Sirius Publications

Siriusly: Our Solar Newsletter

February, 2003

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In this Issue:

Letter from the Editor

Author Chat

New and Upcoming Releases

Contests and Workshops for Writers

Author Resources

Recommended Books

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- Letter from the Editor-

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year! We have lots of exciting developments here at Sirius Publications. As you know, Tracy L. Ranson has joined us as co-editor of the newsletter, and one of her contributions to the newsletter is this month's theme of science fiction.

Science fiction is a subject close to my own heart, since I grew up reading it, introduced to it by my dad, who avidly read Isaac Asimov and other classic and innovative authors. Some of my favorites can be found below in the Sirius Recommends section.

In keeping with the theme, this month's writing contests and workshops are science fiction, as is this month's featured author, Jay Rogers.

In the private realm, on December 22, 2002, I (Kerri) was married to the love of my life, Gerry, in an intimate ceremony at a small chapel. OK, so we were both late to the ceremony, but it wasn't because we had cold feet-- we got lost! Never trust Yahoo Driving directions. Next time we'll phone first. Next time we need directions to something, that is, not next time we get married, since we hope this will be the only time, of course. Once we arrived, everything went smoothly.

We thoroughly enjoyed our honeymoon in Honolulu, Hawaii. Then it was back to the books, since we are both pursuing Masters degrees. For those of you clamoring for pictures of the ceremony, reception and honeymoon, you are invited to view our photo album.

As always, thank you for your support and patronage of our company. Our authors and readers are the lifeblood of Sirius Publications and are genuinely appreciated.


Kerri A. Kadow
Publisher and Co-editor

Letter from the Co-editor

Hello, my name is Tracy L. Ranson and I'm the co-editor of Siriusly! Newsletter. First, I'd like to thank Kerri A. Kadow for graciously bestowing this honor on me. She is the driving force behind Sirius, making it the great publishing company that it is. I am very grateful to be associated with her and with Sirius. Also, I want to extend a heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to Kerri on her new marriage! May you have all the blessings you deserve!

Some of you may know me and some of you may not. I write romance novels, my first, BRIDE OF THE OVERLORD, was published in 2000 by Sirius to rave reviews. Now, as a prequel, I've written PASSION'S PRISONER that should be out sometime this year from Sirius.

I've loved books all my life. Rather than watching t.v. growing up, I could be found reading anything I could get my hands on, letting my imagination flow. I remember when I was very young, my mother used to read romance novels that she'd borrow from one of the other nurses at work. After she was done with them, it might be a while before she'd give them back so I managed to snag them and read. After a while, I formulated a dream: to become a romance author. For a while, I pushed that dream away while I grew up and got my education in order. After I graduated from a technical college with an associates degree in Mechanical Engineering, I decided to start writing again. That was in 1993. Of course, I met my husband that year and we married in 96. He has been the main force behind my writing. He was the one who always believed in my ability even when I didn't. That's why I modeled my male heroes after him. I think he is the perfect combination of handsome looks and sparkling personality mixed with passion and tenderness. We have no children but we are currently trying to change that.

Our children right now are our cat, Tomas and a beagle named Lady. Trying to keep those two from killing each other is a battle all its own. The cat thinks he "owns" the house (as well as the dog) and gives the dog more "catitude" than anything else.

In conclusion, I am overjoyed to be reaching out to all the readers and authors of Sirius. It's important to keep everyone informed of the new and exciting events at Sirius (believe me, there are going to be plenty!). Thanks for reading the newsletter and hope to hear from you soon!


Tracy L. Ranson

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- Author Chat -

Hello, everyone! It’s me, Evelyn Masters, coming at you again this month with an exciting interview that I know you’ll be dying to read! Sitting with me today is Jay Rogers, author of Honor in Time. Let’s get started.

Evelyn: Hi, Jay. Thanks for being here with me.

Jay: Where else would I be other than with Sirius’ favorite interviewer?

Evelyn: Jay, you say the nicest things. Okay, let’s get going with the interview.

Jay: Shoot.

Evelyn: What made you pick up the pen and start writing?

Jay: I had a number of stories whirling around in my head for years all built on what-if's from history. After the boredom of writing several technical pieces I decided that the work of writing something that I wanted to write couldn't be any harder and I found I loved it.

Evelyn: Wow, that’s great! Tell me, what inspires you?

Jay: History. There's the old saying that what is past is prologue. All any writer worth his salt needs to do for an idea is read any high school history book and let his imagination run loose.

Evelyn: That sounds easy.

Jay: The easy part is the idea. Crafting it into a spellbinding story is the hard part.

Evelyn: So what other hobbies do you have other than writing?

Jay (grinning): Woodworking. Although I come from a long line of professional and semi-professional furniture-makers, to me it’s an all too rarely practiced avocation rather than a vocation.

Evelyn: So where do you get your plot ideas? Movies, books, or just everyday life?

Jay: Experience and reading. Honor in Time came from a report by the BBC about scientists fighting about the wisdom of experimenting with creating mini black holes. One of the opponents speculated that distortions in time might result. I grabbed that idea and hooked it to American history, a subject I knew well.

Evelyn: Now that’s something. Where did you go to hone your craft of writing?

Jay: Under considerable duress, I've been forced to write a bunch of technical crap about business application of technology. That type of writing is very different than fiction and much more boring. I know I have a long way to go to be a really competent author but I figure you spend your life improving your talents.

Evelyn: Thankfully, you got out of that, or else we wouldn’t have this terrific book in front of us. Is there someone in your life that motivates you?

Jay: Two people really. My father was a child of the depression and survived some of the most horrific fighting of World War Two. My wife is the other person. She is doubtless the hardest working person I have ever met.

Evelyn: How do they inspire you?

Jay: I guess the common thread is that they exemplify the spirit of perseverance that an aspiring writer has to have in quantity.

Evelyn: What sort of writing role models do you have?

Jay: Like so many others, I truly enjoy Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin's novels.

Evelyn: I’ve read some of those books and so has my significant other. What is your ideal setting in order to draft a novel?

Jay: Sitting in my office looking out the window at the snow on the Taconic Mountains. I can sit and tell myself stories as long as the kids will let me.

Evelyn: Now that is picturesque. Here’s a harder question. Where would you like to be in the writing world in the next ten years? What are your goals for your novels? Awards or recognition?

Jay: Actually I care little for either awards or recognition. I tell my stories for my own entertainment. The itch to put them on paper is largely inexplicable to me other than the fact that I really enjoy it. Unfortunately I have no master plan for my writing. I just hope in the next few years that I am able to get even a small portion of the ideas swirling around in my head on paper.

Well, there you have it! A bit of your favorite (and mine as well), Jay Rogers. Catch his haunting tale of honor that spans time and life, published exclusively by Sirius Publications. Honor in Time is available now at Sirius Publications.

That concludes our interview! Thanks to Jay for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview. Come back next month to see who our surprise author will be. Until next time, this is Evelyn Masters saying “Good night and happy reading!”

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- Writing Workshops -

SF Novelist Writing Workshop

Critter Writers Workshop

SF Novelist Writers Workshop

More Workshops:

- Writing Contests -

Please note that we do not run any of these contests ourselves. To enter a competition, find more information, or check on your entry, please contact the competition organizers directly.

To list your contest, please send contest name, entry deadline and URL through our contact form at http://www.sirius- Please indicate whether the contest has an entry fee. We do not list contests that are limited to a small geographic area or that do not have a website.

To see contests we host ourselves, please visit

SF Writers of Earth

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest

entry fee: none

prizes: $1000, $750, $500 plus an annual prize of $4000 additional

deadline: 3/31/2002 (quarterly)

A quarterly contest with one first place winner each year as well as one annual winner. An international search for new and amateur writers of new short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy. No entry fee is required. Entrants retain all publication rights. All awards are adjudicated by professional writers only. Prizes every three months. Entries should be mailed to: L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest, P.O. Box 1630, Los Angeles, CA 90078.

Life on Luna Story Contest

Quarterly contest

Deadline: March 31/03, June 30/03, September 30/03, and December 31/03.

Winners will be announced by the end of the month following each closing date.

Entry Fee: $10US


entry fee: $5 (non-members)

prizes: $200, $150, $100

deadline: April 1, 2002

Submit your unpublished speculative fiction story of $5000 or less. Entrants who send an SASE will also receive critiques from professional writers. There are two entry-levels for this contest. Please see the website for further details.


entry fee: none prize: none mentioned

deadline: April 15, 2002

Here's a contest that rewards bad writing. Send in your worst opening line (ala "It was a dark and stormy night . . .) View the past winners on the website for a few chuckles and some inspiration then send your awful opener on an index card with your name and contact information on the reverse to: Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, Department of English, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0090

More contest links:

- Sci-Fi Writing Resources and Links -

SF Site

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Writing World SF Section

Advice to Aspiring Writers

Sci-Fi writer Jeanne Cavelos

Orson Scott Card's Website

Sci-Fi Site of the Week

Suite 101 Science Fiction Writing

Science Fiction/Fantasy Forum

More Resources

- Recommended Books -

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Guide is book one in the increasingly misnamed Hitchhiker Trilogy (there are six books altogether.) Only Douglas Adams can effectively start a humorous novel with the end of the earth and most of humanity. Arthur Dent is whisked away from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway.

His friend Ford Prefect gets him into several misadventures and there are lots of twists and turns. There are many thought-provoking ideas in the books, and many lessons to glean from the guide, including that one should always carry a towel when hitchhiking through the galaxy. Adams is a master of intelligent satire, wit, and hilarious dialogue. You'll love it-- especially if you love Monty Python and/or Red Dwarf.

Salmon of Doubt

On Friday, May 11, 2001, the Douglas Adams, beloved creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, died of a heart attack at age forty-nine. In addition to a magnificent literary legacy—which includes seven novels and three co-authored works of nonfiction

Do not pick up The Salmon of Doubt expecting a complete novel. What would have been the sixth book in the increasingly misnamed Hitchhiker Trilogy occupies fewer than 100 pages at the volume's end. The rest is taken up by tidbits from Adams' life: essays, short stories, letters, interviews, many of them in print for the first time in this book.

More By Douglas Adams

And speaking of Red Dwarf...

Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

The first lesson Lister learned about space travel was you should never try it. But Lister didn't have a choice. All he remembered was going on a birthday celebration pub crawl through London. When he came to his senses again, he was living in a locker on one of Saturn's moons, with nothing in his pockets but a passport in the name of Emily Berkenstein.

So he did the only thing he could. Amazed to discover they would actually hire him, he joined the Space Corps--and found himself aboard Red Dwarf, a spaceship as big as a small city that, six or seven years from now, would get him back to Earth. What Lister couldn't foresee was that he'd inadvertently signed up for a one-way jaunt three million years into the future--a future which would see him the last living member of the human race, with only a hologram crew mate and a highly evolved Cat for company. Of course, that was before the ship broke the light barrier and things began to get really weird.

-- Back Cover

Better Than Life

The equally hilarious sequel to Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. When Holly, the Red Dwarf's computer, suddenly goes dumb, David Lister, the holographic Arnold Rimmer, Cat, and Kryten, the cleaning robot, become trapped in a game called Better Than Life, and it's up to a talking Toaster to save them all.

In the illegal and highly addictive game, each enjoys his own brand of subconsciously created paradise. Meanwhile, their bodies are wasting away due to lack of nourishment. If that doesn't sound funny to you, you're in for a big surprise, since this book will have you laughing out loud.

Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan

For Allie, putting on the madcap that Jerry borrowed was a very big mistake. The psychosis itself was quite conventional, but it didn't go away when she took the madcap off, so the Brain Police took over leaving her with a choice - go to jail as a mind criminal or become a mindplayer.

SynnersSynners by Pat Cadigan

Tea from an Empty CupTea from an Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan

"How can you drink tea from an empty cup?"
That ancient Zen riddle holds the key to a baffling mystery: a young man found with his throat slashed while locked alone in a virtual reality parlor.

The secret of this enigmatic death lies in an apocalyptic cyberspace shadow-world where nothing is certain, and even one's own identity can change in an instant.
-- Back Cover.

Dervish is DigitalDervish Is Digital by Pat Cadigan

In Artificial Reality, everything is permitted and nothing is forbidden--or so they say. Run a con game in AR, and the law does not prosecute; have sex with a virtual child persona, and the police do not interfere. But infringe on a powerful corporation's copyright and the law rushes in. And so Detective Lieutenant Doré Konstantin unhappily finds herself appointed Chief Officer of the TechnoCrime AR Division. Virtual crimes are almost impossible to solve, her two-person staff is usually assigned elsewhere, and she spends so much of her life pursuing software pirates in AR that her sanity may be in danger. Things can't get any worse. Then she is assigned to track a cyberstalker known as "Dervish," whose virtual persona is capable of manipulating AR in unprecedented ways. Konstantin reluctantly acknowledges Dervish's victim may be right: Dervish may have done the impossible. He may have traded places with an Artificial Intelligence, letting the AI take possession of his body as his mind escapes into the cyberverse of Artificial Reality, which he can manipulate as no software, even AI, ever could--impossible manipulations that include deleting all the exits from AR, and perhaps even killing the trapped investigator, Doré Konstantin.

Dervish Is Digital is the witty, sharp-edged, hardboiled sequel to the equally exciting and stylish SF mystery Tea from an Empty Cup.

--Cynthia Ward at

More Science Fiction from

More Recommended books at:

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- New and Upcoming Releases -

Look for these exciting new books from Sirius Publications in March, 2003!

The Otherness by Tim Watts

What if you discovered a gateway to the intangible and esoteric world which folklore calls fairyland? What if you felt your memory had been tampered with? And what if you remembered seeing fantastic machines that don't exist--in our reality?

Passion's Prisoner by Tracy L. Ranson (Prequel to Bride of the Overlord)

Isabeau thinks nothing of battling men and keeping her country free from danger, including Edward the Longshanks. What she did not count on was that his darkly handsome illegitimate son would lead the offending army.

Kendrick and his half-brother, Prince Phillip of Wales, invaded her country on a bet. He expected her to cower before him, begging for mercy. Instead, she stood up to his every demand, refusing to back down. With her golden hair and seductive eyes, Isabeau fired his blood like no other woman.

Though they had been each other’s captives, Isabeau and Kendrick cannot deny the growing feelings for each other. Amid this turmoil, they find love, only to have it threatened by schemes and lies designed by someone who has vowed to see Isabeau dead.

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In our next issue:

Theme: Romance

Special Offer/Sale

Answers from the Publisher

Author Chat

Sirius Recommends Book Reviews

Author Contests and Workshops

As always, please feel free to contact us with questions or comments.