New entry Nov 01
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.
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
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Unfortunately, much of the data on the P&E site has become stale and outdated, and needs a new caretaker with the time required to update the site.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 - www.cpr.org 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 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!
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.
is Dying has been Replaced
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]
Why Pro SF/F/H Authors Would Want to Join Critters
Yes, there probably are many things a great deal more challenging than reading the slush before it even hits the slush pile, but before you rush out to climb Everest, you might consider that...
- It's a great way to pay-forward. Think of everyone who helped you
along the way, and how you always promised you'd repay the favor.
Okay, maybe you did it all yourself; still, wouldn't it feel grand
to know you'd helped someone take their first steps toward their
- Critiquing others helps your own writing. Nobody's too old to
improve, right? Not all great writers are great critiquers: Improving
your critical skills by critiquing others certainly can't harm your writing.
- Critiquing improves a piece. We all make stupid mistakes,
overlook internal inconsistencies, etc. You need not listen to what critiquers
say, but wouldn't you like to get reader opinions before it's in print?
(Can't prove causation, but four Critters were nonimated for Nebulas in
2002, including three of five in the short story category...)
- Have your own work instantly critiqued. Think of it like a sort of fast
(within one week) peer review, to check your piece for possibly
embarrassing gaffes. Critters has a wide variety of readers, who can
offer direct feedback on how readers perceive your work (and they're
polite about it, too). Not to mention, they can catch mistakes in logic,
consistency, science, or believability. Yes, we do both short stories
and whole novels.
- Shameless self-promotion. Our hundreds of members are also readers, readers who might want to read your other works. If they go on to become well known too, chances are they'll spread your name around even more out of gratitude. Not a bad reward for writing one critique a month.
So, if you think you can handle the (gosh, awfully stiff :-) requirements we ask (send in one critique a month, for which your own works bypass the queue for immediate review), send email to Ralph the Wonder-Critter (AKA Dr. Andrew Burt :-) saying you'd like to join. To be eligible for the pro perks (non-pros are asked to do one critique a week and must wait in the queue to be reviewed), please list some of your pro publication, in case my memory slips on your name.
If you're wondering whether any other pros have ever been so brave, yes, we count a couple dozen pros among our 500 or so active members. If you're still wavering, perhaps concerned about the security of your stories, or figure it'll take too long to get a novel through the group amidst all those short stories, please see our FAQ. For the full scoop, see the official rules. Or email me with questions.