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]
Would they publish the worst book ever written?
To dispel PublishAmerica's statements that they are a "traditional publisher"[*] and claims that they inspect submitted books for quality like a true traditional publisher does, such as--
a collection of SFWA authors (and, ahem, non-authors) concocted to write a very poorly written book. Under "direction" of James D. Macdonald, each author was given minimal information from which to write a chapter (with no idea of the chapter's location in the book, time of year, background of the characters, what the plot was, etc.), and encouraged to write poorly. It's a truly awful book, a serious contender for Absolute Worst Book Ever Written. The result was submitted "for review" by PublishAmerica to see if "has what this book publisher is looking for." It did. :-) PublishAmerica offered a contract.
Here's the book, "Atlanta Nights" by "Travis Tea" (say the author's name quickly...) Be aware, as Allen Steele has said, "A note of caution: reading this thing may cause temporary brain damage." :-)
- The manuscript itself (PDF)
- The acceptance letter from PublishAmerica (PDF)
The contract offered by PublishAmerica (PDF)
Other links of interest:
- TravisTea.com - Travis's official web site
- The press release at PRweb
- Purchase a print copy via LuLu.com (a Print On Demand publisher that doesn't pretend to be otherwise; the book may prove useful to you as a doorstop, or as a teaching aide, illustrating the worst writing mistakes professional authors could concoct; proceeds from sales go to SFWA's Emergency Medical Fund)
- Read some of the blurbs
(Some of the authors and others have contrived humorous blurbs to describe
how bad it is without specifically saying it's bad... :-)
This is not to say that authors can't be successful via non-traditional publishing!—but because the author bears the financial risk, authors should be careful to avoid companies that charge high fees (before or after publication, or pay poor royalty rates, or engage in other author-unfriendly behavior) yet produce results that could have been accomplished for a lot less, or even for free. The goal is to protect authors from predatory behavior.
Tip to aspiring authors: See General Guidelines & Tips on Avoiding Scams.
--Andrew Burt (author of chapter 11 and the software used to machine generate chapter 34, :) chair of Preditors & Editors, as well as author/creator/purveyor of other things you might find interesting)
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