Here, Now – Since we are trying to get back into the groove with the book and movie suggestions, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t point you guys towards our very own Hugh Howey’s recent novelette titled Wool. We get emails from time to time, asking about Hugh’s whereabouts, from people unaware he had changed professions. He is no longer our resident troll and site co-founder, trading all that to become an author.
Full disclosure: Hugh and I go back more years than I care to mention. I admit this because I don’t want anyone assuming that because of this, I am willing to forego journalistic integrity (lol!) so that a good friend can make some coin. I’m no shill (sometimes to a fault in regards to this site) and I take my recommendations seriously. I know what it feels like to waste time with a bad movie or book because some jackass got a free copy and repaid the creator with a blowjob disguised as a glowing review chock full of bullshit.
Ok, I’m bordering on protesting too much, but I did want to get that out of the way in case anyone was wondering. Here’s Wool‘s official synopsis:
Thousands of them have lived underground. They’ve lived there so long, there are only legends about people living anywhere else. Such a life requires rules. Strict rules. There are things that must not be discussed. Like going outside. Never mention you might like going outside.
Or you’ll get what you wish for.
The story begins as our main character prepares to emerge from beneath the ground and find out, like his wife did before him, what lies outside the underground silo he has lived in his entire life. I can’t go into too much more detail in regards to the story’s plot, as to do so would ruin it. But I will fill you in on a little background that should give you an idea of Wool’s setting.
When Hugh was in between books, he began kicking around an idea of a story concerning a society living underground after some kind of catastrophic surface event. If memory serves me correctly, he came up with this idea after seeing the missile silos you could buy and live in if you had the cash. Being that he’s a sci-fi writer with a twisted sense of humor (as some of our members here can attest to) he took this concept and came up with Wool.
It’s an easy read, clocking in at a lean 68 pages, that most of you should be able to get through in one sitting. Unless you feel harassing the jurors in the Casey Anthony trial is kosher, then it might take you a few weeks. I keed, I keed. Point being, Wool contains no filler and perfect for those of you who are looking for an entertaining read on a Saturday afternoon.
Admittedly, I am not a fan of reading sci-fi so if any of you are in the same boat, don’t let Howey’s past library fool you. I’m not front paging Wool because it’s Hugh’s book — he has others I have not reviewed, including the highly praised Molly Fyde series, as they are not within DD’s scope. I’m posting it because on top of being a good read Wool should satisfy anyone else out there who, like me, loves post-apocalyptic settings and has a tendency to lean towards anything with schadenfreude elements.
The best compliment I can give Wool is that I was hooked in the first pages and plowed through the remaining to get to an ending I was already aware of. That, D’D readers, is the sign of a damn good story.
The only thing close to a complaint I can come up with is that I wish it had been longer. Maybe the endgame wouldn’t have worked as well as it does had it been, but I would have really liked to learn more about the society inside the silos, and the factors that make some in society obey the rules that govern them while others test them. Who knows, maybe there are other silos out there in Howey’s universe that he’ll visit, or maybe even revisit the one in Wool.
Regardless, check out Wool and let me know what you thought. You can pick up the paperback for the low, low price of five bucks, or grab the Kindle edition for a dollar. I have imagined Hugh going on to do a lot of successful things in his future, so becoming an author isn’t a surprising profession. But I never imagined he’d end up having his own tag on D’D. Not like this, anyway.