Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Dec 07

Critter Notices

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

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.

Space Travel for SF Writers

Hot off the presses from ReAnimus Press! Space Travel - A Science Fiction Writer's Guide— An indispensible tool for all SF writers that explains the science you need to help you make your fiction plausible. (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

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 16-Oct-2019...

This week the Critters Fund Drive is sponsored by sales of the Paperback edition of...

	HOT SKY AT MIDNIGHT by Robert Silverberg

	Earth in almost uninhabitable. Private orbital colonies are the luxury refuge for those who can pay. Valparaiso Nuevo is one of these colonies. Run by a shadowy dictator known only as the Generalissimo, it is haven and a center of action for hustlers, conspirators and people looking for an edge. Victor Farkas, operative of the megacorporation Kyocera-Merck Ltd., is blind but gifted with hypersensitive "blindsight." He comes to the habitat in search of a renegade geneticist of legendary skill. Back on Earth, Nick Rhodes, head of Samurai Industries, which is attempting to breed humans that can thrive in the horrendous conditions expected to prevail on Earth, struggles with his conscience as he manipulates genetic structures and lives. Paul Carpenter works for a Japanese mega-corporation, seeking promotion and survival, but loses his job as a ship captain after a mutiny. Rhodes introduces him to an acquaintance of his girlfriend Isabelle. Jolanda is a talented sculptor, a passionate lover and a secret plotter. She embroils Carpenter in a scheme to take over Valparaiso Nuevo along with Enron, an Israeli spy, Farkas, and Rhodes. Their goals are individually motivated but the deadly combination of ambition, distrust, greed, stupidity, and lust leads to a dramatic conclusion that replicates in miniature the history of man's destruction of his own living space on the planet.

A bleak picture of future Earth and a complex plot peopled with dark, rich characters, comes together as one of Silverberg's finer novels.


Thanks for the donations, folks!  We are 72.3% of the way to the fund drive goal with contributions from 120 donors, leaving about $1100 to go.
Thanks especially to

	Susan Gordon
	Bill Leonard

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

[See for more information.]

Woohoo!  Congratulations to...

	- Joel E. Roosa, who sold his (Critter'd) short story, "Red
	Planit" to Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. {"Planit" is not
	a typo of "Planet."}

Please report your Woohoo!s via the web page.


This week's Most Productive Critter award, for 4 critiques (at time
of judging), averaging over 2800 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 16-Oct-2019 (Crits due 23-Oct-2019):
 F   Gangland, Chapter 1                Carl Alves -#28753
 SF  Perfectly Rational Gamblers        Henry McFarland -#28754
 H   Trading It In                      Madison Estes -#28755
 SF  The Poor Man's Vacation            Steve Levandoski -#28756
 SF  Escape from an Infinite Regress    T M Heckman -#28757
 SF  Changelings excerpts revised       Liam Corley -#28758
 SF  A Fire Born-The First Dead Sun     Anthony W -#28759
 H   Bad Reflection                     Rick Moyer -#28760
 SF  Further to Fall, Chapters 2-3      Garrett Menning -#28761
 H   The Orthogonal Tunnel - Part 1     Joseph Mennuti -#28762
 F   The Wizard's Tower, Chapters 4-5   Jason Newman -#28763
 SF  Sleeper Cell                       Jen Glowaski -#28764
 H   My Nephew Will Bury Us in Trash    Ted Carmichael -#28765

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... BOBBY'S GIRL by J. D. AUSTIN
Brilliant Hollywood director Bobby meets the woman of his dreams - an undercover alien on the run
Pieces up for critique in other workshops...

In the lit workshop - :
 L   The Circle of Souls                Tom Knemeyer -#28681
 L   Development                        Abigail Rowe -#28682

In the mystery workshop - :
 AC  Garbage Island                     Courtney Webb -#28752

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   Gangland, Chapter 1                Carl Alves -#28753
 SF  Perfectly Rational Gamblers        Henry McFarland -#28754
 H   Trading It In                      Madison Estes -#28755
 SF  The Poor Man's Vacation            Steve Levandoski -#28756
 SF  Escape from an Infinite Regress    T M Heckman -#28757
 SF  Changelings excerpts revised       Liam Corley -#28758
 SF  A Fire Born-The First Dead Sun     Anthony W -#28759
 H   Bad Reflection                     Rick Moyer -#28760
 SF  Further to Fall, Chapters 2-3      Garrett Menning -#28761
 H   The Orthogonal Tunnel - Part 1     Joseph Mennuti -#28762
 F   The Wizard's Tower, Chapters 4-5   Jason Newman -#28763
 SF  Sleeper Cell                       Jen Glowaski -#28764
 H   My Nephew Will Bury Us in Trash    Ted Carmichael -#28765

A tour through scientific frauds and how they were exposed.

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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