New entry May 06
Critters is 25!
Last November, Critters turned 25 years old! Wow! Thanks so much to all of you, who've made it such a resounding success!
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 who's 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)
I was interviewed live on public radio for Critters' birthday, for those who want to listen.
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!
THE SIGIL TRILOGY: The universe is dying from within... "Great stuff... Really enjoyed it." — SFWA Grandmaster Michael Moorcock
Announcing ReAnimus Press
If you're looking for great stuff to read from bestselling and award-winning authors—look no further! ReAnimus Press was founded 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.
PublishAmerica will publish any work, regardless of quality, despite their claims.
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.
Also see: The Preditors & Editors web site and Writer Beware.
--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)
If you liked this, you might also like:
Say No to the Feeconomy (warning, humorous fees may apply)