Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

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

The Bell Phone

Instantaneous communication. From anywhere in the universe. And it really works. I watched an adorable Japanese cat jumping in and out of a box on YouTube, and I must be millions of light years away from Earth. I’m not a particle physicist, so explaining Bell’s Theorem is probably best left to the experts, but I’ll give you a quick and dirty summation. Some of the core ideas require an accepting mind. However, as strange as these concepts are, Bell’s Theorem has been verified in laboratories in our own lifetimes. This…

The Header Images

How about those header images? Aren’t they gorgeous? Most of them are nebulae, the massive clouds of elementary particles and plasma that coalesce into solar systems like our very own. If it weren’t for stars, and the fusion of lighter elements into heavier ones that occurs in their constant explosions, we wouldn’t exist. The carbon that forms the framework for life and the oxygen that we use to generate energy are both created inside of stars (not to mention gold, aluminium, plutonium, etc…). Cosmology popularists, such as Carl Sagan, are…

The Visualization of Extra Dimensions

I meant no offense in correcting you today in front of my fellow cadets. As per your request, I’m writing up my argument for submission tomorrow morning. Excuse the typographical errors and sloppy diagrams, I’m having to put this together under my bunk as we spent all afternoon in the simulators and it’s now Lights Out. Lt. Carter M301: Linear Algebra 14/02/2409 The Visualization of Extra Dimensions The difficulty we have in visualizing extra dimensions lies not with our familiarity of the three dimensions that make up R3 space. Rather,…

The Universe isn’t Flat

Long before Thomas L. Friedman argued that the world was metaphorically flat thanks to the globalization of economics, there was a brilliant piece of English satire written as if the world was literally flat. Edwin Abbott Abbott wrote FLATLAND in 1884 to make fun of a rigid social hierarchy (in the book, the number of sides you’re born with dictates what you can and can’t be within Flatland culture), but as a young child, I didn’t care about this commentary. My mind was too busy being blown away by something…

Understanding Hyperspace

There’s quite a lot of material on hyperspace in The Reader. And as a medium for travel, hyperspace plays a pretty big role in Molly’s adventures. A massive role, frankly. Some of the secrets of hyperspace are what turn her story into something with universe-wide implications. That’s why it’s important that I understand the principles fully (if not the exact science). One of the documents that has helped me the most is a paper Molly wrote for her math instructor. It isn’t on hyperspace at all, but rather on the…