Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

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

Tomorrow is too Late

I used to take some chances with my bad guys. I’ve written my fair share of them. But if I wrote a scene where cops teargassed clergy off the stoop of their own church, so a president who has never believed in any god for a day in his life could get his photo taken with an upside-down Bible that he’s never read a word of, I’d have to delete it before my editor got a chance to berate me for being ridiculous. I’m also guilty — most writers are…

World Building

When we sit down to write a novel, we start with a blank page. The world we create can take any shape we like. It doesn’t need to have our rules. It doesn’t need to have our history. The only constraint is our lack of imagination. Oh, but what a constraint this is. Our imaginations aren’t very good at conjuring up worlds dissimilar to the ones we know. When we create new lifeforms, they tend to look and act pretty much like us. When we predict the future, we tend…

Sincerity and Song

Do you remember the first time you went outside in the blackness of night? The first time you walked away from all light and felt darkness surround you, wrapping itself across your shoulders like a blanket of shadow? I was seven or eight years old before I ventured into the deep black. It was different than the darkness of unlit rooms in our house at night, which gave me creeps enough. It was far more palpable than my closet and my under-the-bed, where I knew terrible things lived. This was…

Open for Submissions: Part 1

Here’s the first part of this series. Like I warned before, this is not going to appeal to a wide swath of people. It’s an hour of talking about writing, which is only slightly more exciting than talking about talking. Thanks to everyone who tuned in live. Sorry I didn’t get to all your comments as they were coming in. I realized pretty quickly that I could spend the entire time just talking with you all and answering your questions. We’ll do that some time in the future, I promise.…

Happy New Year

I’m sitting here in Tasmania, on the other side of the world from the small farming town in which I grew up, reflecting on the wild adventure my life has become. This past year was one of the best of my life, even as it contained some of the most difficult things I’ve ever wrestled with. My father is bravely battling cancer. The country I love is taking what I feel to be massive steps backwards. I’ve spent many a dark hour thinking about what’s slowly slipping away. But I…