Thursday, September 16, 2021

Guess what just came out?


Funny story on the title: The working title was Like Blood for Oil, because one of the what-ifs that started my brain coming up for the story was "What if oil really was scarce enough that large countries would go to war over the ability to control a new field?"

You can't get that here on earth, but you definitely can when you're terraforming a new world. And I had a new world that already had resource issues thanks to a rushed terraforming, just waiting to be explored a little more...

Calmer Half objected to the working title, and I understand: there are a lot of people who are quite bitter about the idiocy of the slogan it was gently mocking. Rather than annoy potential readers, I changed it. 

But I changed it to Blood, Oil, and Love. There's a comma after Oil, darnit. 

So where did it go? Well, living with Calmer Half means that a lot of his Britishisms work their way into my speech. Writing an Empire based on 1800's Britain doesn't help. When I'm tired, I spell phonetically, and a lot of extra u's creep into words like colour and honour, and spellcheck most emphatically does not like that. So Calmer Half cleans it up in copyedit and "Americanizes" the manuscript. (This cuts down on the number of people complaining about my spelling to Amazon.) So, he took out the second comma because "It's Oxford, not American."

I happen to be a believer in the Oxford comma. I was long before I met him!

I already paid for the art with the comma, but he uploaded the book. Publisher wins!

Unless I can't stand it and re-upload with a title changed by one comma in the middle of the night. 

In the meantime, have a crispy hot edge of a cold war, and eco-terrorists too indoctrinated to think about the stupidity of being anti-terraforming. Have a geophysicist who's in over her head, and a Recon who's finally caught the perfect woman, and is now wondering how the hell you keep one once you finally catch 'em. And a fairy God-Gunny Sgt, who would never be caught doing something as silly as waving a wand. Nah, he just knows a guy who knows a guy...

For your reading pleasure: Blood, Oil, and Love 


  1. I want a copy...and I adore the Oxford comma.

  2. Got it! Thanks, know what I'm reading on my next day off.

  3. I have been waiting so impatiently for this book to finally come out, that I read through it in one sitting last night, and am halfway through a second read through today. As an AD spouse (not SF) I love how you show the full spectrum picture of life, including the impact on families and wives. This is something that I feel has really been missing from the genre for a while, and it's so good to finally read a story with it!
    I do agree that AJ needs his own story, and can't wait to read that! When does it come out?

  4. Got it! And I've always used the Oxford comma; also complain bitterly when others don't. My mom was an Anglophile, and my first book was her high school book of English Lit.

  5. I just got the two in the series, then thought I'd get the preceeding two. My Kindle Carousel is nicely full again.

  6. It's good! :-) Of course I knew that... ;-)

  7. On my fourth time through....

  8. Picked it up, read it, and enjoyed it!

    Single typo note: there is a missing space at the end of chapter 29. 'Shesettled down...'

    Is it just me, or is this the same world as in Scaling the Rim, with the Rus having become the Imperium? (And then same setting, different world, for your second book?)

    1. There's an Easter egg hidden in the next book, just for you and the two other people who asked that.

      *runs off giggling*

    2. I've been thinking about this for a week. I'm laying bets on red hair or a trip To Doggerland Lake.


    3. I also noticed 'shards' as an expletive, so it's further suggestive evidence.

  9. Loving it. Had to put it down very reluctantly last night. Will be finishing tonight. I have not read something that I have not wanted to put down in a while. Thank you.

  10. Reading again for the second time. Love your writing!

  11. I almost never comment on line, but I want to comment here. I have read all of your books, and liked every one of them. I like your style of "tactical romance," as Peter called it in his blog.

    My wife has read most, if not all, of your books, and seems to enjoy them also. By the way, both of us read a great deal of British writing, so honour seems quite correct.

    Thank you.