Hi MJP, I'm actually using a very similar technique to the one in your book. Do you know of an efficient way to sort all those particles? I might be able to use a different render mode than standard alpha blending as C0lumbo suggested, these particles are representational more than realistic.
If you will be using append / consume buffers, then it is probably not going to be very easy to keep a maintained sorted list. You would be better off with a structured buffer that you maintained sorted order in, or using a round robin approach on the structured buffer to let you keep the particles in roughly correct order.