Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Nov 16

Critter Notices

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

Critters is 22!

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.

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.

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Unfortunately, much of the data on the P&E site has become stale and outdated, and needs a new caretaker with the time required to update the site.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 - 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

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

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 22-Nov-2017...

Just released from a steampunk master! Helping the Critters Fund Drive this week...

	DREAMS OF THE TECHNARION by Sean McMullen - $3.99

		ReAnimus Press Store:
		 (available in both ebook and paperback)
Hugo finalist and steampunk master Sean McMullen presents ten science fiction stories that skirt the borderlands of reality--and most of the science is not fiction.

* The Andromedans will arrive and wipe us out in a few centuries, so should we be worried?
* We can't yet accelerate a space probe to a tenth of the speed of light, but we already have the technology to slow it down.
* Will humanity be doomed unless all astronauts go on creative writing courses?
* Oscar Wilde is dead, so why is he still writing?
* What Roman warship was powered by fish?
* Why were the Metropolitan Police interested in quantum entanglement back in 1899?
* Why was an American typist trying to save the world from computers in 1875?
And this volume includes: OUTPOST OF WONDER - SF in Australia 1832--2017
Based on the research for Sean's twenty-six books and articles on Australian SF, this is the amazing, heroic, sometimes amusing and occasionally horrifying story of nearly two centuries of science fiction by Australians. How many Hugo Awards has Australian SF brought home? How many Oscars? Which Australian novels may have saved the world? Who wrote and staged a feminist space opera in 1958? More Australian SF has been published since 2000 than in the rest of its history put together, but what are its prospects for the future?
If you want answers, you will have to keep reading.


Thanks for the donations, folks!  We are 0.0% of the way to the fund drive goal with contributions from 185 donors, leaving about $3400 to go. Thanks especially to

	Bill Leonard
	Terrance Crow

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

[See for more information.]


This note arrived in a roundabout way via a long time Critter member Fran Eiseman, aka editor of Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores...

	3RD AND STARLIGHT is an anthology of science fiction and fantasy tales by "some of the best new writers in the speculative fiction field" per William Ledbetter, the Jim Baen Short Story contest editor and 2016 Nebula award-winning author of "The Long Fall Up." 

	The Kickstarter page is: 

	Fran's interview of this self-effacing editor, where we have a little fun, is found at:

Woohoo!  Congratulations to...

	- James Beamon, whose (Critter'd) novel, "Pendulum Heroes"
	is now out from {My YA fantasy adventure novel
	Pendulum Heroes is not only alive, but FREE for the first
	100 downloads.	Anyone who'd like a copy, check it out at }

Please report your Woohoo!s via the web page.


This week's Most Productive Critter award, for 4 critiques (at time
of judging), averaging almost 800 words each, goes to...

	Chris Baker

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 22-Nov-2017 (Crits due 29-Nov-2017):
 H   From the Bog, Chapter 2            Andrew Richardson -#27256
 F   Rise of the Cryptbringer Chapter 60-61  Keir Puplett -#27257
 F   The Wizards of Llandwellyn, Chapter 15  Eric Wilson -#27258
 SF  Every Single One                   Dan Reade -#27259
 SF  Invasion                           Mark L Suplinskas -#27260
 SF  Searching for God Head - chapters 1-3  Mike Clarke -#27261
 SF  Jupiter, Up Close                  Brian Zayas -#27262
 SF  Faster Than Light Can Carry You    Renan Bernardo -#27263
 SF  The Truth Machine                  Juan Hernandez -#27264
 F   Noblesse Oblige, Chapter 1         Elena Zimmerman -#27265
 F   The Failed Journey To Success, Chapter 1  Ela Mishne -#27266
 SF  Sometimes They're Wrong            Amit Gupta -#27267
 H   Restless _Scene 1-9_               Joshua Dyer -#27268
 SF  Andromeda Rose                     Lora Kilpatrick -#27269

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... IN SEARCH OF THE BIG BANG by JOHN GRIBBIN
`A remarkably readable guide to the mysteries of cosmic creation' -  Nature
Pieces up for critique in other workshops...

In the lit workshop - :
 L   Femme Fatale                       Dave Schultz -#27144

In the mystery workshop - :
 T   Blessed Silence, Chapter 1         Scott Downey -#26991

In the nonfiction workshop - :
 NT  The Significance of the Fronting of the Prepositional Phrase in the Text of Genesis 01 01  Rebecca Miller -#26818

In the script workshop - :
 SC  The Happiness of Chez Feliz        Jerry Sexton -#27163

In the kids workshop - :
 YL  The Sylvan Stories, Chapters 1-2   Nayana Wagle -#27164

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   Beauty and the Werebeast           Charmaine Seifts -#26692

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  The Dark Jester in an Archway      Joy Landa -#25620

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

In the critters workshop - :
 H   From the Bog, Chapter 2            Andrew Richardson -#27256
 F   Rise of the Cryptbringer Chapter 60-61  Keir Puplett -#27257
 F   The Wizards of Llandwellyn, Chapter 15  Eric Wilson -#27258
 SF  Every Single One                   Dan Reade -#27259
 SF  Invasion                           Mark L Suplinskas -#27260
 SF  Searching for God Head - chapters 1-3  Mike Clarke -#27261
 SF  Jupiter, Up Close                  Brian Zayas -#27262
 SF  Faster Than Light Can Carry You    Renan Bernardo -#27263
 SF  The Truth Machine                  Juan Hernandez -#27264
 F   Noblesse Oblige, Chapter 1         Elena Zimmerman -#27265
 F   The Failed Journey To Success, Chapter 1  Ela Mishne -#27266
 SF  Sometimes They're Wrong            Amit Gupta -#27267
 H   Restless _Scene 1-9_               Joshua Dyer -#27268
 SF  Andromeda Rose                     Lora Kilpatrick -#27269

Harlan Ellison! What more needs be said?!? The novel of his award-winning script

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... GHOSTS OF ENGINES PAST by SEAN MCMULLEN
Award winning Steampunk from a master!

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