me (as they come in) within a couple days -- ask me and we can verify
I'm sending them to the correct address.  (Send me a phone# in case I
can't get email to you.)  Check the format of your story ASAP to make sure
it's all there and readable.

EMAIL ISSUES:
If you want to change your email address or preferences (# mss. emailed,
SF/F/H type, or whether you get the huge critique batches at week's end),
point your browser to http://www.critters.org/admin.ht .  Please don't
ask me to do this by hand, it's quite a chore!  (E.g., if you're going
on vacation and want to suspend mail from me -- do this before/after
your trip.)

BACKUP SITE:
If you're unable to reach www.critters.org to get manuscripts, I've set up
an emergency backup site at http://backup.critters.org where you can get the
week's manuscripts (but not much of anything else :-).  Speaking of backups --
don't forget to back up your own manuscripts so you don't lose them!

QUITTING:
If you want to quit or go inactive, drop by http://www.critters.org/admin.ht .

DONATIONS:
Critters is funded by donations, so visit http://www.critters.org/donate.php
if you'd like to help out.

Because you might enjoy it... PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES by HARLAN ELLISON and ED BRYANT
Harlan Ellison! What more needs be said?!? The novel of his award-winning script
http://reanimus.com/store/?item=1266

--
You received this email message because you signed up for the Critters
Writers Workshop. If you want to stop getting these emails, please visit
http://www.critters.org/email.ht .