Tag Archives: Military SF

Eat Fish And Die – Awesome New Covers

Eat Fish And Die - Into The Wazoo of Death“Eat Fish And Die” is a series of satirical Mil SF short stories published by Hotspur Publishing. Two books have been released, and both have spiffy new covers made by the incredibly talented Mike Kingery. Here you can see the art used for the second installment of this series, Into The Wazoo of Death. And while Mike’s work is stunning, I thought I’d share a few images that demonstrate the process of cover art creation. Check out the following progression:

EFaD2 - Sketch 2EFaD2 - Sketch 1EFaD2 - WIP5

As you can see, we start from humble origins, but build up to a wonderful finished product. The thing I like most about working with Mike is his ability to collaborate. He doesn’t make a one-shot finished image and hope that it will do. He makes multiple tests, to get both feedback and inspiration, and then makes periodic updates that ensure the artwork meets expectations. Mike’s work is amazing, and I’m very happy to  have his talent next to mine as the series moves along. If you want to see more of Mike’s work, check out his website at the links provided.



Eat Fish And Die – Audio Book

Eat Fish and Die on AudibleMy Mil SF short story, “Eat Fish And Die” is now available as an audio book.  It features the incredible voice talent of John Pio, who makes the main character come to life. If you want to hear a quick sample, click here. For those of you who don’t know John, he has been working with his voice since 1996, starting as the voice for a major New York “movie and theater” phone listings service. With thousands of individual show blurb recordings under his belt, his voice has been heard hundreds of times daily. John is currently working on the second book of the series, Into The Wazoo of Death. Release date is expected in the first quarter of 2015.

Eat Fish And Die – Free on Kindle Select

Eat Fish and Die on KindleMy Mil SF short story, “Eat Fish And Die” will be FREE (all caps to get noticed by you tightwads out there) on Kindle this Saturday to celebrate Flag Day, Father’s Day and Bunker Hill Day. Do you even care about Bunker Hill Day? Neither do I, just don’t get it confused with Archie Bunker Day, where you sit around on your porch making rude remarks at people as they walk by. What could be more fun?

Anyway, save yourself a whopping 99 cents, and pat yourself on the back. You can even celebrate by going to the bar and drinking yourself into a royal stupor. You will of course have spent much more money chugging beers, but so many braincells will have died in the process, you won’t remember what happened.

Eat Fish And Die – Free this 4th of July

Eat Fish and Die on KindleIf you look closely, you will note that the title of this blog actually rhymes. Sad…isn’t it?

Well, even without poetic inculcations, you’ll be happy to note that my short story “Eat Fish And Die” will be free to download on Kindle during the 4th and 5th of July. I would have made it free on the 6th, 7th and 8th, but quite frankly, I expect you all to be so hung over that there’s really no point.

Eat Fish And Die is a humorous, military SF short story about the futuristic antics of an idiotic sergeant and his Battle Ready Android named Flipper.

If you haven’t figured it out yet: this is not a paranormal urban fantasy romance. Duh!

Happy 4th of July.

Eat Fish And Die – Makeover

Eat Fish and Die on KindleIndie publishing offers writers fantastic benefits. Raking in millions of dollars by just– uhm, no that’s not what I wanted to say. Instant fame with just the touch of a– no no no, that’s not quite it either.

Sigh … let’s try this one:

The ability to experiment with the marketing aspects of eBooks as you bumble your way around the world of publishing. Yeah, that’s more like it.

Truth-schmooth, anyway, welcome to the rebirth of Eat Fish And Die, a humorous, military SF short story about the futuristic antics of an idiotic sergeant and his Battle Ready Android named Flipper. With a significant amount of marketing feedback (in a manner of speaking), Hotspur Publishing and I decided to try to reposition our product to better align itself with market demand. That’s business mumbo-jumbo for: hook more readers!

So what changes have we employed? First, I’m moving to a pen name. All my humor books will be written under the byline of S. Ron Mars. The thinking here is simple. Since my first novel has very little humor, there’s no compelling reason to associate all my books under one branded name. Sure, if fans just love me and my regular work, they’re probably going to find my humors stuff too. But for the casual reader, there is no strong reason to link the two genres. Some people might disagree, but I think there’s no harm doing this at my stage of development. My name (even a pen name) is like a brand, and as such, it should be on products that give readers certain expectations that the book they’re about to read is something like the last one.

In addition to a new pen name, Hotspur has redone the cover art to better emphasize the military aspect of this short story. My previous cover got across two things, humor and SF. Now all three aspects, mil, SF and humor are more equally on display. And because the title to some people may not appear humorous enough, we’ve added a warning label towards the bottom. It reads: this is not a paranormal urban fantasy romance. We put that there because its…er…well, not that kind of story. Duh!

Like I said, this is still a bit of experimentation. Would it be nice to do things perfectly the first time around? You betcha-butt! But you know? Even big publishers have made a few mistakes. Well, maybe more than just a few. So in the end, I figure it’s just fine if Hotspur Publishing can experiment and improve things as they grow.

After all, no one ever achieved perfection the first time out the shoot. At least, I never did 🙂

Eat Fish And Die – Free on Kindle Select

My short story, “Eat Fish And Die” will be free on Kindle this Friday and Saturday for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend.

Not only will you bust a gut reading this, but all you penny-pinching, skinflint, cheapskate, tightwads out there can now save a whopping 99 cents.


If you don’t like being called a tightwad and want to pay the 99 cents before the sale, that’s perfectly okay. You will have elevated your status to that of, frugal miser. Congratulations!

Military SF Comedy – The Under-Served Genre Blend

Someone recently referred to military science fiction comedy as: “an extremely under-served genre blend”.  Yeah, I’d say that sums it up.

But why is that? Off the tip of my pointy skull, I believe that standard military SF (without the giggly bits) is too serious at times. Way too serious…

Sir! Yes, Sir!

As example let me tell you about a writer acquaintance of mine, Gini Koch. She wrote a story where the details of a Glock handgun were– how can one say? A bit off. You did know that an external safety exists on the Glock right? Wrong! Go directly to jail; do not pass go; do not collect $200. And as you can imagine: violent protests ensued, along with vicious flame-mail hot enough to cook off a few rounds.

This sort of thing annoys me. Hell, it would annoy anyone. It’s precisely why I chose to write mil SF comedy. I figure it takes the edge off, and allows me to have some fun without having to worry about Major General so-and-so haranguing me about the fact that a M249 holds a max of 200 rounds through a chain fed box magazine, and further, that my story had a character shoot 300 rounds, which means that I’m a no good 7u@kin6 4-hole that needs to die in hell.


Okay, not everyone has that much caffein in their system, but you get my drift.