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Page added on June 26, 2017

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What I’ve been reading to write Oil Apocalypse

What I’ve been reading to write Oil Apocalypse thumbnail

A brief bibliography for the new series:

1) Anything I could find on small ground-unit tactics, including parts of the US Army field manuals and after-action reports from Australian, US, and British ground troops going back to the 1950s. In a few cases, the reports had a few lines about what it felt like to be there and vivid descriptions that helped me imagine (though I’ve never been in combat myself) what that might be like. Many thanks to those authors.

2) I admit that I’m no expert on weapons (I’ve fired a half-dozen, but that’s about it), so online manuals and discussions have helped me appear (I hope) something other than a fool on the topic. Writer Eric T. Knight read Slashed to make sure I hadn’t said something utterly stupid about the topic, and I’ll continue to use my friends for just that purpose as I write the rest of the series. A big thank you goes out to them for this help.

3) Though it’s a subtle part of the setting, there is a warming trend in the deserts of the southwest US right now and I’ve extrapolated worse in the near future setting of my novels so that the snow level is higher, the mid-altitudes hotter, and the animal populations are shifting. I’ve read paleoclimatology edited for the non-professional reader, including The West Without Water, Ingram and Malamud-Roan. I’ve read climate change books that focus specifically on Arizona and New Mexico, including the beautifully written A Great Aridness by William DeBuys. I revisited some of the ruins of Sinagua and Hohokam people in Arizona where drought and heat drove them away from their home (and which also drove other cultural changes that led to the abandonment of many Indian cities in the 1400s in the southwestern US.) Brian Fagan’s books on water and climate and the history of human civilization provided some additional help.

4) Over the past three years, I’ve read probably everything written on peak oil since 1990, including many blogs and debates in comments, ones from the wackdoodle to the sober. I’ve interviewed a petroleum engineer, viewed every movie on the topic, and if I’ve missed a single popular book, I’d be shocked. (Thanks to the public library and the concept of free inter-library loans for much of this.) For a quick overview, I might suggest (though it is not without its problems) the film A Crude Awakening.

5) Wikipedia has become a sine qua non for most authors. I probably look at some page there five times a day. WokFI is just one page I looked at one day (for a scene that lasts barely 25 words), but hardly an hour passes that I don’t look up something like that. I remember the days when you had to drive to the library and look in books and Periodical Indexes and ask reference librarians (who are terrific people) and call around to find friends of friends of friends in order to find such facts. I donate every year to Wikimedia Foundation because they save me a lot of time and effort.

People tell me I spend too much time and effort on research, but as a reader of novels, I like to think the author is telling me truth about the real world rather than nonsense, and so to me it’s a worthwhile use of my time. Besides, I like learning, so it’s no chore.

Lou Cadle



5 Comments on "What I’ve been reading to write Oil Apocalypse"

  1. rockman on Mon, 26th Jun 2017 10:04 am 

    Curious: does anyone here care anything at all about what Lou has read about anything? Especially since he offers no details about what his exhaustive research has led him to conclude about anything.

  2. dave thompson on Mon, 26th Jun 2017 11:08 am 

    Looks to me like a sales pitch for a series of novels?

  3. Sissyfuss on Mon, 26th Jun 2017 12:53 pm 

    Him read many book, know everything him need. Now we buy book, save world. Me go chase beaver now.
    Signed Squanto.

  4. Apneaman on Mon, 26th Jun 2017 3:16 pm 

    (Thanks to the public library and the concept of free inter-library loans for much of this.)

    I agree with that, but the old way was no chore – more of an adventure IMO.

    Has all the technology been a big time saver when you factor in all the time fixing all the issues? If you’re like me and are the family and friends computer “trouble shooter” you have spent far too many hours fucking around fixing the never ending hardware and software glitches and crashes. I did ebay with the wife for about 5 years. Couldn’t do that without the computer – had many thousands of sales across the US and Canada and the US postal service kicks ass compared to Canada Post even with the recent cuts. Hell if the internet goes away it won’t be a big deal to me as long as the library is open.

    The thing with the internet is there is much poor quality shit and even more agenda driven dribble and it’s distracting. Sitting quietly with a book is contemplative. The internet is “Bing Boom Bang” look look, look at this and this and that hurry hurry rush rush … cram it in as fast as you can… like information pigs at the trough. When do you get a chance to mull an idea over when it’s a never ending stream?

  5. Apneaman on Mon, 26th Jun 2017 5:10 pm 

    The Mere Presence of Your Smartphone Reduces Brain Power, Study Shows

    “Newswise — AUSTIN, Texas — Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off. That’s the takeaway finding from a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

    McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward and co-authors conducted experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users in an attempt to measure, for the first time, how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even when they’re not using them.”

    http://www.newswise.com/articles/the-mere-presence-of-your-smartphone-reduces-brain-power-study-shows

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