Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

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

Open for Submissions

I’ve got an idea. It’s a weird one. Everyone I’ve mentioned it to has had one of two reactions: They either look at me very confused-like and let out a yawn. Or they say, “YES PLEASE DO THAT YESTERDAY.” The latter are, invariably, writers. That’s who this is for. I want to do something to help inspire writers to put out their best work. I’m saving the details of this project for its first installment, but for now I need to add to my already-growing slushpile. I need your writing.…

The Inertia of Bad Ideas

Like anyone with impeccable good taste, my favorite comic strips are Farside and Calvin and Hobbes. And my favorite Calvin and Hobbes strips usually involve a wagon or a sled barreling down a hill. Calvin is usually waxing philosophically, while Hobbes is asking if they should, perhaps, if Calvin doesn’t mind, consider slowing down or avoiding the cliff/tree/crash at the end. These strips embody the inertia of bad ideas. The problem with a bad idea is that it persists almost as readily as a good idea. It builds momentum. Like…

We Can’t Destroy Planet Earth

We can’t destroy planet Earth. I don’t think we can wipe out humanity, even with a concerted effort and every tool and resource at our disposal. This was my biggest challenge when writing WOOL. End-of-the-world scenarios were a popular trope at the time, and when I decided to share my take, my biggest challenge was coming up with a realistic scenario where all of humanity might be put in jeopardy. All-out nuclear warfare wouldn’t do it. Climate change won’t do it either. Neither will the rise of AI and robotics.…

The Tao of Writing a Novel

I love a good paradox. A paradox is a statement that on its face cannot possibly be true; it contradicts itself. The most famous and simplest paradox is: This statement is false. If the statement above is true, then its contents tell us that it’s false. But we’ve established that it is true! On the other hand, if the statement is false it admits that it is false, which makes the statement true. It hangs in the balance between true and false, tipping one way or the other depending on…

How to Build a Self-Conscious Machine (And Why It’s Probably a Silly Idea)

     The Coolest Thing in the Universe The universe is full of some very cool stuff: neutron stars that weigh a ton a teaspoon; supermassive black holes that grip even light in their iron fists; infinitesimal neutrinos that stream right through solid steel; all the bizarre flora and fauna found right here on planet Earth. It might be the ultimate in egoism, but of all the known things in the universe, the most amazing is surely the lump of goo inside our skulls. That lump of goo knows about…