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.

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.

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)

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]








To quit or not to quit, that is the question...

(Or whether 'tis nobler to zero one's counter)

Lots of folks ask me for advice on how to handle absences from Critters. You make the call, but there's a lot of flexibility here when it comes to quiting (or going inactive) vs. going on email hiatus vs. zeroing your counter.

There are a few basic reasons someone visits this page:

  • You want to reduce the amount of email you get from Critters
  • You need to arrange an extended absence from Critters
  • You need to arrange a short absence from Critters
  • You feel you're too far behind to ever catch up
  • You're absolutely sure you want to quit the group for good

To accommodate these arrangements, we have a flexible array of options to suit your needs (& there's a form below to do the deed once you've chosen):

  • If you want to reduce email load (and don't want to lose all your existing critique credits), then you want to set your email preferences to "0" mss. and No emailed critiques. Your participation ratio will decline if you go away, but that's what the 75% is all about -- the 25% was designed to cover absences if you otherwise send in one critique per week. You can "stock up" before you go, or you can raise the ratio rapidly on your return by doing a bunch of critiques (of current stories, or old ones with author permission). Set your preferences back any time.

  • If you're taking a short break from Critters and don't mind losing your critique points, the best option is to set your preferences to no email like above, then, when you return, use the same form below to 'zero' or 'reset' your counter. (But check when you first return to make sure you're actually below 75%, otherwise it isn't worthwhile).

    However, note that if you fail to do at least one critique in any calendar month, you are subject to being inactivated.

  • If you plan to be gone more than a month, but want to keep up with the goings on in Critters, then use the form below to set yourself inactive. While inactive, you'll still get the weekly email notes, but no manuscripts and your counter is set to zero until you want to return, when it starts counting fresh again. You can remain inactive for as long as you want; years, etc. reactivate when you're ready.

  • If you feel you're just too far behind to catch up, then have me reset/zero your counter. Acts like you just joined today; ramifications are that any manuscript in the queue goes to the end as if you just sent it today, you lose all your credits, and you must have at least one credit to forfeit -- if you're already at zero or below, you'll have to do one to make up for it, which is to say you'll get a "-1" credit.

  • If you just want absolutely nothing more to do with Critters (for now -- you're welcome back any time), or you're taking a hiatus and know that your current email address won't remain valid, then you should use the form below to entirely quit and rejoin when you get back.

      Since Critters' goal is to keep people as active as possible, between these choices you should find something to suit you. When in doubt, send extra critiques! :-)

      Your name:
      Email address:
      Password: [Forgot your password?] (Unncessary if you're currently inactive/amici)

      I want to...

      Reset/Zero My Counter      
      Go Inactive      
      Completely Quit   (Also quit Aburt's blog list)      
      [or: set my email preferences]


      Comments to Andrew Burt, the Critter Captain:

      Your request will be processed as soon as aburt's software minions get to it; you'll receive an email confirmation when that happens.

      Other comments/questions/etc. to the cap'n.


[via ►PayPal or: Square]
Very Happy minion   Very Happy minion — last donation was yesterday. About $1200 to go. A big Thank You! to Deborah Ross, Mark Kress, Bret Lynn, and lots of other Critterfolk for their contributions!

Critters is entirely funded by donations from Critterfolk like you, so yours is most appreciated. Click here to make the minions happy. Every dollar helps. Thanks for your support!



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Fundamental to Critters' success is how people deliver criticisms. Start by reading Critiquing the Wild Writer: It's Not What You Say, But How You Say It. and The Diplomatic Critiquer.


Critters has a special program to get whole novels critiqued. Read about it here.


Please follow these guidelines for formatting and submitting manuscripts to Critters.


Critters keeps a queue of manuscripts out or to be sent. See the Queue.


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