A brief bibliography for the new series:
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.
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
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.
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.