Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

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

The Two Kinds of Pleasure

A popular refrain from writers is that they don’t enjoy writing, but they enjoy having written. I find this is true for so many things in life. There’s the joy we experience while doing a thing, and then there’s the joy of having done the thing. The “have had” pleasure. Exercise is a good example. Some exercise I love in the moment, especially if there’s a sport involved. Other exercise (like hot yoga) makes me miserable while I’m doing it, but afterward I feel so good that I wonder why…

This Season was Written by Dicks

One of the more pernicious effects of the Trump administration is that non-crazy people now have to distrust government agencies. And that conspiracy theorists are difficult to mock. Neither of these things used to be true. The idea that government is inherently untrustworthy or that they are inefficient at their jobs … is mostly wrong. Most government agencies work quite well, and lots of government officials are very good at what they do (and they provide amazing services). For every long-line DMV anecdote, I can point to several amazing NOAA…

Coronavirus COVID-19: Why The World Isn’t Ending Anytime Soon

Let’s imagine a future dystopia where we live among machines that provide a much-needed service, but through mechanical failures and user error, they kill over one million people per year. ONE MILLION. Another 20 – 40 million are seriously injured or permanently disabled every year from these machines. That would be the car. And it would be the world we already live in. Imagine if you had people on fear-mongering websites tracking each vehicle death, and people sharing the grim statistics every single day. Think you could get people afraid…

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…