Backlist Burndown: Book Review: Eat Fish and Die by S. Ron Mars

Backlist Burndown is a monthly meme hosted by Lisa from Tenacious Reader where you put aside at least one book from your blacklist every month to read, and then post a review of it on the last Friday of that month.

Eat Fish and Die by S. Ron Mars

Publisher: Hotspur Publishing

Publication Date: February 12, 2012

Edition: ebook, 19 pages

Genre: Short Story, Science Fiction, Humor,

Rating: 4/5

The funniest story I’ve read this year!


Warning: This is not a paranormal urban fantasy romance.

Stuck on a small planetoid, we find Major Joachim Merlot. He’s the military equivalent of a street sweeper, defending Earth against an alien race of stinking fish-like creatures. Merlot isn’t interested in being any kind of hero — he just wants to return home and see who won the office betting pool. His odds of making it back alive are only one in sixteen, but that doesn’t matter. He’s been issued a handy dandy Battle Ready Android with the fire power of an entire platoon. The only problem? He can’t let the android think too much. Too much thinking, you see, can upset it. And there’s the rub. Since everyone thinks most of the time, how can you figure out when it’s too much?

Not to use a cliché, but this story is laugh-out-loud funny! The characters, dialogs, narration, and plot are all hilarious. There was not a single joke that fell flat. There is not one bad thing I can say about it.

Major Joachim Merlot, known as Jocko to his friends, is a member of Earth’s 5th Armored Division, and a commander of a fully Battle Ready Android. Jocko is set out on a mission with his BRA, Flipper, to remove the fish-faced Kasago species which has just laid claim to the planet Tsukijiji-364.

His probably of success is already low – the office pool has it somewhere around one to sixteen – and when he finally arrives at 364, disaster strikes: he can’t get the get the BRA to turn on! Jocks must now start off his mission by calling tech-support and searching for that illusive model number.

First things first: as with most comedy, what is funny, and how funny it is, is subject to the individual. So, in theory, there may people who think that this story is just plain stupid. Which is fine, you are entitled to your own opinion. My opinion, though, is that if you don’t enjoy this or laugh at least one time, you live a boring life and have no idea what funny is 😛

You need have a silly, stupid, slightly immature sense of humor to enjoy these jokes. But don’t think that these jokes are stupid themselves. These are not some poop-jokes written by a 6 year-old – although there is a poop joke in the story. They are witty, clever, and intelligent(-ish?)… silly and stupid jokes. There are puns, fart-jokes, one-liners, science jokes; Mars makes fun of science-fiction tropes and various topics. I highly doubt that anyone is going to be offended by them, I think the word ‘ass’ is used once, but there is no other swearing or any sexual scenes, you just need to realize that nothing in this story is meant to be taken seriously, and need have a good sense of humor.

Despite how silly the story is, this is extremely well written. The plot may be weird, but it is solid and it is compelling. The characters may be weird, but they are developed. The reason this story is so dang funny is because of the narration. It is written in Jocko’s voice, and it encapsulates and sets the mood perfectly, and I don’t know how you won’t like Jocko.

I realize I haven’t said much about the plot, but that’s because I can’t say too much. Jocko and Flipper go to 364 and meet the Kasago, and stuff happens – that’s all I can give you. To bring up any events that do happen, wouldn’t spoil the plot as much as it would be spoiling the jokes – and that’s just no fun.

It’s 19 pages long, and the e-book is only $0.99 or $2.95 for the audio version on Amazon. I strongly urge you pick this up. While I did read the e-book, I would recommend the audio. Below I have attached an episode of Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing where they interview S. Ron Mars and have a clip of the audio book. (Skip to 12:00 to hear the story)

I will say it again: this is not some stupid, cheap story. S. Ron Mars is a great writer, with a great sense of humor, who can write hilarious jokes. This a short-story that you will devour because of its jokes, characters, and narrative voice. Eat Fish and Die isn’t just a funny, it’s also an all around great story… but it is really really funny XD

4/5 Rating


Date Read: 08/26/15
Review Written: 08/27/15
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5 thoughts on “Backlist Burndown: Book Review: Eat Fish and Die by S. Ron Mars

  1. Sounds like a fun read 🙂 I really should read more short stories!


    • I usually read a short story or two in between novels. If I finish a book in the morning, and don’t feel like starting a new one that day (book hangover), short stories are perfect.

      This is a potentially good one to start with 🙂


  2. I’m a Kindle Unlimited subscriber and I just found out I can read this for free! When I saw the length (short, easy read!) and that you found it hilarious, I just had to look it up. Sold!


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