Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

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

The Value of Reading

Five years ago, I made the novelette WOOL available for free. Permanently. This is the short story that launched my career as a writer, and I wanted to make it available to as many readers as possible. When I discount my books, or make them free, I think about conversations I’ve had with authors about how we value our works. What I think is just as important as the value we place on our art is the value we place on its enjoyment. Not everyone can afford to sate their…

Totally not famous . . .

. . . and not cut out to be, I don’t think. So here’s when you know you aren’t famous: It’s when you start getting fan emails and tweets and you have to read every single one to your wife. Twice. It’s when you’re geeking out more from receiving the email than your “fan” probably is from getting a reply. This week, I had a flurry fans reach out to tell me how much they love my books. It was surreal. In one, the writer wonders aloud if I’m even…

Half Way Home and Abortion

I recently had a reader approach me after reading Half Way Home. She was perplexed and wanted to know what my views on abortion were. Her confusion, I believe, stemmed from the overall progressive nature of Half Way Home (i.e. environmental issues, homosexuality, animal rights, mineral plunder). How, then, could I end the book with a seeming call for the celebration of life? How could I make, from first chapter to last, such a villain out of the A.I. that attempted to abort the colony, and seem to lambast the…

Q&A With Photographer Nadia Huggins

One of my favorite phases of the book-creation process is creating a cover. It’s also one of the most difficult. It’s worse than staring at a blank canvas, because the end result can’t be anything; it has to be a very specific something. While going through this process for HALF WAY HOME, my wife stumbled upon a photograph on DeviantArt. It blew us away. It was haunting and mysterious. Gritty and primal. Young and mature. Dirty and innocent. It was a photograph of contradictory juxtapositions. The mood of the shot…

A Summary of Half Way Home

Ruby wants to know what the story is about in order to better judge the mood of the covers. Here you go, Ruby: In the distant future, planets are settled by vat-grown colonists. The expense of sending generations of humans on several-hundred-year journeys is too much, so they instead launch 500 human blastocysts and an automated collection of machines to raise them and prepare the landing site for them. This process normally takes 30 years if the planet is found viable. If it’s found unviable, the colony is aborted immediately.…