Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Dec 07

Critter Notices

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.

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 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 - 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 09-Jan-2019...

Don't forget to vote for your favorite [everything reading/writing related] in the 21st Annual Critters Readers' Poll,

Poll closes in a few days.

Folks may already have heard this, but since it's of relevance primarily to new writers trying to become pro authors, I wanted to pass along that SFWA no longer accepts sales to the Writers of the Future contest/anthology for meeting SFWA pro membership requirements:


Thanks for the donations, folks!  We are 15.6% of the way to the fund drive goal with contributions from 37 donors, leaving about $3500 to go. (And Comcast just raised the rates again, bleah.)

Thanks especially to

	Robert Harpold
	Bret Lynn
	Barbara Sugar
	Krinda Allen

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

[See for more information.]


(No Woohoo!s this week, be sure to report your sales/publications/etc. via the web page.)


This week's Most Productive Critter award, for 7 critiques (at time
of judging), averaging over 1000 words each, goes to...

	Emily Randall

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 9-Jan-2019 (Crits due 16-Jan-2019):
 F   A Belly Full Of Promises           Emily Randall -#28222
 SF  The Sixth World V3 _RFDR_          Larry Rachman -#28223
 SF  Please Stand By                    Pete Koziar -#28224
 H   House of Mirrors                   Madison Estes -#28225
 SF  Chicken Little's Triumph           Eric D Littlefield -#28226
 SF  Polymers and Blood                 Christina Wott -#28227
 F   Epilogue After Midnight            Jim Marino -#28228
 F   Ascension's Cost                   Kyle Smith -#28229
 F   The Right to Refuse Service        Daniel J. Elliot -#28230
 F   Why I Can't Enforce the Laws Against Magic  Annaliese Lemmon -#28231
 F   The Safety of Death                Michael DeDominicis -#28232

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... THE GILDED BASILISK by CHET GOTTFRIED
A basilisk, a dragon, weirdragons, and a theft gone bad...
Pieces up for critique in other workshops...

In the lit workshop - :
 L   Mrs. Epp, Chapters 1-2             Elma Schemenauer -#28196

In the mystery workshop - :
 T   The Man Next Door Chapter 3 and part of 4  Michelle Richer -#27632

In the nonfiction workshop - :
 NV  How A Mother Got Her Ink           Alisun Chopel -#28207

In the script workshop - :
 SC  Johnny Lucid Gets a New Muse       Jerry Sexton -#27889

In the kids workshop - :
 YS  Imaginopolis Ch. 1-2               Allison Cecilia Davis -#28221

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   Blurred Lines Part Two             Michelle Richer -#27476

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   A Belly Full Of Promises           Emily Randall -#28222
 SF  The Sixth World V3 _RFDR_          Larry Rachman -#28223
 SF  Please Stand By                    Pete Koziar -#28224
 H   House of Mirrors                   Madison Estes -#28225
 SF  Chicken Little's Triumph           Eric D Littlefield -#28226
 SF  Polymers and Blood                 Christina Wott -#28227
 F   Epilogue After Midnight            Jim Marino -#28228
 F   Ascension's Cost                   Kyle Smith -#28229
 F   The Right to Refuse Service        Daniel J. Elliot -#28230
 F   Why I Can't Enforce the Laws Against Magic  Annaliese Lemmon -#28231
 F   The Safety of Death                Michael DeDominicis -#28232

You might also like... BUG JACK BARRON by NORMAN SPINRAD
Bug Jack Barron was banned in the UK- Read a Banned Book today!

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... COLOURS OF THE SOUL by SEAN MCMULLEN
Why are cheetas the most perfect of creatures? Mind-blowing stories from an award winning master

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