Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

Most Recent Posts

  • World Building
    When we sit down to write a novel, we start with a blank page. The world we create can take any shape we like. It doesn’t need to have our rules. It doesn’t need to have our history. The only constraint is our lack of imagination. Oh, but what a constraint this is. Our imaginations aren’t very good at conjuring up worlds dissimilar to the ones we know. When we create new lifeforms, they tend to look and act pretty much like us. When we predict the future, we tend…
  • Sincerity and Song
    Do you remember the first time you went outside in the blackness of night? The first time you walked away from all light and felt darkness surround you, wrapping itself across your shoulders like a blanket of shadow? I was seven or eight years old before I ventured into the deep black. It was different than the darkness of unlit rooms in our house at night, which gave me creeps enough. It was far more palpable than my closet and my under-the-bed, where I knew terrible things lived. This was…
  • Changing the World
    Zoom out with your mind for a moment and picture planet Earth from a distance. Note the clusters of light at major cities on the night side. Picture the airplanes and container ships slowly creeping vast distances. Cars like ants along their sugar highways. Everyone jostling and bustling and hustling. When I do this, I see humanity mostly obsessed with pulling ores out of the ground and piling them up to make cities. If you were trying to make sense of an ant colony, you would see them doing the…
  • Following the Math
    Before we talk about numbers, let’s talk about empathy. Death sucks. It’s probably the number one worst thing about living. Otherwise, living is mostly great. But death kinda mucks it up in the end. Over 4,000 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s more than died in the US during the 9/11 attacks. It’s painful when large numbers of people die from something new and seemingly sudden. That’s happening right now. My heart hurts for every one of those who will pass away or suffer. Even if it was…
  • All the Stories We Tell
    I can’t stop thinking about the science-fiction post-apocalyptic nightmare we’d be living in right now if the regular flu didn’t exist until December of 2019 and it suddenly appeared and started spreading in the age of the internet. 32 million Americans have gotten the flu this year so far. 310,000 needed hospitalization. 18,000 have died. This year. Imagine if this were a new thing or being reported with every single case. We’d be locked up in our homes eating our shoes by now. COVID-19 has a very good chance of…

Silo

Humanity clings to survival in the Silo, a subterranean city extending one hundred forty-four stories beneath the surface. The series initially follows the character of Holston, the sheriff of the Silo, with subsequent volumes focusing on the characters of Juliette, Jahns, and Marnes. An ongoing storyline of the series is the focus on the mystery behind the Silo and the secrets it holds.

Popular Posts

  • El Dorado and the Meaning of Life
    What would happen if all the agnostics, skeptics, and atheists out there were open and vocal about their secular lives? Would would happen if the vast majority of people admitted that their sense of morality came from internal and communal reasoning rather than from a religious text? My best guess is that we’d recognize the United States as not very different from parts of the Middle East. A religious war would break out. We saw what people did to America’s #1 sport just because players wouldn’t kneel to a flag…
  • Writing Insights Part One: Becoming a Writer
    I started writing my first novel when I was twelve years old. I was thirty-three when I completed my first rough draft. That’s twenty years of wanting to do something and not knowing how. Twenty years of failure and frustrations and giving up. A big part of the problem is that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know which questions to ask, much less who might have the answers. These days, people write to me as if I know what I’m doing. Or like I have a…
  • The Five Tibetans
    They are known as the Five Tibetan Rites, a handful of simple exercises that can be performed in less than ten minutes. How old the rites are and where they originated is up for debate. Some say they are over 2,000 years old. What is beyond doubt is their efficacy. If you do these every day, you will see results in a week. You will see profound differences in a month. Practitioners claim that these exercises will keep you young, and I’m a believer. They fixed a nagging shoulder injury, and my back has…
  • MASSIVE SPOILERS!
      We had a Q&A session at a Boston event last weekend, and a reader wanted to know if they could ask questions about DUST. Most of the audience had only read WOOL, so I suggested we do something online at a later date. And then yesterday, I received an email from a reader with a load of questions, and after firing off my responses, I thought they would make a good launching point to really dive into the trilogy. I have blogged about this before, but I should say…
  • My Advice to Aspiring Authors
    Yes, that’s an ambitious title for a blog post. It might even be seen as egotistical (it feels egotistical to me). But I recently did an anniversary AMA on Reddit, and this question came up over and over again: “What advice would you give an author just starting out?” It was too big of a question to answer during the AMA (over 700 comments!), so I promised a blog post. I’ll start by knocking the ego right out of the lungs of this thing and say that what works for…

The Bern Saga

When Molly gets kicked out of the Naval Academy, a dull future seems to await, until a marvelous discovery changes everything. A tale of a teenager from the 25th century who is repeatedly told that girls can’t do certain things — and then does them anyway.

Writing Resources

  • Open for Submissions: Part 1
    Here’s the first part of this series. Like I warned before, this is not going to appeal to a wide swath of people. It’s an hour of talking about writing, which is only slightly more exciting than talking about talking. Thanks to everyone who tuned in live. Sorry I didn’t get to all your comments as they were coming in. I realized pretty quickly that I could spend the entire time just talking with you all and answering your questions. We’ll do that some time in the future, I promise.…
  • Happy New Year
    I’m sitting here in Tasmania, on the other side of the world from the small farming town in which I grew up, reflecting on the wild adventure my life has become. This past year was one of the best of my life, even as it contained some of the most difficult things I’ve ever wrestled with. My father is bravely battling cancer. The country I love is taking what I feel to be massive steps backwards. I’ve spent many a dark hour thinking about what’s slowly slipping away. But I…
  • What a Book is Worth
    There is something otherworldly about a book, something absolutely magical. This one simple container is somehow full of unlimited potential — you never know what awaits inside. What will you learn? What world will you be transported into? Whose life will you inhabit? Nonfiction books teach us new facts, but the real magic is fiction. Here, we zip another’s skin over our own bones and suddenly see through their eyes, learn what it feels like to be someone other than ourselves. Fiction imparts the gift of empathy. It’s also a…
  • Writing Insights Part Four: Publishing Your Book
    You’ve decided you want to be a writer. You’ve banged out a rough draft. After a dozen passes, you’re starting to think any more edits will mar its perfection. Now what? Welcome to my fourth and final(?) part of this series on writing insights, where I go over all the things I wish I’d known about publishing a book before I became a writer. Before I begin, it bears mentioning that I’ve written more on this topic than any other. My blog is one long history of writing about publishing,…
  • Writing Insights Part Three: The Revision Process
    Welcome to the third entry in my four-part series on writing insights. In the first part of this series, I listed the things I wish I’d known before aspiring to become a writer. The second entry was all about how to get through the rough draft. Now I’d like to discuss how to improve your rough draft to get it ready for publication. Many of the points in this section deal with the craft of writing. You may wonder why these are brought up after a rough draft is complete.…

Wayfinding

Wayfinding is the ancient seafaring art of navigating according to the natural signs. As a self-help philosophy, Wayfinding means being aware of our environment and our responses to outside stimuli. It also means learning about the environment for which we evolved, and how it differs from the environment in which we live. Wayfinding is not a destination. It is a neverending journey. It doesn’t have to be yours; it is simply a description of the path that I am on, with all my bumbling and lack of expertise on full display.

I’m the author of WOOL, a top 5 science fiction book on Amazon. I also wrote the Molly Fyde saga, a tale of a teenager from the 25th century who is repeatedly told that girls can’t do certain things — and then does them anyway.

A theme in my books is the celebration of overcoming odds and of not allowing the cruelty of the universe to change who you are in the process. Most of them are classified as science fiction, since they often take place in the future, but if you love great stories and memorable characters, you’ll dig what you find here. I promise.