Ahoy, Critterfolk!
New entry Dec 07

Critter Notices

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)

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]








What are the most common faults that get stories rejected from the slushpile?
An editor speaks!

Posted with permission from a newsgroup exchange, we have this:

Mary Soon Lee began by saying...

>   Guy Gavriel Kay has one habit I hate,
>   that of withholding key information from the reader, even when it
>   is known to the POV character.


Yer Critter Captain replied...

>This really annoys me, too (no matter who the author).  It's tempting to
>do it, but I hate myself when I do it, so I try never to.  The couple
>times I have, it's only been for the span of a few paragraphs, and I've
>justified it as "but the POV wouldn't stop to explain it and I need a
>few more sentences before I can clue the reader in".  But those spots
>still feel like a burr on an otherwise smooth piece of wood.

>How do other folks feel about withholding POV information from the reader?

>How widespread is my personal feeling that this is a cheap/false tension trick?


and Liz Holliday, editor of Odyssey answered...

>I'd say it's one of the two commonest faults in my slushpile rejects
>(the other being a story in which the protagonist doesn't do anything
>or have any stake).  I think one particular beginner error is to use
>this method in order to write a story with a twist ending - whereas a
>better story would tell the reader the secret early on, and explore
>the consequences.


So there you have it, folks, right from an editor's mouth.  Learn it and
live by it. :-)