New entry Dec 07
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!
Critters no longer accepting European Union members :(It's with a heavy heart that I have to announce Critters can no longer accept people in the European Union as members. This is a result of the "GDPR" privacy laws going into effect. I'm a big fan of privacy, and applaud the general idea behind the GDPR, but the way it's implemented forces me to close the door to EU writers. [read more why...]
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)
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
P&E Has a New Caretaker!
I'm very happy to announce that P&E has been handed off to a new caretaker! Check out the site for news and such. Hurrah!
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]
The Critters Library
The Library got a bit unwieldy, so I've split it out into multiple topic pages. Click a link below or scroll down below the notices for all the links.
Critters Discussion Forums
Writing/Critiquting Tools that live on the site
Other References of Interest
Help keep this list current! If you hit on a link that's dead, please report it. Please be specific in which link it is, since many sound alike. It would also help if you could mention what error you received — did it "time out" or give a "DNS error", or did it come up with a page specifically saying "URL not found". Thanks!
Note that they may still exist at another URL, so if you're really interested in one, look up the name via your favorite search engine.
Here are some articles on how to critique...
- 'How the Workshop is Supposed to Work' by Ed Bryant
- 'The Diplomatic Critiquer' by Andrew Burt
- 'It's Not What You Say, But How You Say It' by Andrew Burt
- Examples of how tiny wording changes in critiques make all the difference by Andrew Burt
- 'How to Critique Fiction' by Victory Crayne (with a critique checklist)
'How to Succeed in an Online Writing Workshop' by
- Critique Template by Critter member Paul Hodges
- 'How to Cope with Critiquing' by Rich Hamper
- Turkey City Lexicon (SF critique terms to know and live by)
- Amy Sterling Casil's tips on critiquing
- Maureen McHugh's four-steps to a useful critique (very short - read it! :-)
- Spider Robinson's humorous song, Fifty Ways to Lose a Hugo.
Our Discussion Forums
We've got discussion forums for everything. Read about our forums here.
Here are some tools and whatnot that live on the site here, both serious and for fun.
- The Bonsai Story Tree Generator — a program I wrote to make fascinating text out of input you supply; used in the
Atlanta Nights sting operation.
- Random character name/attribute generator
- CritStyle text formatter — reformats manuscripts for readability, by member Mike Alexander
- The Motley Collections of Stamps Postage Calculator
- "Time Limited" variant of the Creative Commons license (In beta mode; contact me if you'd like one.)
- Random drawing — picks random items out of a hat (as it were); for raffles, randomly creating worlds/characters/etc.
Black Holes response time tracker -- see how long your manuscript should take to exit the editorial event horizon.
- Aburt's Loan Comparison Tool — check it out if you're getting a loan, refinancing, etc.
- Random Dungeon drawing tool
Various links with other writing-related information...
- The Black Holes response time tracker
- Tips To Increase Writing Productivity"
- Aburt's Recommended Books
- SFWA Home Page — The organization for professional SF&F writers; has tons of excellent information
- HWA Home Page — The organization for professional horror writers
- The SFWA Bulletin — what SFWAns read to keep up, but anyone can subscribe; a must for anyone wanting to be a pro
- Shhh! A Sliver of The Secret to Selling SF
- Query Etiquette - How Long is Too Long? How long should and editor have your manuscript before you query about it...
- Top Ten Rules for Writing from a bunch of authors
- Umberto Eco's Rules for Writing
- Howard V. Hendrix's advice to new writers — special to Critters
- SFWA authors' recommended reading lists
- Center for the Study of Science Fiction — aka James Gunn's home page
- Assorted SFnal info
- Mary Soon Lee's Mailbox Blues &emdash; a must read for any writer waiting for the mailman
- Interviews with writers about writing
- Victory Page for Writers
- George Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer on Submitting — aka Weird Tales guidelines; very informative.
- Jeffrey Carver's page on how to write SF: "Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy" is a free online course for young writers, created by SF author Jeffrey A. Carver. Useful to aspiring writers of all ages, it covers the fundamental skills needed to write successful SF and fantasy stories.
- Jeffrey Carver's advice to aspiring writers
- Daniel Arenson's writing tips page
- Holly Lisle's page
- Lisa Silverthorne's Advice page
- List of Books for Students of SF Writing
- Liz Holliday's two most common reasons for rejecting stories
- Critter Dave Felts's review of the Writers of the Future workshop
- MZB's Advice to New Writers: and MZB's What is a Short Story?
- Colorado Science Fiction Authors
- Review of the Infamous Clarion Workshop
- Clarion Review #2...
- Proper Manuscript Format
- More on Manuscript Format
- John Stith's Manuscript Format Tips and other tips
- Jack Lynch's Grammar and Style Notes
- Vonda N. McIntyre's Pitfalls of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy
- SF Site's Writing Resources
- Jack Beslanwitch's Writing Resources
- Ralan's Webstravaganza (SF/Humor market tips and links)
- Characterization Tips from C. J. Cherryh
- Other Tips from C. J. Cherryh
- Michael Burstein tells a Fascinating Tale of a First Sale & Hugo Nomination
- Internet Top 100 SF/Fantays List — favorite books as voted on
- DarkEcho — A Horror-specific group, with a workshop
- The Reader's and Writer's Resource Page
- The Copyright Website
- A letter from Stephen King's agent about protecting electronic rights
- John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award Eligible Author Web Page
- The Right to Read — The father of the Free Software Foundation makes his case with a science fiction story
- Locus Index — a comprehensive index to authors and stories
- The Internet Speculative Fiction Database — another index of authors & their works (temporarily offline until it finds a new home)
- A list of other on-line workshops
- CritFinder — Find or announce a local in-person workshop
- Secure on-line space for in-person workshops to exchange manuscripts
Where to submit and how long you'll end up waiting...
Be sure to note how up-to-date any given list is — conditions change rapidly (markets die, etc.).
- SFWA's response time tracker -- a list of recent response times for various markets, nice things about editors, a list of when printed issues of various markets were seen (run by Aburt)
- Mike Engen's SF&F StoryPilot Market Engine
- Ralan's Webstravaganza — excellent market list by a Critter amici
- Gila Queen's Guide to Markets — and yet another marketwatching zine
- Eugie Foster's page with info for both SF and children's markets
- Duotrope's Digest market list
- Bonnie Mercure's Market List — a list of links to markets with home pages
- Mary Soon Lee's Market List — a list of links to markets with home pages
- The Market List — yet another list of active markets.
- Spicy Green Iguana — Market listings, links to SF&F 'zines
- e-zine-list: Alphabetic Listing
- Yahoo's SF magazine list
- Write Market Webzine Christopher Reynaga's guidelines list, reviews, etc.
- SFWA's magazine links
Some research links of possible interest to SF/F/H writers...