Captain's Blog

Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Dec 13

Critter Notices

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!

Free Web Sites

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

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)

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.

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]

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MORE NEWS & NOTICES >>

CRITTERS STORE >>

 

FEATURED BOOK

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			Critters Format Tips

Your goal is to get a file to me that looks just like these instructions.

I *strongly* recommend you work on a COPY of your ms., in case anything goes
wrong and you mangle it.  (Or make a good backup, etc.)

First, here are some instructions for the most commonly used word processors
(mailer info follows):

    Wordperfect generally does a better job of saving to ascii.  I use WP6.0
    for windows, and in it, what I do is this:

	- Make sure the font is set for Courier 12pt; this is **ESSENTIAL**
	- Mark all underlined/italicized passages with underscores _like so_
	- If you have "smart quotes" on, you may get a warning back from me
		that they may not look right to everyone; and if you have any
		non-ascii characters (like multinational ones -- vowels with
		accents, umlauts, etc.) I'd expand them out like  resume' or
		'ue' for German's u-with-umlaut, etc.; and you should use "--"
		instead of an "em-dash" character or your dashes will be lost
	- Do File/SaveAs, enter a filename ending in ".txt", select
		"Save File as Type" of "ASCII (DOS) Text (*.*)"
		[The "*.*" isn't relevant"]
	- "OK" to save it on out
	- Check the whatever.TXT file to see if it looks ok -- specifically,
		check for paragraphs indented ok, lines not too long; in short,
		it should look like the mss. you get in email from me.


    I don't use Microsoft Word much, but try something like this:

	- Make sure the font is set for Courier 12pt; this is **ESSENTIAL**
	- Mark all underlined/italicized passages with underscores _like so_
	- If you have "smart quotes" on, you may get a warning back from me
		that they may not look right to everyone; and if you have any
		non-ascii characters (like multinational ones -- vowels with
		accents, umlauts, etc.) I'd expand them out like  resume' or
		'ue' for German's u-with-umlaut, etc.; and you should use "--"
		instead of an "em-dash" character or your dashes will be lost
	- Set your line spacing to single spaced
	- Do File/SaveAs, enter a filename ending in ".txt", select a type
		of "MS-DOS text with layout" -- the one "with layout" is
		the key (else I believe your paragraph indents will be lost)
	- save it on out
	- Check the whatever.TXT (or .ASC file as Word sometimes
		seems to like) file to see if it looks ok -- specifically,
		check for paragraphs indented ok, lines not too long; in short,
		it should look like the mss. you get in email from me.

    I don't use Microsoft Works at all, and it can't entirely do things
    right, but try something like this:

	- Mark all underlined/italicized passages with underscores _like so_
	- I don't know if Works has smart quotes, but if it does, and
		you have them turned on, you may get a warning back from me
		that they may not look right to everyone; and if you have any
		non-ascii characters (like multinational ones -- vowels with
		accents, umlauts, etc.) I'd expand them out like  resume' or
		'ue' for German's u-with-umlaut, etc.; and you should use "--"
		instead of an "em-dash" character or your dashes will be lost
	- Set your line spacing to single spaced
	- Do File/SaveAs, enter a filename ending in ".txt", select a type
		of "Text"
	- save it on out
	- Check the whatever.TXT file to see if it looks basically ok.
		Note that Works doesn't actually format the file entirely
		correctly, per Critters format rules.  What this means is that
		when you send it to me, you'll get a note back about having
		"long lines" and then your manuscript will get automatically
		reformatted into Critters standard; it will place one blank
		line between paragraphs and paragraph indents will be lost.
		Sorry, but Works just doesn't know how to save things out
		like Word and WordPerfect do.

After you've saved it out, look at it (with a text-only reading program,
like the MS-DOS "more < whatever.txt" command or windows Notepad) -- it
should look like what you're reading here.  You should not see any funky
characters like smiley faces, triangles, etc.  You should not see any
'=' signs.  You should either see nicely indented paragraphs and/or a
blank line between paragraphs.  Manuscripts that arrive without either
paragraph indents or lack a blank line between them WILL BE REJECTED.

You should not see really long lines that hit the end of the screen and get broken in the middle of words like this sentence does that I'm making really long so you can see what it goes.  (Unless you're using Works, in which case you can't help it and you'll get auto-reformatted.)

You should not see really long lines that hit the end of the screen and get
broken
with one or two words on some lines like the one above and below in this
sentence that
I'm making really long so you can see what I mean.  (The usual cause of this
is having
your font set to Times Roman instead of Courier or not using 12pt for your
Courier.)

One alternative method is to copy&paste the ms. into email: Use the mouse
to highlight the whole ms. in your word processor (or there may be a
menu option under "file" or "edit" called "select all").  Then do a "copy"
(usually control-C in the DOS world; or an option under "edit").
Move to your mail program, and do a "paste" (control-V; or under "edit").
This method may create Really Long Lines, however, so send me a test first.
(If it does, those will be auto-reformatted as described above for "Works".)

If you're unsure, send me a test message and ask if it arrived in an
acceptable format.  (However, don't assume that I'll check formats on
genuine submissions; chances are I won't.)

Mailers -- check out www.critters.org/mailers.html for info on how to
set your mailer to only send plain text, not HTML and not HTML + plain text.