Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Dec 07

Critter Notices

Critters is 23!

Yes, 23 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.

Stayin' Alive

If you want to make a career of SF writing, STAYING ALIVE - A WRITER'S GUIDE by three-time SFWA President Norman Spinrad, published by your Critter Captain's ReAnimus Press, is an indispensable guide to the inside workings of the SF publishing industry by an expert.

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


I was interviewed live on public radio for Critters' birthday, for those who want to listen.

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!

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're looking for great stuff to read from bestselling and award-winning authors—look no further! ReAnimus Press was founded by your very own Critter Captain. (And with a 12% Affiliate program.) [More]








Weekly Notes

Notes for 20-Nov-2019...

Helping out the Critters Fund Drive this week are sales of a nifty book about 1066, William the Conqueror, and such, by SFWA Grandmaster Robert Silverberg, and illustrated by noted SF author Judy Blish...

	1066 by Robert Silverberg - $3.99

		ReAnimus Press Store:

Loud and far resounded the bray of horns, the mighty strokes of maces, the quick clashing of swords. It was 1066 in Hastings, England, and a battle had begun that would drastically alter the course of western civilization.
England had lacked a strong central government for generations. Thus, when Edward the Confessor died, leaving no heir to the throne, it was small wonder that the crown of England seemed a
tempting prize.
Seizing the crown the very day Edward was buried, the English Earl Harold knew no peace during his short reign. Two times invaders threatened England in ten months. Then, Duke William of Normandy landed on British shores. The great battle had begun that was to remake England into a power that would dominate Europe for hundreds of years.
Fantasy & Science Fiction Grandmaster Robert Silverberg brings the personalities, politics, and events of this complex and exciting period to vivid and relevant life, with dozens of illustrations by noted SF author Judith Ann Lawrence (Judy Blish).


Thanks for the donations, folks!  We are 73.3% of the way to the fund drive goal with contributions from 125 donors, leaving about $1100 to go.

	(No donations this past week, sad minion face.)  :[

[See for more information.]


(No Woohoo!s this week, be sure to report your sales/publications/etc. via the web page.)


This week's Most Productive Critter award, for 3 critiques (at time of judging), averaging almost 700 words each, goes to...

	Francine Taylor

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 20-Nov-2019 (Crits due 27-Nov-2019):
 F   The Wizards of Llandwellyn: Part 2: Chapters 6-8  Eric Wilson -#28816
 SF  The Patterns Between               Francine Taylor -#28817
 SF  Slingstar Myth, Chapter 1 - Revised  Donna Dion McElroy -#28818
 F   The Key to the City                Steve Levandoski -#28819
 SF  Wings of Dreams                    Mike Whittle -#28820
 SF  Blood & Power: Calm, Chapter 5     Javier Sobrado -#28821
 F   Cap Guns, Lures, and Superheroes   Kyle Walker -#28822
 F   Storm in the Brutalist Woods       William Broom -#28823
 F   The Gryffoniers Chapters 4-6       Beth Carlock -#28824
 F   Quiet Days                         John R Fino -#28825
 SF  Machine Song, Chapter 1 Part 2     Will Milner -#28826
 F   The Schrodinger's Cats Fight Back  [@] Larry Hodges -#28827

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... PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES by HARLAN ELLISON and ED BRYANT
Harlan Ellison! What more needs be said?!? The novel of his award-winning script
Pieces up for critique in other workshops...

In the lit workshop - :
 L   What We Talk About When We Talk About Enlightenment  Michael Gruver -#28815

In the mystery workshop - :
 AC  Purna: The Feral Princess, Chapter 1 excerpt  Drew Onia -#28766

In the nonfiction workshop - :
 NO  Chapter 1. A Great man Falls       Jim Parry -#28486

In the script workshop - :
 SC  Loose Lips                         Robert Qualkinbush -#28625

In the kids workshop - :
 YP  Saul T. Unyon: The Short End of a Tall Tale  Michelle Henrie -#28566

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   Pack Chapters 1-3                  Anastasia Bromberg -#28384

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 - :
 AH  Art Man, a portrait                Robert J Cleary -#27847

In the website workshop - :
 WW  Ax-yZ The Creative Projects Platform  Charles Gull -#27088

In the critters workshop - :
 F   The Wizards of Llandwellyn: Part 2: Chapters 6-8  Eric Wilson -#28816
 SF  The Patterns Between               Francine Taylor -#28817
 SF  Slingstar Myth, Chapter 1 - Revised  Donna Dion McElroy -#28818
 F   The Key to the City                Steve Levandoski -#28819
 SF  Wings of Dreams                    Mike Whittle -#28820
 SF  Blood & Power: Calm, Chapter 5     Javier Sobrado -#28821
 F   Cap Guns, Lures, and Superheroes   Kyle Walker -#28822
 F   Storm in the Brutalist Woods       William Broom -#28823
 F   The Gryffoniers Chapters 4-6       Beth Carlock -#28824
 F   Quiet Days                         John R Fino -#28825
 SF  Machine Song, Chapter 1 Part 2     Will Milner -#28826
 F   The Schrodinger's Cats Fight Back  [@] Larry Hodges -#28827

Stories from a Hugo finalist where the science might not be fiction! Plus the historical OUTPOST OF WONDER.

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... THE BOX: AN ORAL HISTORY OF TELEVISION, 1920-1961 by JEFF KISSELOFF
An oral history of TV from those who were there 'Wondrous' - New York Times Book Review

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