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Westward Through Texas: Pumpjacks, Flare Stacks and Turbines

On September 5th, in 1836, Sam Houston was elected as the first President of the Republic of Texas. Texas is one of the few states in the U.S. that was a sovereign country before it became a state. Texas, of course, was the biggest.

The latest issue of our ezine features a science fiction story about a young girl named Cre who lives in an oil field with her father. This story was actually inspired by a family road trip across Texas.

As we drove west, leaving Dallas far behind us, we began to encounter wind turbines. Row upon row of huge white towers, each with a slowly turning set of blades, stretched across the flat landscape.

Not long after seeing the wind turbines we arrived in the oil fields. As far as we could in every direction were pumpjacks, raising and dropping their huge horse heads endlessly.

We were expecting to see them, but the flare stacks, with their long streams of fire, were a surprise.

As we drove through the desert scenery, surrounded by flare stacks and oil wells, I felt as if I were glimpsing an alien world. I wished that I could see the place by night, but we were already far from the oil fields when darkness came.

In Night Raid On the Zone, I drew on those memories of Texas to create Cre’s world, deliberately placing most of the action – and the battle – at night to take advantage of the weirdness of an oil field in the dark.

Sam, the talking lizard, came pattering into the story all by himself. I’m really not sure where he came from; I suppose desert animals seemed natural.

If you haven’t met Cre, Sam, and the others from Night Raid on the Zone, please take a moment to check out the latest issue of our ezine.


1 Comment

Katie Hanna
Katie Hanna
Sep 05, 2020

I loved Raid on the Zone so, so much. Such a vivid atmosphere! Your observation of real-life scenery comes through very clearly.

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