About the Author

img-hugh Hugh Howey is the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga and the New York Times and USA Today bestselling WOOL series.
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Wool Omnibus

Wool

Book 1 of the New York Times blockbuster Silo Saga.

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Welcome to the Pot Luck Book Signing!

For a long time, I offered signed books on my website. When my book tour travels got hectic, and the number of orders grew to hundreds a week, I had to take a break. Now I get emails asking about signed books, and it breaks my heart not to make exceptions for everyone. So for a limited time only, signed books are going to be available. We’ll keep this going until May 20th, so everyone has time to stake their claim.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s up for grabs:

The logistics of signing and shipping tons of books can be overwhelming. The fairest solution I could think of is a “Pot Luck” book signing. You can list your preferences, and I will try to make them happen, but please understand that these items are limited, so you might end up with something unexpected. Pretend to be excited! (No, seriously, video yourself opening your package and really put on a show.) Continue Reading →

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They are known as the Five Tibetan Rites, a handful of simple exercises that can be performed in less than ten minutes. How old the rites are and where they originated is up for debate. Some say they are over 2,000 years old.

What is beyond doubt is their efficacy. If you do these every day, you will see results in a week. You will see profound differences in a month. Practitioners claim that these exercises will keep you young, and I’m a believer. They fixed a nagging shoulder injury, and my back has never been stronger.

Amber and I are going to take you through all five with some explanations and variations. And then we put the entire routine together at a pretty upbeat tempo. You can do the full routine in five minutes once you get some practice. At first, they may take ten or fifteen minutes. Everyone can make time for the Five Tibetans. The trick is to do them every day. Like writing, the goal is to form a daily habit, the fruits of which come with time.

The first Tibetan is simply to spin in place. I was taught to alternate the direction of the spin each day. It’s okay if you can’t remember which way you went the day before; just mix it up! This exercise will improve your balance. Be careful, though. Don’t spin too fast or do this in an area where falling over could lead to injury. Continue Reading →

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As far as I know, this is the only “Pot Luck” book signing in the history of the universe, hence the superlative.

Here’s the dealio: Living on a boat is not conducive to owning things. Which is why I haven’t owned much over the years. But now I find myself in possession of a storage unit, which holds a gobsmacking number of foreign editions and collectibles that I’ve amassed. I keep getting emails asking when I’ll do signed copies again, and this looks to me like a match made in heaven. I empty my storage unit, and these books find happy homes.

More details soon. And spread the word. If we get enough interest, the coolness of the things I’m offering will escalate.

 

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Remember how disappointing this scene was?

Yeah, Al Capone’s vault was a bust. This weekend, Amber and I are going to try and make it up to you. We’re peeling the padlock off the old Howey storage unit and pawing through the treasures inside. Foreign editions. Original copies of the self-pubbed edition of WOOL. Pages of manuscripts with red ink all over them. High school poetry. Pictures of me with hair down to my waist. My stuffed animals (kidding. I would never put those in storage!)

Any surplus stuff will be up for grabs. I haven’t done signed editions in a while, and this might be the last hurrah for quite some time. What I’m thinking is figuring out what I have, letting you all call dibs, and then maybe order in copies of WOOL to sign for anyone who wants one of those. Or something. Details to be sorted out. Stay tuned.

 

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This blog post is a response to a comment, made on a blog post, that was also made in response to a comment, made on this blog post.

This is like the Inception of blog posts.

No one’s ever been three levels deep before!

The gist of the last post was that civilizations have a narrow window in which they are capable of settling the entire galaxy and yet still backwards enough in their thinking to want to. My hypothesis is not only that this is true, but that the window for galactic domination is only open for a few centuries. By the time a civilization sets out to take over the galaxy, filling every available niche, they will have progressed ethically enough to choose not to.

Daniel Knight commented and wanted to know why I think we will ever see the filling of available niches as evil. And it’s a great question, one I couldn’t attempt to answer in the space of a comment, which is why we find ourselves three levels deep (you know, at that snow fortress level, where shit really stops making sense).

One of Daniel’s points is that we will eventually have the means to live forever, and we will keep having offspring, and all those bodies have to go somewhere, which will mean taking over the galaxy. If you continue his reasoning, we will then have to take over the universe. And if you continue this reasoning further, even that won’t be enough.

I might end my response right there and point out that any race capable of seeding the galaxy will be able to extrapolate these base impulses and realize that there’s no end to such ambitions, that space will eventually run out, and so the move is not only pointless — is not only delaying the inevitable —but only stands a chance of causing harm in the process, both by increasing the frustration of our species, now swelling at the universes’ limits, and also by reducing the universe’s potential for diversity. Continue Reading →

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Warning. What follows is the sort of stream-of-consciousness nonsense that I would blog more about if I knew no one visited this blog. You’ve been warned. Turn back now.


 

In the comments of my recent KDP is for Chumps post, a reader named Enabity, the author Paul Draker, and myself, got to debating the chances of artificial intelligence arising in the near future and writing award-winning novels. The three of us occupy different but slightly overlapping levels of optimism and pessimism on this front.

On the optimistic side, we have Paul Draker, the brilliant author of these books, who sees a computer passing the Turing Test by 2029. I’m assuming he means a real Turing Test and not the annual AI conference that holds a test by the same name. (Last year’s conference saw the nearest thing to a “win” yet, with the entry of a computer posing as a 13-year-old boy. A true Turing Test win would be a computer that hardly anyone would guess is not human, if allowed to converse with it).

Paul mentions picking 2029 because Ray Kurzweil popularized this date for the coming singularity (the day we all upload into a computer and join a collective consciousness. If Ray was in our conversation, making it a foursome, he would be the guy who thought the Jetsons lived just around the temporal corner. Brilliant man, but overly optimistic).

Enabity, on the other hand, sees very large unsolved problems for the development of AI and doesn’t give a date for computers to write full-blown novels indistinguishable from human-authored novels. I’m guessing he would put this accomplishment hundreds of years out from now.

For myself, I tend to be cautious with forecasts and would put the date that computers write entire novels indistinguishable from human-authored novels at 2040. (Incidentally, this is the subject of a current WIP of mine, The Last Storyteller. It’s also something I blogged about at length last year.) For full-blown AI, I’m guessing we’ll see it around 2100, give or take 15 years. Continue Reading →

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Why not?

This video moved me. What do you want to do with your life?

So many of our impossible challenges require long term commitments. They require failing, day after day after day after day. Gradually, you fail less spectacularly. And when success comes, it’s like a birthday. All that aging in steady increments, but then you are suddenly something different, in that clearly defined moment when you do what was previously impossible.

For the last three months, I’ve been doing exercises every morning called the Five Tibetans. At first, I couldn’t do them all. Even now, I can’t do them all that well. But they feel different every day. I feel different every day.

Exercising, dieting, writing, practicing, these things require habitual application when we want to do anything else. But what do we want to become? Do we want it bad enough? Are we willing to put in the effort?

The most inspiring thing about this video? The fact that he set up a camera and filmed week one. You know who does that? Someone who expects to succeed, no matter what. Name your challenge. Know you’ll conquer it. Know it in week one, when you can’t even touch the rim.

 

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I have a confession to make: I’ve been a chump. When it comes to writing, I’ve been a major chump.

Webster says that a chump is someone who is foolish or easily deceived. That’s been me as a writer. For 90% of my life as a writer, I’ve been a chump. Time to come clean.

I’ve been thinking about this lately as I work on a few writing projects that will make me little to no money. One is a story that may never get published. The other project will hardly be read. I’ve been devoting a lot of time to both projects.

I’ve been thinking about this as I see more reports on how rare it is for self-published authors to make considerable income. I’ve been mulling it over while watching this thread go wild at KBoards, asking if KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is chump change for chumps.

I’m here to tell you that KDP is a place for chumps.

I know because I’ve been one. Let me tell you my story: Continue Reading →

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St. Francis 50 – Guinevere

I just spent a week aboard the sister ship to my future catamaran. This was hull #18 of the St. Francis 50 line. I helped sail the boat to the Miami Boat Show a few weeks ago, where I put a deposit down on hull #19. The next day, a lovely couple purchased Guinevere, the boat I helped deliver. The owner then invited me back to the Bahamas to spend a week on the boat, discussing its systems and plans.

I will take delivery of hull #19, Wayfinder, in July. We will sail it from South Africa to the U.S., and I’ll live permanently aboard. I’ll have a separate blog to detail the build process and travels. There will be some changes to this website to aid in navigation and to reflect a near future of far more writing, less blogging about books, and more blogging about life. It’s amazing that I have found something even less exciting to write about than the book trade, but I have.

www.the-wayfinder.com

 

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We spent one week every summer at a family beach house in North Carolina. All I could think about on the interminable drive to the sea was the small SunFish sailboat sitting in the garage of that house. Kicking off my shirt and shoes as soon as we arrived, I would drag the small boat to the sound at the back of the house and spend the next week tacking and gybing. If there was no wind, I worked the tiller back and forth to barely make way. As a very young boy, sailing made me feel free in a way nothing else could.

I read about Joshua Slocum’s adventures sailing around the world alone. I read about Sir Francis Chichester, Robin Knox Johnston, and Bernard Moitessier. I read about an amazing teenager named Tania Aebi who sailed around the world by herself on a dare from her father. When I moved to Charleston, I readily took any offer to get out on the water. Several of my friends had boats. When I met people who lived on small sailboats, I started looking into costs. It turned out that I could buy a boat for $10,000 — not much more than a decent car — and make it my home. So I did.

My best friend and I nearly killed ourselves bringing the boat down from Baltimore in January of 1996. I lived on the boat for the next five years. Three of these were while attending classes at the College of Charleston. One year was spent in the Bahamas, where I cruised off to after dropping out of school (why get a degree and slave away for 40 years to one day retire on a boat when I was already on one?) When my funds ran out, I realized the error of my calculations, so I started working odd jobs on other people’s boats to get by. This led to a career as a yacht captain, which kept me on the sea for the better part of the next decade.

I left the water years ago to follow my better half inland. Since then, I haven’t stopped planning and dreaming of getting back on a boat and sailing around the world. Or just sailing up and down the coast. The destination was never the thing, only the lifestyle. Meeting new people. Shifting horizons. Adjusting latitudes and attitudes, as Jimmy Buffett would say.

I am currently in Miami for the Sail Only Boat Show. It’s my third boat show in the last two years, as I’ve narrowed down on the make and model of my future home. But this is the week. In the next couple of days, I’ll put down a deposit, and by this summer, I’ll be living aboard again. If you see a catamaran named “Wayfinder” bobbing at anchor, that will probably be me. It’s a name with deep significance for me, something I’ll be writing about at length.

And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad. SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations. In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

In addition to my usual mix of fiction genres, I’m also working on a series of pieces about my past sailing adventures, my random thoughts about life and what-not, and a bit of a travelogue of my new journey and the people I meet along the way. Right about the time I make this transition, I’ll be turning 40. Age has always been a number to me, but this will be a birthday to truly celebrate. It marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. And you know me, I’m a fan of cliffhangers. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

 

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Our fifth Author Earnings report marks the first anniversary of this website. We now have a year of quarterly snapshots to analyze, and the results have been consistent while also revealing gradual trends.

This time around, we look at ebooks and ISBNs. There is an entire “shadow industry” of ebook sales uncounted by industry pundits. A year ago, we gave you the first look at a shadow industry of indie ebooks. This year, we get a first glance at the works that no one is tracking or counting.

Which raises the question: Do we need ISBNs? Probably something like them, but not at their current cost to benefit ratio. ISBN-less ebooks outsell those with ISBNs, which proves nothing except that ISBNs aren’t needed for sales success. If the industry or retailers want to track ebooks, let them offer a standardized and low-cost means to do so.

Another point is that ebooks change over time as authors update them and their backmatter. There may even be different editions for each retailer, so links point to sequels at that website. Expecting a different ISBN for each of these editions is not realistic. These numbers are simply a relic of the print days, which are on their way out. But that’s looking ahead to our next report.

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The Shell Collector is now up for pre-order on Audible!

Really excited about the voice acting for this novel. Samara Naeymi absolutely nails Maya Walsh. Give the sample a listen if you like.

And here’s the SoundCloud link as well.

In related news, my short story Glitch was given the audiobook treatment. It’s dynamite, if you ask me. Check it out on SoundCloud. And check out this blog review of the audio edition of Glitch here.

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