Scott Stoll logo world traveler. A bicycle wheel and the globe symbolizes Scott's journey around the world on a bicycle.

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From the author of the best-selling travel memoir Falling Uphill comes a prophetic dystopian novel.


The Oxygen Apocalypse

What if global warming isn’t the problem, but a symptom of something much worse?

The greatest mass extinctions in Earth’s history were caused by cataclysmic oxygen depletion. Now, it has begun again, this time due to humanity’s rampant industrialization—the burning of fossil fuels and the decimation of the ecosystems that produce oxygen. The oceans are already filled with giant dead zones, while cities and deserts overflow fertile lands.

Breathless takes you into a plausible near-future as humanity crosses the tipping point and the Earth’s atmosphere is destroyed in a global firestorm. A handful of survivors struggle to cooperate before the infrastructure fails, and question whether it is worth saving themselves, much less humanity.

If you like post-apocalyptic classics like On The Beach, Earth Abides and Alas Babylon, Breathless will keep you turning pages to learn the fate of humanity.

Breathless is now a multiple award-winning book!

  • First place award: Literary Sci-Fi.
  • First place: Hard Sci-Fi
  • First place: Dystopian Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi).
  • First place: Best Cover Design (Fiction).
  • Three 5-star Readers’ Favorite professional reviews.

A new genre

Breathless is a whole new genre, the first book to describe how the Earth runs out of oxygen. 

It will leave you feeling surprised, shocked, scared and yet amazed and inspired by humanity’s resilience. 

From the Author

Breathless is my first sci-fi novel, which discusses the opposite side of the coin to global warming — the decrease of oxygen. It has been a labor of love for 16 years. Though the science may be real (the Earth has actually run out of oxygen in the past) and the glimpse into a possible future frightening, the heart of the story is one of inspiration.  ~ Scott Stoll

What people are saying

A photograph of sliced kiwifruit on a while plate

In a testament to Stoll's skill as a writer, he adeptly explains complex environmental science issues in terms suitable for those of us without a clue and keeps the story moving forward with sweeping twists, turns, and shocking revelations. Very highly recommended.

Read the whole review.

A photograph of sliced kiwifruit on a while plate

I loved the ending and how cathartic it was! It felt like a cleansing of sorts, but very emotional at the same time. The world-building was phenomenal and immersive. I loved this novel and the cover as well. I highly recommend this book!

Read the whole review.

A photograph of sliced kiwifruit on a while plate

I was especially impressed by the atmospheric and detailed descriptions of a destroyed world, forcing the characters to confront the harsh realities of environmental degradation and humanity's role in its downfall.

Read the whole review.

If you’d like to help breathe some life into Breathless, please leave an unbiased review on Amazon. Thank you. 

Award-winning cover design

The cover art made me want to read this immediately. An utterly haunting piece of art, perfectly capturing the eerily beautiful story within. 

I’m super surprised! Out of thousands of books, Breathless won a first-place medal for Best Cover Design (Fiction) from the leading non-profit book awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Here is an updated story about how I made the cover and a little bit about the symbolism. You can also the alternate cover that I designed way back in 2012 when I wrote my first draft.

A brief description of how I illustrated the cover of my debut sci-fi novel, Breathless. This cover has a lot of symbolism and Easter Eggs. Can you find any?

Update: I'm proud to announce Breathless is the First-place winner for cover design (fiction).

Author's Note

The science backing the book

I love science, and great science fiction is based on creating a believable world for the reader to step into, preferably a world only one step removed from our own. So, I began my book by doing research — thousands of hours of research. I discovered that not only is life stranger than fiction, it is also more scary. To create some entertaining fear for the reader — don’t we all love to be horrified sometimes — I created a blog series based on my research. You do NOT have to read this to enjoy the book! But if you like science, here ya go.

As mankind burns more and more fuel, we are also burning more and more oxygen. Simultaneously, the Earth's ecosystem is being destroyed. At what point does the Earth reach a tipping point? And, how long before we run out of air to breathe?

Breathless reader's guide

Perfect for your book club

Why not enjoy an evening talking about the end of the world with your friends and a glass of wine!? 

Download this reader’s guide, which includes thought-provoking questions, more information about the book’s story structure, and bonus content. And, check back soon, I’m working on a contest, which includes some of these questions. 

Breathless reader's guide

Order signed books here

Order here and get a signed and stamped book, and a free bookmark and mini bucket list.

More ways to order

  • E-book:
    • Available exclusively on Kindle.
  • Print book:
    • Order books at your favorite local bookstore. I also recommend They donate 100% of the profits back to your favorite local bookstore.
    • Order online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or search for “Breathless: The Oxygen Apocalypse” at your favorite store.
    • Order at your library. It’s free.
  • Audiobook:
    • Coming soon to Spotify, Audible and more.
  • Special Orders: 

Product Details
Author: Scott Stoll

Publisher: The Argonauts
Format: Paperback, eBook, Audiobook. 252 pages.
Age group: 13+
Publication: First edition © 2023-10-31
ISBN: 9780982784297 paperback
ISBN: 9780982784259 ebook
Language: English