Oxygen – Writers Journey Edition
John B. Olson and Randy Ingermanson
Marcher Lord Press
This edition of Oxygen is a combination of a great book on writing as well as a rollicking good story. It opens with Valkerie struggling for breathe as deadly sulfur gas pours out of the volcano where she is taking samples. She goes from there to NASA where she is dumped into another kind of toxic situation. It isn’t all bad though, at least she gets to meet one of her heroes, Bob Kaganovski. Too bad that they seem to get off on the wrong foot.
Bob has his own problems. He is pretty sure that the NASA docs are trying to scrub him from the Mars mission. He can hardly blame them. He seems to be six feet of klutz and even his mechanical skills might not be enough to keep him on this flight.
Both Valkerie and Bob end up on that rocket to Mars, but it isn’t what either one of them expected. For starters, there’s a bomber on board who apparently wants all of them dead. Oxygen is part hard science fiction, part romance and part locked room mystery and it is all fun. This is one of very few books that I had trouble putting down. John and Randy keep the suspense going and have the reader guessing to the end of the book.
That’s only the first part of the book. The real gem for writers is what happens after the story is done and the authors talk about the process of putting the book together from its original idea to the proposal package to final book. They include the full original pitch package so writers can see how they did it. My favourite part of this section is the breakdown of the first two chapters as John and Randy take turns showing not only why they wrote the book this way, but why it works and even what they would change. (No viper bat!)
Even if you aren’t an author I highly recommend this book. The story is fun and intelligent and the extras are worth the effort of reading them.