Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

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

The Greatest Threat

The greatest threat the world faces today is not terrorism, or global warming, or nuclear weapons*. The greatest threat facing us today is income inequality. And it’s easy to fix. We just need the willpower to do so. And we need to convince the very people being screwed to ask it to stop. This is difficult to do, and it presents a bit of a paradox. Every Sunday, millions of people who don’t have much money send what they can to televangelists who have millions. It’s no coincidence that this is…

Two Missing Pieces

My love of reading most certainly comes from my mom. My mom is a book addict and raised me to be a book addict. I remember Dr. Seuss books arriving by mail in cardboard wrappers, and random days suddenly becoming Christmas morning. And there were the thousands of times I made her read Go, Dogs Go and Harold and the Purple Crayon with me. On any road trip, if we spotted a bookstore off the highway, I would squeal and point and she would hit the blinker. Later in life, we formed a habit…

Rock, Paper, Scissors

More bad news in the book world, for those of you following along. On the heels of bad news from the Big 5 publishers, we have yet another dismal earnings report from Barnes & Noble. Sales are down 6% over the same period last year, which probably explains why they just changed CEOs … again. The previous CEO was around for just over a year, and this kind of turnover does not bode well. The chain is most certainly in trouble. But it’s a comment from Riggio, the new acting CEO, which makes me think they…

A Peek Behind the Curtain

Major publishers are in trouble. Publishers Weekly reports declines across the board at all five major publishers. What is happening here is not new, as much as publishers would like you (and themselves) to believe. For the past four to five years, publishers have found growth almost exclusively through acquisitions, mergers, layoffs, and the largesse of their primary retail account, Amazon. All of those forces have run out of room. As self-published books took off and began commanding a growing share of the book trade every quarter, publishers were able to weather…

The Scaffolding

I’ll never forget where I was sitting, and what I was thinking, when I first felt pity — rather than anger — for a bigot. This was back at the College of Charleston. I was head over heels for a girl named Kim at the time, and we would hang out at her place or in the little bar where she worked. Perhaps it was the heady excitement of being in love that put me in a forgiving mood, or maybe it was something I’d picked up in a class, or…