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.
The Sigil TrilogyIf 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.
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 - 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]
Info about Ads and Privacy Policies
Kinds of Ads on Critters
- There are the Google ads on the side & tops of most pages. These are
"pay per click"
ads where Google chooses ads to display, charges the advertiser
for clicks on the ads, and pays a percentage to Critters.
We have no control over the content of these ads. (So, we can't
prevent ads from showing up for e.g. fee-charging workshops. Alas.)
How to get yourself placed here: The only way for you to advertise here is to go through Google. I believe you can target a certain site, but if you wanted to do that and pay for it, it's better just to contact me and we can arrange something. :)
- On many pages are
free ads for Critter members which do not cost
the advertiser money if you click on them. They're free to any Critter
member in good standing. These are primarily located
in the middle body or footers of web pages.
Check them out and put up one for your own work.
How to get yourself placed here: Easy as pie: You just visit the advertising on Critters page and upload an ad. It's free. In fact, you could even point your link for your ad to your item on the Critters Members' Store itself.
- On the Critters store are a number of "affiliate ads" from the
Google Affiliate Network
Commission Junction affiliate program.
The advertiser is not charged when people click on
these but instead Critters earns a commission on any sales that result.
These are primarily the items in the
you see such as on the right hand side.
How to get yourself placed here: I choose these from a menu that the affiliate program has, so you'd have to sign up as an advertiser with one of those programs. Again, if you wanted to do something like this and pay for it, it's better just to contact me and we can arrange something. :)
- Lastly are the items in the store for Critter Members' Books and Music, where you may directly purchase ebooks and music from which the sellers have agreed to give a percent of the sale to Critters. This is meant to be a win-win for everyone. You get good stuff to read and you help both the author and Critters.
I'm a big fan of privacy, so our policies and terms are simple -- I don't give out email addresses or other information to third parties. I hate spam/etc. :)
That said, I apologize, Critters can no longer offer membership to people in the EU, because the EU's "GDPR" requirements are too complex and burdensome for a small outfit like Critters to be sure I've fully implemented everything and can comply (it's unclear that Critters could actually ever comply based on how the workshop works) -- and the potential penalties are way way way too high to risk. I completely applaud the general idea behind the GDPR, but the penalties are so stiff (the "greater of 20M euros or..."!?! seriously?!?) that I simply can't take the risk; nor would I have the time to handle the requirements of it. Love you guys, but that's just too massive a risk. (Editorial: The GDPR is pushing the web away from small sites toward mega sites, and I think that's a bad thing. The penalties are designed to be so severe that one complaint might not only be the end of Critters, it could be completely life destroying. If the penalties were more reasonable I might take the risk. So, sorry EU writers, I deeply apologize that you can't belong.) If I learn that any member is covered by the GDPR, I will have to unsubscribe you from the workshop.
We use real names in the workshop, not pseudonyms. If you join, you'll get emails from the workshop a couple times a week or so. You can control how many manuscripts are emailed to you (default is 3), but you cannot disable the notices emails as they are critical to the successful working of the workshop. If you submit a manuscript, your name will show up on the public list of manuscripts and other members will be able to read your manuscript. If you submit a critique, your name and email address will be shared with the author and other members who read the critiques (but not made public -- though anyone could join and see them).
If you choose to post a bio to the bios page, that's up to you. If you include your email address, it gets hidden on a members-only-passworded page where you have to prove you're a human and not a bot.
Since anyone can join and see the private site, passwords are only meant to keep web crawlers and spambots out and act as a barrier to wandering eyes, not provide high grade security. (High grade security would be useless, since, again, anyone can join and see the "private" areas just by filling out the form.) Odds of a random person eavesdropping on your Critters password and caring about it are microscopic, so we don't have any need to use https/ssl. (Again, anyone who wanted to see inside the private areas could simply join. There isn't anything really tied to your specific login.)
The following things don't happen very often, but here's the policy:
If someone reports getting spam that have reason to suspect is via Critters, I try to find out who sent it (looking at logs of which member accessed which email address on the bios page) and I boot them out of the group.
I sometimes get requests from "old friends" to connect with someone, in which case I forward the mail on.
Manuscripts are copyrighted by their authors and members are reminded not to share them outside the group. Anyone found doing so gets booted from the group.
We do have Google Adsense ads on the pages, and they mention the following privacy language:
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.
We also have Google Affiliate Network and Commission Junction "affiliate" ads on the site. If you click on these they track your visits so we can get paid any commission from sales, and while I haven't seen any details on what else they do, one would presume the sites you visit (e.g. if you visit Barnes & Noble from a Nook link) also track your visits for their own advertising purposes per their own privacy policies. error_reporting (E_ALL ^ E_NOTICE); ?>