Thursday, April 30, 2009

Win a FREE copy of Hubbert's Peak!

Register to become a member at and you will automatically be entered for the chance to win a free copy of JJ Ritonya's new novel, Hubbert's Peak.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hubbert's Peak Complete!

Hubbert's Peak in now complete! The editing process has begun which can take a three to four weeks. Once edited, the layout process can take a week or less. Then, publishing! I am tentatively hoping for a mid April release. Check back for updates.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hubbert's Peak Sneak Peek

Check out a sneak peak chapter from the new novel by JJ Ritonya, Hubbert's Peak.
Click here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hubbert's Peak

Hubbert's Peak is coming along...stay tuned for the release of a few teasers from the novel.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hubbert's Peak: Prologue


By the year 2020, the United States was able produce 10 million barrels of oil each day in country. To sustain its economy, it had to import an additional 15 million barrels consuming 25 million barrels a day. This means that the United States consumed two thirds of the oil the world was able to produce.

Commuting from suburbia to the city for work and school is commonplace. Fruit and vegetables are trucked from farms hundreds of miles away to local grocery stores. Large sport utility vehicles make up over one third of the new vehicle market in the United States. Not only do sport utility vehicles generate higher volumes of pollution, they also typically get seven miles per gallon less than standard size vehicles.

The American way of life means you go where you want, when you want, no matter how far away the destination. This is our definition of “freedom.” Travel is taken for granted be it a thirty minute commute or a three day road trip. Do other cultures even know what the term “road trip” means? I’m guessing not.

When the oil produced domestically in the United States ran out in 2023, the government needed to start importing an additional 10 million barrels each day to sustain the existing economy. This was over three fourths of the oil that the world was able to produce daily. Prices rose dramatically but because of our military power and wealth the United States was still in a position to call the shots.

It started off with a bidding war which of course the United States was easily able to win. We had the most money so we got the oil. Soon, gas prices became so high that U.S. citizens couldn’t even afford to pay them. Most middle to lower class households were actually losing money by driving to work. People literally could not afford to drive.

Public transportation shut down. The fuel needed to power buses and trains cost more than people could afford to pay. The majority of people who used this type of transportation were of the middle to lower classes and could not afford the price increases.

Alternate forms of transportation sprung to the forefront. Carpooling was very popular with people who worked and lived in close proximity to one another. Because of their excellent gas mileage, motorcycles were a very hot item. People rode bicycles and others walked.

When prices topped the twelve dollar per gallon mark, the public outrage forced the hand of the government. War on a global scale soon followed.

In 2026 the United States invaded Iraq and Saudi Arabia on the premise that our freedom was being threatened. The President gave stirring speeches about how the Middle East was holding us hostage and we could not let them dictate our way of life.

This worked for awhile. We took over the last remaining countries that had oil reserves in the name of freedom. Sure there were “terrorist attacks” and “insurgents” who would ambush and kill our troops. These losses were acceptable to retain the American way of life.

Things got better for awhile. Gas prices were slightly reduced and things went back to normal. The great machine known as the American way of life marched on. No one foresaw the horrific events which would soon follow. We should have had the foresight to see what was coming but we were blindfolded by the Stars and Stripes.

By consuming almost all of the globe’s daily oil production, the United States was making many enemies. By this time the top five oil importing countries in order were the United States, Japan, China, Germany and South Korea. By controlling the Earth’s oil supply, we were strangling the economies of other nations. Civil war was breaking out in China. Russia simply closed its borders. Threats towards the United States were coming from Japan and South Korea. Talk and rumors of these countries becoming allies in a war against the United States was abundant. The thought of this sounds ridiculous until you remember the adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

When the U.S. refused to give up its stranglehold on the last remaining oil producing countries, war broke out. Japan and South Korea were the first to attack. There was not enough fuel left to power the immense needs of an air force. Japan moved its forces to the mainland and started a massive ground movement to transport its troops into the Middle East. Thousands died on the journey. The massive army scavenged what they could use for fuel and took food and water from the natives. Many more died in the one sided battles which took place in the Chinese towns and villages.

South Korea took the opposite approach. They pooled their dwindling fuel supply and used it towards their navy. They packed their ships with troops and stopped in ports along the way to gather fuel and other needed supplies. The massive convoy made stops in Manila, Singapore and Colombo before finally reaching their destination in Bahrain.

With the Japanese attacking from the north, the South Koreans pushing from the south and the insurgents already mixed in with the local population, what was left of the U.S. forces stood little chance. They were able to hold out for a little over a year but soon the inevitable happened. After holding the zone for almost five years, what remained of the U.S. military was forced to pull out. This left the Japanese and South Korean forces to fight over the remaining “hot zones” for the next two years. The zones changed hands many times over those months. Many people died. It is estimated that two thirds of the casualties inflicted by this war occurred between 2030 and 2033, the last three years of the war.

In March of 2033, the last of the “hot zones” dried up. There was no more oil to be siphoned out of the Earth. The enemies which fought such bitter battles to hold these precious pieces of land were no longer foes. The fighting lasted for a few more months, only because the soldiers knew no other way. When all sides realized there was nothing left there worth fighting for, they all laid down their weapons and went home.

Close to one and a half million U.S. soldiers died in the five years it held the “the zone”. That is over 800 soldiers a day who were killed in battle. Most likely, many of these soldiers died of heat exhaustion, starvation or just deserted and died of other causes.

The U.S. had no choice but to pull out when it did or risk the slaughter of its entire ground force in “the zone”. The soldiers returned to American soil only to find that things weren’t much better back home.

First the airlines and trucking industries went out of business. Any type of travel was out of the question. There was no mail or deliveries of any kind. There were no more vacations. No more imports or exports. We were on our own. Farmers became some of the most important and powerful people in the country. There were bidding wars between cities on who would receive this years’ crop. People moved en masse to the farm belt in the Midwest. This was where the food was and without fuel there was no way to get it to the east or west coasts.

What happened next depends on your point of view. The dictionary defines civil war as: A war between factions in the same country. This war had hundreds of factions. The government tried to keep control but that lasted only a few years. The Oil War had depleted most of our troops. The remaining enlisted men who came back were drained by the long war and wanted only to take care of their own families. Morale was very low and before long any form of national government was virtually non-existent.

Cities fought cities. Town fought towns. It was survival of the fittest. When it comes down to it, people need three basic elements to survive. Food, water and shelter.

It was estimated that the Oil War killed over 75 million people making it the deadliest war ever when you include the famine and disease the war caused. Starvation and civil war killed many hundreds of thousands more in the United States. With the population being thinned out so much, shelter was not a problem for most people. There was plenty of newspaper, furniture and wood to burn for heat. What was in short supply? Food and water.

While I am sure the same thing was happening in other countries, there is no way to know. Communications with other parts of the world became non-existent. What I do remember was the fighting and killing in the name of feeding your own family or faction.

The United States was no longer united. Cities and regions were banding together to stay alive. It was somewhat like the medieval times when people would flock to the forts of lords and nobles for protection from the rebels. Washington had one of the strongest factions and was in alliance with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Their main threat in the area was New York City which was in alliance with Boston. Other factions included Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago in the mid-west. In the west there was Phoenix, Los Angeles and Sacramento. In the south, Texas was pretty much its own faction. Sure there were other groups that stood together for awhile but none that lasted as long or killed as many people as the ones mentioned here. Small town America no longer existed. They were being swallowed up by the larger city factions. If the residents of a town refused to join, they were killed and all their supplies were taken.

When push came to shove and food and water ran low, even the most powerful factions dissolved. Soon New York was at war with Boston. Washington was at war with Philadelphia. All loyalties were dissolved when it came to putting food on your own table. The last faction known to exist was Chicago. I don’t know if it was because it was the strongest or if it was the location. I’m sure being on the lake had to allow for a bounty of food from fishing. As far as I know, there are still civilizations out there. Communication within the U.S. does not exist. Word of mouth is all there is.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hubbert's Peak: Synopsis


For such a funny and tiny word, it held so much power. It made millionaires out of some people while it starved others. It started and ended wars. It even made some countries rich while it held others hostage. When it was gone, civilization dried up with it.

We thought the oil crisis of the nineteen eighties was bad. Compared to this it was a minor inconvenience. The last two countries on Earth to have derricks producing oil were Iraq and Saudi Arabia. These two countries became the hottest properties on Earth. Millions of people died trying to hold these zones against numerous enemies. All of this occurred so someone could control the market on a gooey, sticky, black substance that took millions of years to create.