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Petrogypsies by Rory Harper

by Rory Harper

This critically-acclaimed science fiction novel is set in an alternate universe in which organic, semi-sentient, alien-engineered oilfield drilling rigs roam the plains of Texas and the Southwest in search of petroleum.
Petrogypsies is the first in Harper’s series about the great drilling beast, Sprocket, his best friend, former farmer Henry Lee MacFarland, and the rowdy, musical crew of “petrogypsies” who travel with them in their quest for fortune, romance, and adventure.

List Price: $15.95
Direct to Reader Discount: $14.95
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819866-1-6
DarkStar Books-Fall 2009
–Click to Order Direct from DarkStar–

– cover painting by Hugo Award winning artist Brad Foster –
– cover design and interior illustrations by Jason Carranza –

For Sprocket and Henry Lee,
it was love at first blow-out …

Henry Lee MacFarland is a big ugly man, a farmer who is so strong that he has to be gentle, whether he’s dealing with livestock or with normal people.
Sprocket is a hundred and twelve feet of healthy young male Driller, dark as a moonless night, with a spiked tongue that can bore four miles into the earth in his relentless quest for the thing he loves best–Texas heavy crude oil.
Doc, Razer, Big Mac, and the others in Sprocket’s crew are the roughest, rowdiest bunch in the oilpatch. They live inside of Sprocket’s body and travel like gypsies from one drilling job to another. They work like animals. Party like ’em, too.
Then there’s Star, the stunning Casing gypsy who has a hankering for fine cigars, a killer instinct at poker, and a taste for big, ugly, strong men.
Looking for adventure, Henry Lee leaves the farm behind and signs on with Sprocket’s crew.
He gets a helluva lot more “adventure”–as in monsters, mayhem, and murder–than he bargained for.

NQex  Click to read an excerpt from Petrogypsies

NQex  Click to listen to an audio excerpt from Petrogypsies read by Rory Harper



Reviews and Links:

Locus  Locus Magazine
“Rory Harper’s sensibility is warm, earthy, whimsical, cleverly off-center, and, when he wants it to be, bawdy as all get out … Petrogypsies is a blue-collar, red-neck world where folks sweat and love and work and get hurt … Petrogypsies has got to be one of the most auspicious debuts of the year.”

Falkeep  A review by Falkeep
“The people who don’t know Texas … will still find a lot to enjoy and laugh about, right down to the cover by another of our Texas treasures, multiple Hugo award winner Brad Foster. The people, who DO know, will quickly and proudly put it on their special bookcase … that one that is anchored with Lone Star Universe. The setting of the world of the Petrogypsies is one in which, in the American deserts of the 1840s, remarkable and possibly alien creatures were discovered. They are probably bio-tech; in fact, I wonder how one of them would stand up against Alien. These creatures are specifically designed as oilfield equipment … drillers, casers, cementers, etc. and, as they were discovered before the oil boom in America. Thus, oilfield life developed as a life one of specially trained and skilled migrant workers, oil field gypsies specializing in the work of their particular creature. I can’t imagine any other writer putting it down and saying to himself ‘Damn, *I* was working on an idea like that.'”


Play Zombie Tunes by Rory Harper
from Downloads:

FZB  Fast Zombie Blues

NE  Nothing Else Better To Do


Available in book stores everywhere and online at   Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble   Borders Borders   Books A Million Books A Million   Powell's books Powell’s Books   Hastings Hastings
and many others.


P.N. Elrod has sold more than 25 novels and as many short stories to various publishers since 1988. She is best known for her on-going urban fantasy series, The Vampire Files, featuring wisecracking undead PI Jack Fleming. Jonathan Barrett was introduced in book three, Bloodcircle, and Elrod always intended to give him his own series to explain his origins. The four novels she’s expanded for our DarkStar omnibus version of Jonathan Barrett – Gentleman Vampire are the result.
In the mid-90s she co-wrote the Richard Dun, Vampire books with actor/director Nigel Bennett, who played the fascinating but evil vampire Lucien LaCroix on TV’s “Forever Knight.” In 1998, she won the Lord Ruthven Award for Best Novel with A Chill in the Blood. She’s edited several award-winning anthologies in the paranormal and urban fantasy genres: My Big, Fat Supernatural Wedding – Pearl Award for Best Anthology, 2006; My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon – Pearl Award, Honorable Mention 2007 Strange Brew– Pearl Award, Honorable Mention, 2009
In 2011 P.N. was awarded with the prestigious Pioneer Achievement in Vampire Fiction from RT Book Reviews Magazine.
More about her toothy titles may be found at:

Robert Lynn Asprin was born in 1946. While he’s written some stand-alone novels such as Cold Cash War, Tambu, and The Bug Wars, and also the Duncan and Mallory illustrated stories, Bob is best known for his series fantasy, such as the Mythadventures of Aahz and Skeeve, the Phule novels, and, more recently, the Time Scout novels written with Linda Evans. He also edited the groundbreaking Thieves World anthology series with Lynn Abbey. His most recent collaborations include Class Dis-Mythed and Myth Told Tales, both written with Jody Lynn Nye.
Upon his return to his beloved New Orleans French Quarter after Hurricane Katrina, Bob began work on the second book in a new series about a young man who finds out he is a not only a great poker player, but also a Dragon. The first book in the series, Dragon’s Wild, was released by Penguin Putnam Publishing in Spring 2008.
Early in May of 2008, Bob contracted with DarkStar Books to publish NO Quarter, a novel of revenge and suspense set in the French Quarter, written in collaboration with Eric Del Carlo and Teresa Patterson. Shortly after that, Bob went to sleep while resting and reading a Terry Pratchett novel, a sleep from which he did not awaken. His passing is mourned by his many fans and friends. DarkStar Books was honored to publish NO Quarter in Fall 2009.

Stephen Banister was turned on to writing by his high school English teacher, who not only allowed him to write his term paper on the women of James Bond but loaned him all of her Ian Fleming books as a reference. He didn’t start writing seriously until about twenty years ago when he sold his insurance business and took a year off to write the Great American Novel … a six-hundred-page cold-war story which pitted the USA against the USSR, and which was set in San Antonio, Texas. Shortly afterward, Mr. Gorbacheve followed Mr. Regan’s suggestion and tore down the wall, and Stephen’s dream of publication along with it.
For the next ten years, he followed pretty much the same pattern. While he again day-lighted in the insurance industry, he spit out a novel manuscript from January through April, he golfed from May through August, and he followed college football from September through December, and then he started the cycle over. Thus he produced eleven manuscripts, two of which, The Devil’s Due and The St. Charles House, have been published in limited editions. The latter novel introduced a loveable yet wise-ass character by the name of Emerson “Tuck” Tucker. DarkStar Books brought The St. Charles House to a wider audience in Fall 2009 and continued Tuck’s adventures with the second book in the series, Cerveza, Texas, In January 2012. Steve is working on the next Tuck and Pig Dog adventure, Driskill’s Alley.

“Some have to seek adventure.
Others have no choice … “

Darlene D. Bolesny has lived overseas, worked as a firefighter/EMT, raced motorcycles, shot tournament pool, and plays with swords. With such a life, it seemed that fate was grooming her to write fantasy action adventure ­ then she moved to the French Quarter of New Orleans. Her life there turned out to be as full of adventure as her writing.
DarkStar Books published Morticai’s Luck, the first novel in her Duanor Series, in Fall 2009.

Eric Del Carlo has been selling his short fantasy, science fiction and horror for many years. A Californian by birth, he has returned to his home state after being chased out of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Before that ominous evacuation, however, he was fortunate enough to collaborate on a pair of non-humorous fantasy novels, the Wartorn books with his onetime French Quarter neighbor, Robert Asprin. NO Quarter is also a product of his work with Bob Asprin. Eric is an ardent film buff, crossword puzzle enthusiast, and unfailingly attends BayCon every year.
His most recent solo work, some rollicking s-f and fantasy, is available through e-publishers Loose Id.

Rory Harper is a fragile, elderly Texas writer who no longer drives a car. That’s because his Shadow 750 ACE motorcycle gets amazing gas mileage, will go faster than most cars, and is also a babe magnet.
A deeply religious man, he regularly worships at the altar of the sainted Leo Fender. He possesses half a dozen of St. Fender’s sacred relics. Along with Bradley Denton, Steve Gould, Martha Wells, and almost every other Texas writer, he played in the semi-legendary Los Blues Guys blues-rock band, which consistently damaged the hearing of fans at numberless science-fiction conventions during the Nineties. He currently plays lead guitar in the not-yet-semi-legendary Two-Headed Baby blues-rock band.
He’s had stories published in half of the s-f magazines in existence. Along with other writers more famous than he is, he currently contributes cranky essays, music (which can be freely downloaded), and flash fiction to the semi-legendary group blog at Eat Our Brains. As is readily deduced from the blog’s name, he is a zombie freak. He plans to film the music video for his recent song, “Fast Zombie Blues.”
Rory is the author of Petrogypsies, published by DarkStar in Fall 2009, and is working on two sequels, Sprocket Goes International and Sprocket Goes Interstellar. He’s halfway through writing the first sequel, also to be published by DarkStar. Unless it’s awful.
He owns two cats, but isn’t gushy about it. He has two tattoos, which he will show you on request. The first one was done by his only known daughter, Rachael, and it’s really cool.

Teresa Patterson discovered science fiction while in junior high school, and began editing a fan-fiction magazine called Vulstar, while in high school. She has gone on to write a number of short stories for anthologies such as Dragon’s Eye, edited by Christopher Stasheff, and Time of the Vampires, edited by P.N. Elrod, as well as numerous nonfiction articles.
With Robert Jordan she wrote The World of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, an illustrated guide to that series that made the genre hardcover bestseller lists for several publications. That was followed by a collaboration with best selling author Terry Brooks and illustrator David Cherry titled The World of Shannara, as well as a ghost-written true-life military adventure memoire, and a series of humorous historical essays in You Said What? and But it Looked Good On Paper, both edited by Bill Fawcett. She has recently completed work on an updated version of The World of Shannara. Her latest work is her collaboration with Bob Asprin and Eric Del Carlo on NO Quarter.
In 2004 she was awarded the Chesley Award by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists for service to artists. She served two terms as President of ASFA, an organization dedicated to promoting and educating artists and collectors.
When not writing she works as a balloon sculptor and show horse trainer. In the past she has also worked as a movie extra and managed a jousting and horseback combat show at a local renaissance fair. Her other interests include scuba diving, Tai Chi, medieval re-enactment, archery, and being a mom to an ever growing number of cats and raccoons.
She currently lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas.


The official site for Myth-Information regarding your favorite humorous fantasy series, Myth Adventures, featuring Skeeve, wanna-be magician, and his scaley mentor, Aahz, created by NO Quarter author Robert Lynn Asprin, and written by Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye.
Event Horizon EBooks  is our ebook-specific sister imprint. EHE specializes in backlist fiction, particularly in science fiction and fantasy. Using a combination of new processes and the latest technology, EHE produces high-quality ebooks that have the look and ease of use of printed books. EHE is reprinting classics and favorites by authors such as David Drake, Christopher Stasheff, Katerine Kurtz, Patricia Anthony and many others.

Eric Del Carlo:  The home page of the co-author of NO Quarter

b>Crescent Blues E-Zine:  An interview with Robert Asprin and Eric Del Carlo about their collaboration on NO Quarter

Darlene Bolesny:  The home page for the author of Morticai’s Luck and the Duanor series

Eat Our Brains:  The semi-legendary writer’s blog created by Petrogypsies author Rory Harper and others

SmithArt:  The art and animation of Nathan Smith, our cover artist for NO Quarter and Stephen Banister’s The St. Charles House.

Jabberwocky Graphix:  The art of Brad Foster, our cover artist for Rory Harper’s Petrogypsies.

Moonshines  The Fantasy Art of Veronica V. Jones, our cover artist for Darlene Bolesny’s Morticai’s Luck

The Latin Translator:   It’s the voice of Quintus you hear when you play DarkStar’s motto.

Vampwriter:  The home page of our good friend P.N. Elrod, the creator of Jack Fleming, the good-guy vampire detective in 1930s Chicago, and of Jonathan Barrett – Gentleman Vampire, the four-novel ebook omnibus from DarkStar. Also check out P.N. Elrod’s special edition of the Jack Fleming story, The Devil You Know, a signed, limited edition novela available only through the author’s website. Produced and printed for the author by DarkStar Books and our associates at Britton & Knowles Publishing Group.


DarkStar Books is a publisher of quality, entertaining genre literature: science fiction and fantasy, suspense and mystery, action-adventure and historical fiction. We’re also developing an in-house gaming system for role-playing games.

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