In Part I of our interview with Author Ronald T. Jones, we asked him some generalized questions about space and science fiction. In Part II, he shared some insight into the stories in Blood, Sweat, and Blaster Bolts. Here’s what he had to say:

MP: What is your favorite story in this collection and why?

Ronald: It’s hard to say. I had a great time writing each story. I will say that some of the stories were strongly inspired to the point where I had to put aside existing projects to work on them. Others were intended for past anthologies. Tyler’s Goddess, for example, came from a call by a sword and sorcery website for short stories featuring tales centered around a warrior woman and her big cat. I decided to do an Edgar Rice Burroughs take on the story, the Earthman-transported-to-another-world-by-mysterious means-trope. I’ve always liked fish out of water tales.

In Safeguard, I tackle competing strains of thought: pacifism and violence. How do you protect a society that eschews violence from existential threats? And would the means of protection be acceptable to one deeply indoctrinated in pacifism? I address extremism as well, mining today’s headlines to envision an ISIS-like organization returning to an Earth recovering from centuries of environmental blight to stake their claim through force.

Mist Lord was inspired by a book I read on Pablo Escobar, the notorious Columbian drug trafficker. I simply moved the setting to a far future place in another part of the galaxy.

Approaching a Day of Reckoning offered a not so optimistic look at where humans could end up centuries down the road should they make first contact with rigidly hierarchal species. How would humans respond to a status quo that stunts their development? I enjoyed exploring that theme.

I like a good mystery. Mission to Gined is a mystery cloaked in science fiction. The story also provided an opportunity for me to introduce creatures that have become a staple of horror tales. I won’t reveal who those creatures are. You’ll have to read the book! 

Freebooter is another version (a science fiction version) of a story written by Robert E. Howard, featuring Solomon Kane. Now, here’s my challenge for any Robert K. Howard fan reading Freebooter. See if you can discover the Solomon Kane story that inspired Freebooter. If you do, respond to this blog with the name of the story. That should be a fun challenge!

MP: Oh, that does sound like a fun challenge! You heard him, book baristas! If you’re a Robert K. Howard fan, comment and let us know your answer to Ronald’s challenge!

Ronald: So, I don’t have a favorite story per se. But each story was inspired by an idea that slithered into my mind and coiled around my brain like a snake. They are all unique tales which I enthusiastically embraced at the time I was cranking them out.

MP: Thank you for sharing so much insight into each story, Ronald. This makes me want to read them all, right now!