Oxygen Wars, the Novel

Check out my novel, OXYGEN WARS, available from all online book retailers, paperback and ebook.

War has finally become corporate —

There is a significant difference between waging a war and winning a war. Technology will make the former an automated function while the latter will remain the responsibility of humans. Automation will make it easier for corporations to direct their will throughout the universe while the price, as usual, will be paid by the pitiful foot soldier.


Faraway in a distant future, a desolate dirt planet is home to thousands of human clone soldiers fighting an endless war in fully-mechanized, armored atmosphere suits. Damage sustained to one soldier’s communication system during battle renders him invisible to his comrades. Unrecognizable without his communication chip, Angus is on his own.

Left to his own devices, Angus wanders the planet in search of some direction.


Injured during battle, Monica is found by Angus buried under debris. Alienated from their fellow soldiers, they are free for the first time in their lives to question the relentless automation that has driven them. As they learn the truth behind the war and their forsaken world, their dormant humanity finally awakens.

The Screenplay

Oxygen Wars is an idea that first took form as a screenplay with the collaboration of my friend and frequent writing partner Daniel Merritt. We had this idea way back in high school. As time goes by, this concept gathers more and more pertinence, particularly as the world becomes more aware of the privatization of security and military forces.

Absent the control from the main computer running the war, Angus’ dormant humanity emerges as he slowly acknowledges the hostile beauty around him.


The novel was originally published through Heliographica Press, when I was part of that startup. The following reviews are from the Amazon page for the first edition.

“Melton Cartes’ Oxygen Wars has all the earmarks of a classic. Mr. Cartes has been able to combine the human emotions of wonder and the search for peace with the all too prevalent human lust for war in a way that can be understood by every generation. Though Oxygen Wars is set in a time that is centuries in our future, then as now, war rages on. And although Cartes’ warriors are genetically created, the soul of man is with them. This is a sleeper that will wake your heart and imagination. It is a must read for science fiction buffs and also those of us who enjoy reading of the triumph of the human spirit.”

— Jeanne M. Evans

“Angus 7873 begins simply as another soldier in another war in another place. The author does a masterful job in transforming this human clone soldier into a quite believable character. I read few science fiction books because I often get lost in the details of the numerous gadgets, plot twists and similar matters that are possible with that genre. Oxygen Wars, however, has a crisp plot, few characters and was a good three sitting read for me.”

— D. R. Smith

“…the strength of this book is in the themes the author has selected. Specifically, rather than going with the typical good v. evil plotline so common in science fiction, the author chose to explore something much deeper: are we objective thinkers or merely doing as we’re told; do we live to work or work to live; the power of questioning society to assert our personal freedom. Although there’s plenty of combat and action in the book, it’s these solid themes that the average person will relate to.”

— M. Rozmarin