[The Critter Captain's Tesla FAQ]


Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry May 28

Critter Notices

Books from Critters!

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

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.


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 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!

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]








What are the most common faults that get stories rejected from the slushpile?
An editor speaks!

Posted with permission from a newsgroup exchange, we have this:

Mary Soon Lee began by saying...

>   Guy Gavriel Kay has one habit I hate,
>   that of withholding key information from the reader, even when it
>   is known to the POV character.


Yer Critter Captain replied...

>This really annoys me, too (no matter who the author).  It's tempting to
>do it, but I hate myself when I do it, so I try never to.  The couple
>times I have, it's only been for the span of a few paragraphs, and I've
>justified it as "but the POV wouldn't stop to explain it and I need a
>few more sentences before I can clue the reader in".  But those spots
>still feel like a burr on an otherwise smooth piece of wood.

>How do other folks feel about withholding POV information from the reader?

>How widespread is my personal feeling that this is a cheap/false tension trick?


and Liz Holliday, editor of Odyssey answered...

>I'd say it's one of the two commonest faults in my slushpile rejects
>(the other being a story in which the protagonist doesn't do anything
>or have any stake).  I think one particular beginner error is to use
>this method in order to write a story with a twist ending - whereas a
>better story would tell the reader the secret early on, and explore
>the consequences.


So there you have it, folks, right from an editor's mouth.  Learn it and
live by it. :-)