It has been 75 years since George Orwell’s prescient satirical novel Animal Farm was published. A lot has happened since then: the Space Race; the Cold War; break up of the USSR; climate change; animal liberation; emergence of China as a superpower.
Totalitarianism has been rife, as Orwell warned. The animals are in the midst of these changes, their lives perilously affected by the manoeuvring of their pigs and the superpowers. They learn pidgin English and science, realising climate science is flawed and requiring different action. A satirical sequel continues what Orwell started, bringing it to a logical, unexpected and optimistic conclusion.
Dairy farmers get a price for milk that is held down by oligopsony, agreement between a small number of buyers for their product. For stability of supply, the price has to recompense investment. Oil exporting countries get a price for oil that is held down by oligopsony, agreement between major oil importing companies. For stability of supply, the price has to recompense investment and also anticipate the depletion of petroleum resources with oil supply running out. For example, a higher price could be demanded to fund diversification into agriculture. Oil has varied per barrel between $20 in 1997, $160 in 2008, and $60 today.
Is the ethical position of companies buying oil different from supermarkets buying milk? Who will provide for oil exporters to transition away from oil when it runs out?
Novel ‘$hort of Love’ is about love set in the international oil industry, with some relationship and oil supply dilemmas considered in a satirical commodity framework.
The end of a relationship can bring uncertainty.
Individuals differ in how they respond to it.
Relief, worry about the future, even paralysis through fear of the unknown depends on their ‘tolerance’ for uncertainty.
A ‘vulnerability factor’ contributes most to anxiety disorders, according to Helen Thomson, ’The Agony of Waiting’, New Scientist, 19 October 2019, p43.
In the new satirical fiction novel “Short of Love” by Martin Knox, the central character Tom uses a commodity trading strategy ‘a straddle” to ‘hedge’ his vulnerability to love.
Will this ensure Tom’s tolerance for the uncertainty of love?
Are you offering to trade yourself in a partner market to obtain maximum appreciated value? The fiction novel Short of Love describes a new mind set for traders to avoid pitfalls in a romance.
Tom Archer falls for university student Vicki Hillstone, who tricks him to take a lie detector test and finds out he is bedding town girl Barbara. Vicki is distracting Tom from his studies so he reduces his overall vulnerability to love. He ‘shorts’ Vicki for later but he is devastated when she appears to make out with his best friend Richard.
The women counteract Tom’s love commodity investment with tragic consequences. He follows a glittering career in the petroleum industry while trying to take up with Vicki. After the deception of their beginning, can he and Vicki ever become a couple?
Review by Vesna Mcmaster, author and editor.
‘In ‘Short of Love’, Knox has taken the picaresque genre by the cerebrum, presenting a narrative alternately amusing, shocking, and deeply familiar by turns. The unrelenting pace and clean style combine within a paradoxical whole, both epic and microscopic simultaneously. Add to that an author/reader relationship that defies convention, and you have this curious and memorable work, which will present an entertaining challenge to the end.’