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

Breathless:

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.

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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

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!

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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.

Highly entertaining and full of more science fact than science fiction.

I had the distinct honor of reading an early version of this book. It is curious, compelling and an utterly terrifying take on dystopian/apocalypse fiction where life as we know it ends not with a bang, but a choked gasp for air. , author of Heart Master

I enjoyed it a lot! I found the premise intriguing and the action engaging.

I usually shy away from post-Apocalyptic stories. I have read so many. But this one is original, backed by real science, filled with honest characters, and leaves you feeling all is not lost. I highly recommend this novel.

The author is combining historical fiction, science fiction and more to make the scientific fact come to life with meaning.  IDK what to call it. Maybe it is something new?  It’s really good.

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

Alternate cover

This was the original cover that I designed in 2012. It’s now the half-title page.

I still really like this image, and you’ll see that I used the old jalopy and the oxygen tank in the new cover. However, the main image is a stock photograph that I purchased. Even though I added a lot to this image, I decided that I’d rather use a completely original image. Besides, I didn’t feel the tone of this image was quite right.

The new cover (above) is a combination of dozens of images and a lot of painstaking Photoshop work and five other programs to get it just right. I love this version because the symbolism adds another level of meaning to the book. My favorite detail is the constellation Orion. And if you look closely, you can see the jar is in a very unusual place. Can you guess where?

Breathless the Oxygen Apocalypse by Scott Stoll Alternate cover

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?