Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Jul 15

Critter Notices

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

Critters is 20!

Yes, 20 years ago Critters was born. Wow! Thanks so much to all of you, who've made it such a resounding success!

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, on Colorado Public Radio - has streaming on the site or it's 90.1 FM in the Denver area.

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

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.

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

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 10-Feb-2016...

Call for volunteer helpers!

#1, for Critters...

Hey, I could use a few volunteers to help answer common Critter
"help!" questions. If you've been around the site for a while and know
how it works, and would like to help, just drop me a line.

#2, for Preditors & Editors...

Same basic idea, I could use some hands to help keep the P&E site
updated, as well as help investigate complaints from authors. If you
have a good understanding of how publishing works vs. what's predatory
behavior, give me a buzz.

Thanks for helping out!

New Feature...

To help support Critters and get the word out there about us, I've
put a couple new links in the weekly info mailer for authors getting
critiqued, to share on your social media sites the news that you're up
for critique. Look for it in the info email on Weds. when your story
goes live. Thanks for sharing!

Looking for feedback...

I've added some verbiage to the web critique sending form that checks
if folks have remembered to use diplomatic phrasing in their critiques,
and I wanted to get y'all's reaction to, well, how I phrased it. :)
Too harsh? Too soft? Just right? Thanks for your thoughts!


Thanks for the donations, folks! We are 27.9% of the way to the fund
drive goal with contributions from 35 donors, leaving about $2500 to go.
Thanks especially to

	Shannon Rodgers
	Vince Bonasso

for their recent donations to help keep Critters going. Much appreciated!

[See for more information.]

Woohoo!  Congratulations to...

	- Tom Greene, who sold his (Critter'd) short story, "Neccessary
	Illusions" to Analog.

	- Matt Dovey, who sold his (Critter'd) short story, "The Lady &
	the Moon" to Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores. {This went through
	the queue in mid-2013, and was on its 16th submission. Today's
	lesson: never surrender!}

	- Shawn Proctor, whose short story, "Heartwood" is now out in
	the current issue of Flash Fiction Online.

	- Linda Talisman, whose (Critter'd) novel, "THE CHRONICLES OF
	P'NEUMIA" is now out from Createspace.

Please report your Woohoo!s via the web page.


This week's Most Productive Critter award, for 10 critiques (at time
of judging), averaging almost 500 words each, goes to...

	Robert Harpold

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 10-Feb-2016 (Crits due 17-Feb-2016):
 F   When the Gods Are Away, Chapter 09 - 10  [mpc] Robert Harpold -#25582
 F   Our Lady of the Dragons            Eugenia Triantafyllou -#25583
 SF  An Undiplomatic Incident           Paul R. Hardy -#25584
 SF  A Last Day                         Jim Anderson -#25585
 SF  Lost in the Past, ch. 11-15        Ted Cox -#25586
 SF  Bob the Alien                      Ryan Brown -#25587
 F   A Branch of Rowan, Chapters 6-8    April Weeks -#25588
 SF  Time Enough for Everything         Joe Williams -#25589
 SF  To Accept What We Cannot           Dan Reade -#25590
 H   The Fall                           Sandor Kovacs -#25591
 H   Thunk                              Lucia Livak -#25592
 F   Soul Keeper, CH. 1                 D. Dyksterhouse -#25593
 SF  Collusion, Chapters 1-3            Alec Saracen -#25594
 SF  The Thrall                         Evangelos Mylonas -#25595

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... GUARDIANS OF THE DESERT by LEONA WISOKER
Book 2 of the Children of the Desert series.
Pieces up for critique in other workshops...

In the lit workshop - :
 L   On thin ice                        Craig McEwan -#25581

In the mystery workshop - :
 M   Good Baseball Man, Chapter 1       Charles PucciaB -#25452

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 - :
 YA  Willow Marshe and the Traveling Stones  Jan Satterlee -#25282

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

In the romance workshop - :
 R   Good Horses, Chapters 3            Amy Spang -#25547

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  Asterian Line Art                  Joy Landa -#25469

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

In the critters workshop - :
 F   When the Gods Are Away, Chapter 09 - 10  [mpc] Robert Harpold -#25582
 F   Our Lady of the Dragons            Eugenia Triantafyllou -#25583
 SF  An Undiplomatic Incident           Paul R. Hardy -#25584
 SF  A Last Day                         Jim Anderson -#25585
 SF  Lost in the Past, ch. 11-15        Ted Cox -#25586
 SF  Bob the Alien                      Ryan Brown -#25587
 F   A Branch of Rowan, Chapters 6-8    April Weeks -#25588
 SF  Time Enough for Everything         Joe Williams -#25589
 SF  To Accept What We Cannot           Dan Reade -#25590
 H   The Fall                           Sandor Kovacs -#25591
 H   Thunk                              Lucia Livak -#25592
 F   Soul Keeper, CH. 1                 D. Dyksterhouse -#25593
 SF  Collusion, Chapters 1-3            Alec Saracen -#25594
 SF  The Thrall                         Evangelos Mylonas -#25595

You might also like... BEYOND THE HEDGE by ROBY JAMES
A executive woman who has never had time for love stumbles into a land of magic, 200 years in the past.

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 VOID CAPTAIN'S TALE by NORMAN SPINRAD
One of Spinrad's best

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