Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Nov 01

Critter Notices

[It's Freebie Friday in the Critters Store...]

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.

The Sigil Trilogy

If you're looking for an amazing, WOW! science fiction story, check out THE SIGIL TRILOGY. This is — literally — one of the best science fiction novels I've ever read.

How to Write SF

The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells by Ben Bova, best-selling author and six-time Hugo Award winner for Best Editor. (This is one of the books your ol' Critter Captain learned from himself, and I highly recommend it.) (Also via Amazon)

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Unfortunately, much of the data on the P&E site has become stale and outdated, and needs a new caretaker with the time required to update the site.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!


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 - 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

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

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]








Weekly Notes

Notes for 22-Mar-2017...

Thanks for the donations, folks! The 2016 Critters Fund Drive has hit the 100% mark!
Thanks especially to

	Jen Veldhuyzen
	Lawrence Tabak
	Janice Clark
	Amanda Lowe
	Catherine Norman
	Bill Leonard
	david lowrey
	Amy Turner
	brad preslar
	Kristen Bickerstaff
	Jason Bates
	Terrance Crow
	Dennis O Connor
	Joy Pixley
	Chris Keating
	Lyndon Hardy

for their recent donations to hit the target and keep Critters going. Much appreciated!

[See for more information. The 2017 Fund Drive is
unofficially on, since it's 2017, and donations are always welcome,
but this year's drive will start for real after a break. Thanks again!]

Woohoo!  Congratulations to...

	- Andrew Richardson, whose short story, "Weekend Treat" is now
	out in the current issue of Cobblestone Press.

	- Richard Zwicker, whose (Critter'd) short story, "Wyrd Times"
	is now out in the current issue of Red Sun Magazine.

	- J.E. Bates, who sold his short story, "The Eater of Stars"
	to Ride the Star Wind: Cthulhu, Space Opera, and the Cosmic Weird.

Please report your Woohoo!s via the web page.


This week's Most Productive Critter award, for 3 critiques (at time
of judging), averaging over 2100 words each, goes to...

	Matt Pedone

To redeem an MPC, visit:

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

(For an explanation of the MPC award, see the page.)


Recommended Reading...
One of the best writing books - Secrets from the 6-time Best Editor
Critters Workshop

This week we have... [get from ]...
     Title                      	Author
Week of 22-Mar-2017 (Crits due 29-Mar-2017):
 SF  I Have a Crush on You              Amanda H. Geard -#26629
 SF  Perpetuity                         Neal Williams -#26630
 SF  The Soft Clock                     Joel Schroeder -#26631
 F   Gilded Ink and Gryphon's Wings     [@] Megan Hutchins -#26632
 F   Girlworld, Chapter 1: Don't Stand In The Fire  Martha Burns -#26633
 SF  Clean Slate                        Brad Preslar -#26634
 SF  Alternatives                       Emily Randall -#26635
 SF  Astera Vol1 - Episode 2: REVISED Part 2  Joy Landa -#26636
 SF  Last Shuttle Down                  Michael Albers -#26637
 SF  North Base, Titan                  J. Deery Wray -#26638
 SF  Reality's Demise                   Scott Towler -#26639
 SF  Neanderthals in Concert            Chris Keating -#26640

Recommended books on writing:

	ReAnimus Press Store:


STAYIN' ALIVE - A WRITER'S GUIDE by three-time SFWA President Norman Spinrad
	How things really work in the art and commerce of publishing |

	(A 99cent essay on SF and writing) |
Because you might enjoy it... THE TRANSCENDENT MAN by JERRY SOHL
The Capellans live among us... and they have a plan! By the Twilight Zone master writer
Pieces up for critique in other workshops...

In the lit workshop - :
 L   Birth Control                      Matthew Klingforth -#26616

In the mystery workshop - :
 T   The Knight files; Here There Be Monsters chapters 1-4  Stephanie Fernandez -#26602
 M   The Case of Twins                  Donya Ture -#26603

In the nonfiction workshop - :
 NG  Plugged Into God, Preface          Rick Weber -#25313

In the script workshop - :
 SC  Bounty Hunters                     Avant Hall -#23842

In the kids workshop - :
 YP  The Girl On The Moon               Robert Francian -#26617

In the comics workshop - :
 CG  Metropolise, Chapter 1             Carina Mchardy -#26473

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

In the romance workshop - :
 R   To Treasure All These Things - RFDF  Christine Lebednik -#26313

In the video workshop - :
 VS  The Gallery of Henri Beauchamp     Jay DeTalente -#21424

In the music workshop - :
 MP  The Shade Riders and Nocturnal Ned song  Beth Zurkowski -#21675

In the photo workshop - :
 PH  Dry Mud and Cinder Cone            Bill Wight -#19627

In the art workshop - :
 AI  The Dark Jester in an Archway      Joy Landa -#25620

In the website workshop - :
 WW  Powerscript Website                Ronald Hurst -#22230

In the critters workshop - :
 SF  I Have a Crush on You              Amanda H. Geard -#26629
 SF  Perpetuity                         Neal Williams -#26630
 SF  The Soft Clock                     Joel Schroeder -#26631
 F   Gilded Ink and Gryphon's Wings     [@] Megan Hutchins -#26632
 F   Girlworld, Chapter 1: Don't Stand In The Fire  Martha Burns -#26633
 SF  Clean Slate                        Brad Preslar -#26634
 SF  Alternatives                       Emily Randall -#26635
 SF  Astera Vol1 - Episode 2: REVISED Part 2  Joy Landa -#26636
 SF  Last Shuttle Down                  Michael Albers -#26637
 SF  North Base, Titan                  J. Deery Wray -#26638
 SF  Reality's Demise                   Scott Towler -#26639
 SF  Neanderthals in Concert            Chris Keating -#26640

Alien artifacts found on Callisto...

Standard notes:

If you need help with anything, see -- there
are FAQs and a form to ask questions.

Critters is donation funded & volunteer run, so if you'd like to
help out with our current fund drive or otherwise, please visit -- Thanks!!

Remember to send the critiques directly to me,, 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 .)

You may also send your critiques via .

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

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 for more...

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.)

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
web page for full info, guidelines, etc.)  Don't post stories or critiques
(mail those to

Please pare the ms. down if critiquing in-line (don't quote the whole ms.!).
Other format rules are at .

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 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.

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 .  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.)

If you're unable to reach to get manuscripts, I've set up
an emergency backup site at 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!

If you want to quit or go inactive, drop by .

Critters is funded by donations, so visit
if you'd like to help out.

Because you might enjoy it... ORION IN THE DYING TIME by BEN BOVA
Orion squares off against the dinosaurs to save the very fabric of spacetime

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