Tiny Planet Filled With Liars by Stephen M.A. [Book Spotlight – Military Sci-Fi / Dramedy]

Tiny Planet Filled With Liars - Stephen M.A.QSFer Stephen M.A. has a new diverse military space opera out: “Tiny Planet Filled With Liars.” And there’s a giveaway!

An armada that never dies. A society on the verge.

Every 30 days, Fleet Eternal arrives to surround the planet and lay siege to a complacent populace. Its armaments are unbeatable, its numbers uncountable, but the terrifying assault has one fatal flaw: a mere .01% loss in combat strength triggers automatic retreat and reset.

For decades, the Unified Fiduciary Dominion has relied on the Board and its military contractors to defend the planet and maintain the knife’s edge of survival. Now, riven by greed and false confidence, those corporate lords have abandoned their duty in pursuit of political power.

The tactics of the Alpha Vector Defense Corps have served for generations—so why are they suddenly faltering? And why do Board members seem increasingly unconcerned with the tenuous state of the system? Armed with the exclusive authority to investigate, one fussy ex-military reporter must partner with a generous Madame to chase down the story behind a string of failed battles—and pray they find answers before the districts are turned to ash.

As casualties rise, The Interviewer faces deadly resistance … and discovers a disturbing conspiracy at the highest ranks.

The world’s security is careening toward disaster, and this whistleblower is running out of time. But when every answer seems to bring more questions, one reminder guides the way:

Don’t come here looking for truth. This is just a pack of lies and the end of the world.

A genre-busting dramedy & political satire thriller in military sci-fi clothing.

Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

Stephen is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Excerpt

Tiny Planet Filled With Liars Meme - Stephen M.A.

2

Bartimus Caldwell

Onyx Hoteliers LTD., Suite 7382, Courtesy Level Omega Plus Royale

[Interviewer]

First, let me say welcome to the suite.

[Bartimus Caldwell]

Uh. Thank you.

[Interviewer]

It’s courtesy level Omega Plus Royale, you know.

[Bartimus Caldwell]

Okay.

Uh, I mean, that’s great. Very impressive.

[Int.]

Thank you. You need to purchase 2,000 units of Class A shares just to get the invitation to apply for a reservation.

[B.C.]

I see.

[Int.]

Mm-hmm.

[B.C.]

I’ll … uh … I’ll look into it, for sure, though I don’t know what I’d do with a room this fancy on my own.

[Int.]

You are Bartimus Caldwell.

[B.C.]

Yes, sir.

[Int.]

Don’t call me that. I’ve been discharged for years.

[B.C.]

I’m sorry, si—I mean, I’m sorry. I won’t.

[Int.]

State your position, rank, and assignment.

[B.C.]

Yeoman Sensor Scry, Grade III, Alpha Vector Defense of the Unified Fiduciary Dominion.

[Int.]

State your duties, in the most simple and clear terms you are able to.

[B.C.]

Uh … I coordinate the intake and regressive analysis of real-time sensor data to monitor the mid-threat-time development of incursions in the Alpha Vector, when under the command of UFD Central Board Oversight.

[Int.]

You’re a watchman and analyst.

[B.C.]

Uh … correct, sir.

[Int.]

How long have you been enlisted?

[B.C.]

I … was assigned commission four years ago.

[Int.]

You’re not volunteer enlisted?

[B.C.]

No, sir.

[Int.]

Why are you even allowed in the Operations Center, in that case? Or have those regulations been changed?

[B.C.]

I don’t—uh … I was not given such information, sir. Just the assignment.

I’ve been told my predecessor retired out of her indenture due to debilitating stress. Uh … several predecessors, actually. For the same reason.

[Int.]

I see.

[B.C.]

Yes.

[Int.]

Are you stressed, Bartimus?

[B.C.]

Yes, sir.

[Int.]

Bartimus.

[B.C.]

Yes, sir.

[Int.]

Stop calling me sir.

3

Bartimus Caldwell

Alpha Vector Operations Center

DURING incursions Bartimus Caldwell often feels chained to his desk.

Though incursion has initiated in the late afternoon (within a Unified Time Stamp of plus or minus 30 seconds) for the last twenty-six-and-one-half years, all personnel Grades V and below are still required to take stations no later than 0600 on the morning of.

Bartimus hates waking up so early, which may be why he avoided commission for so many years. It is to his great misfortune that he’s a whiz kid with sensor analysis, and inevitably discovered that Central Board Oversight had been made aware of his talents when he was abruptly recruited (then indentured) for a 20-year service stint four years ago, precisely two weeks after his 31st birthday. At the time he was gainfully (and happily) employed in the remote sexual screening industry, but that’s not relevant to this portion of his story.

Bartimus Caldwell’s desk, which binds him so readily, is located on the upper balcony of the Alpha Vector Operations Center, when under the command of Central Board Oversight.

This room represents the most exclusive and highly classified product catalogs of no less than three dozen military contractors. However, those who’ve bothered to learn as much know that in reality only two conglomerates perch atop the corporate meta-structure which hides its many tendrils behind each of those contractors.

In some professions, as you know, acknowledging this easily verifiable duopoly is quite literally illegal. For instance, service personnel are forbidden to acknowledge or discuss, in any capacity, any information that might insinuate that the dozens of military contractors working with Central Board Oversight are not in fact plucky small businesses that have been rightfully rewarded with thick and hefty revenue streams by virtue of patriotism and good old-fashioned UFD entrepreneurship.

Bartimus Caldwell adheres to this policy with unerring slavishness and would never even think of speaking ill toward the contractors. I know this because he has assured me of it several times.

When Alpha Vector Defense is not under the command of Central Board Oversight, Bartimus Caldwell’s desk is in the auxiliary hangar, packed in alongside the other 382 service members in the unit. In that venue, each such member enjoys no less than two square meters of personal space in which to perform their duties, of which their auxiliary desk takes up no more than one-point-two-five square meters.

Bartimus Caldwell bubbles with gratitude toward the military for providing this generously outfitted working space to its service members. I know this because he has assured me of it several times.

However, this was an incursion week, which meant that Board members would be in attendance for their usual round of post-contact media conferences and photo opportunities, which meant Bartimus Caldwell and his unit were stationed in the Alpha Vector Operations Center, showcasing the finest product catalogs of the military contractors owned by said members of the Board.

From his desk in the front ring on the upper balcony of the Alpha Vector Operations Center, Bartimus enjoys an unobstructed view of the entire room. Behind him on the octagonal balcony, which encircles the entire outer wall of the Operations Center, two more layers of desks and control consoles are laid out, fully staffed with unit members of Grades II and I.

The bidding wars to manufacture the desks used on the balcony have been quite fierce in recent years, and a new contract seems to be assigned every other month. Bartimus has grown quite used to arriving for OC duty and discovering a brand new desk in front of his seat, though thankfully, after one long stretch of genuine UX insanity, a regulatory design decree was issued that now ensures the general layout and functionality of each new desk model is largely the same as the last.


Author Char

[The Interviewer]

So, what are we doing this for again?

 

[Stephen M.A.]

Revenue.

 

[The Interviewer]

Ah, yes. You did warn me this was coming.

 

[Stephen M.A.]

Okay, can you not go breaking the fourth wall immediately please? I can do this without you just as easily, you know. Stick to the script. For crying out—

 

[Int.]

(clears throat)

Interesting release timing, given the subject matter of our little story here, wouldn’t you say?

 

[SM.A.]

Mm. Although actually, it’s entirely coincidental, believe it or not.

 

[Int.]

Oh?

 

[SM.A.]

I started writing Tiny Planet last December. And in fact, by the time quarantine started to become a reality in March, the story was more than halfway done.

 

[Int.]

I suppose it is a very versatile parable, given how consistently the rich and powerful misbehave in this world.

 

[SM.A.]

Yeah, tell me about it. No, this story would be relevant for many catastrophes, because they all stem from many of the same core triggers, in my opinion.

 

[Int.]

Agreed.

 

[SM.A.]

Well of course, you’re inside my head.

 

[Int.]

Alright, Mr. Fourth Wall. Moving on.

 

[SM.A.]

I’d had the concept of an unbeatable but easily divertable armada attacking a planet for more than a decade. Actually, the initial concept was much more in line with a sort of Gundam or Space Battleship Yamato aesthetic, but since I’m not personally drawn to that specific flavor of science fiction very often (outside the hints of it that often appear in Our Lord and Savior Ghibli’s work), the idea never went any further. It wasn’t until I realized I was ready to write a western-style political satire dramedy that the pieces started to click thematically, and the Tiny Planet setting began to take shape.

 

[Int.]

Are there any characters you particularly identify with? Am I a stand-in for you?

 

[SM.A.]

What? No, of course not, don’t be absurd. Wait—is that question even in the script? I remember very clearly making sure there was no insinuation of autobiography, because it is NOT—

 

[Int.]

You know what, I have a penthouse to get back to. How about I just skip past all the malarkey you’ve got here and we get to what really matters.

Mm.

Mm-hmm.

(snorts) Please. You wrote this?

Okay, that’ll do, folks! Thanks so much to Matt for having us! Grab Tiny Planet Filled With Liars on Kindle Unlimited today!

 

[SM.A.]

I really hate you sometimes.

 

[Int.]

Goodbye!

 

[SM.A.]

Goodbye.

 


Author Bio

Stephen M.A.Stephen M.A. is an ex-film student, Great Recession survivor, and first-generation tribal descendant originating from a reservation in big sky country. He now lives and writes in the northeastern United States.

Author Website: https://www.smapublishing.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/SMAPublishing

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