Deep Outside SFFH - Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

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A. L. Sirois is on vacation this month, cruising around Old North Australia (Norstrilia) in a converted N-class cruiser, searching through a slightly bent telescope for large, misshapen sheep that are a sure sign that stroon, the santaclara drug of immortality, is nearby.

I can't vouch for his success at finding immortality, but I can attest to his deserving lasting recognition for his fine, nuanced science fiction novels. While the resident critic of Deep Outside SFFH is away, I steal into his office and stand in awe at the tools of his many talents: a much-worn percussion set, which he lugs about in rain or shine, for he is a talented drummer of many years' experience; an easel and a stack of paint-daubed CDs, for he is a gifted artist who has worked for at least one magazine of national renown; and a collection of broken pencils and tortured erasers...for he is indeed a caring and wonderful writer.

I've known Mr. Sirois for over 30 years, which dates us both, but aging is an adventure and we go forth boldly; that is to say, not having any choice in the matter, we go forth pretending to yodel bravely. And none so bravely yodeleth as he.

A long-time member of SFWA and in fact webmaster of their official publication, Mr. Sirois is the author of many short stories and several novels that capture the true "Sense of Wonder" that distinguishes fine science fiction. Mr. Sirois's bibliography is too long to capture in this brief article, but a few titles stand out in my mind.

His novels "Blood Relations" and "Blind Ambitions" (Clocktower Books, 0-7433-0054-8 and 0-7433-0053-X respectively) capture the spirit of Cordwainer Smith in a haunting far-future adventure on a distant colony planet beset with danger and intrigue.

In "Blood Relations," Arrizida "Zida" Yokoi is a nineteen-year-old telepath assigned to the Implementation sabership Haltija, whose historic mission to the lost colony world Lennon is the first to reach that planet in 400 years. Zida and her crewmates discover a civilization that has struggled to survive on a cold, metal-poor world - and has, perhaps, learned the secret of immortality. But someone aboard Haltija doesn't want that secret returned to Earth - and is willing to commit murder to prevent it.

In "Blind Ambitions," (sequel) as she continues grappling with the mysteries of the planet Lennon, Zida runs afoul of bloodthirsty cultists who worship their monstrous deity by replacing their eyes with smooth, round stones. Zida's Terran companions are kidnapped by a Lennish warlord and only she can save them. She and her lover find themselves fighting a war in the air and a traitor among the ranks of the offworlders -- and if Zida can't stop him it may mean the end of the Implementation of Mankind.

Coming soon by A. L. Sirois: "Detonator," a techno suspense thriller about a young man who becomes fair game for spy agencies when he reveals a talent for making objects--and people--explode just by thinking about them a certain way. The story begins during the Iranian hostage crisis and continues into present times with a resounding climax...

Oops, is that a sabership I hear arriving? I'd better quickly step out of the master's office and latch the door...please visit Clocktower Books at and keep an eye out for the excellent work of A. L. Sirois (quality paperback and Rocket eBook editions). -- John T. Cullen


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