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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Howey_SAND_OMNIBUS_EbookEdition 100

Sand

A novel of desolation and of family, of lawless lands that the gods have turned their backs on. Not a part of the WOOL series.

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We are living in a golden age for television. That’s the opinion in this frightening article in today’s New York Times. Frightening for book lovers and writers. The article begins by looking at how chock-full of quality content television is these days. And then the article moves to all the forms of media that are being squeezed out.

Some of us have been beating this drum for a while now. Books don’t compete with books; they compete with everything else. And while traditional publishers worry about what self-publishers are doing, or while they worry about what e-books are doing to print books, or what Amazon is doing to bookstores, they are missing the real battle.

We in the publishing business are storytellers. Others are telling stories with video games, television, comic books, and film. People are sharing stories with one another on Facebook and in online forums. When we see books as being our competition, we fight amongst ourselves, and we all lose. Continue Reading →

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You can now listen to the first eight chapters of SAND for free! Don’t miss this chance. It’s one of the best audiobook recordings I’ve ever heard.

Check it out here.

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End is Nigh Banner

Anthologies often have something to say about the times in which they were written. I had a science fiction class at the College of Charleston that was taught from an anthology compiled in the 70s. There was a feminist theme throughout, and it wasn’t because of curation. It was because of prevailing currents and social progress.

When submissions for THE END IS NIGH came in, it made me happy that nearly a third featured gay or lesbian themes. There was no discussion about this beforehand, no prompting, just serendipity and a long history of science fiction exploring the frontiers of ethics as well as the frontiers of time and space.

Gay rights may be the defining issue of our generation. This is not the theme of our anthology. The theme of our anthology is the approach of the end-times. But maybe a sub-theme is the approach of some new times…

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Check out THE END IS NIGH on Amazon. 22 brilliant shorts from greats like Ken Liu, Jamie Ford, Tananarive Due, Charlie Jane Anders, Scott Sigler, Annie Bellet, Paolo Bacigalupi, Seanan McGuire, and a new WOOL short from me.

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Was that my wife who gasped? Or was that me?

I think it was everyone. We were watching Thor, and Chris Hemsworth just peeled off his shirt for the first time, and I swear the air just went out of the entire theater.

chris-hemsworth-shirtless-in-thor-movie

Swoon

Yes, I went a little gay for Chris at that moment. Maybe a lot gay. I also felt wholly inadequate. This is what a man was supposed to look like, and I would never look like that. My wife could gasp at that ideal, but she would end up going home with little old me. Chris, meanwhile, would carry on being Chris, and the world was chock-full of perfect specimens like him who don’t know what it’s like to eat half a dozen Krispy Kreme’s at a single sitting.

Except . . . there was more to that scene than met the eye. The brutal regime Chris underwent for that short take would be unrealistic for anyone to maintain. Even Chris. Continue Reading →

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Wired interviewed John Joseph Adams and me about our latest anthology. And they are giving away one of my favorite stories from the book. You can read the interview and the piece here.

The anthology released today. It is chock-full of amazing short stories from an incredible and diverse lineup of authors. Really thrilled to have been a small part of this. You can check it out here (read the free sample online if you want to get another story for free!)

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I’m in Seattle for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. If you want to come join us, Slate Magazine is having me on for their Audio Book Club tonight (Thursday) at 7:30. Doors open at 6:30. This is a live taping of their book review podcast. We’re discussing Kurt Vonnegut’s SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE.

Tomorrow (Friday), I have a panel at 1:30. Lawrence Block is on the panel, who wrote the fantastic novel HIT MAN and the Matthew Scudder books. I love his work. Gonna be hard not to fanboy all over him.

Other than that, I’ll be wandering around AWP, sitting in on interesting panels, and meeting new people.

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No, Alaska Airlines flight 27 is not about to plummet out of the sky with me on it. (At least, I hope not!) I’m referring to the looming release of the exciting new anthology, THE END IS NIGH, from master editor John Joseph Adams.

You may have heard of John and his anthologies. I hope you’ve read a couple. John put together WASTELANDS, which ranked as my favorite anthology . . . until now.

I knew something special was going on with this collection as I read the fifth and then sixth submission. Each story was better than the last, and the first story I read blew my mind. It was a bit daunting to offer editorial suggestions to some of my personal heroes, but that’s what I signed on for. You see, John asked me to co-edit and co-publish this project with him. And he wanted me to submit a story as well. Being involved in this project has been one of the highlights of my writing career. I don’t know that I’ve ever been prouder of anything I’ve published. Continue Reading →

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DBW has posted this strange attempt to say “Nothing to see here, Big Publishing. Move along. Everything is fine.”

More than half of what they say is flawed or completely backwards. I find it fascinating that all the vibrant and accurate discussions about the world of publishing are happening everywhere other than with pundits paid to know what’s going on. The discussion on KBoards, once again, gets far more right than anything in this list. And people like Konrath have been predicting the future with startling accuracy, and they are ignored or lampooned. Lest my tone not be accurately captured by text, picture me smiling and shaking my head sadly over here. There’s only pity to be had. What jumps out at me from their list:

2) Data is incomplete. Why aren’t publishers listed here?  They barely let authors know in a clear manner how their own books are selling. And why aren’t bestseller lists mentioned here? And asking for a “Bookscan” for e-books makes it sound like Bookscan is reliable. Nielsen isn’t reliable either. We have a problem of lack of data and a problem of really bad data. An awful lot of the latter has been coming from DBW with no apology for it and no retraction once massive holes are pointed out by the writing community. I’m not disagreeing the point; I’m dying for more data from everyone; but there are shades of “It’s all Amazon’s fault” here.

3) The bias here and the complete lack of basic logic is startling from a website that industry experts look to for clarity and understanding. I dropped out of college, and I can see three things wrong in this single bullet. First, the slant of this article is revealed when the massive sales of genre books are called a “glut of titles.” We don’t know if most of the titles published are science fiction or gardening or parenting. Our data shows what’s selling, not what’s being published. So blaming this on a “glut” of supply is erroneous. This is an outpouring of love from readers showing up in the data. Continue Reading →

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There’s been quite a few pie charts tossed around the past week. With their colored wedges and little labels, it’s easy to see these pies as something to fight over. I see something else. I see all that white space outside the pie charts where the non-readers lie. I see people beyond the crust playing video games and watching TV. I see them on Facebook and on crappy-looking author blogs. I see them bored, antsy, and wishing they could be whisked off on some exciting adventure or to some exotic locale. I see places where we need more pie.

I am not in competition with any other author. My competition is with all the things non-readers are doing. I want more readers. I’m selfish like that. I justify it by telling myself that so many people would be happier if they had a book with them at all times. They can read while waiting in lines. While at the airport. While at the beach. Over meals. In bed. Less time staring at our phones and jabbing candy, more time reading.

It’s too late for many people. They’ve already learned that they hate to read. Breaking that mentality is difficult; I know from years of wearing down friends and family. Getting a first mate on one yacht to read a book about blackjack was a huge life accomplishment for me. A young man who said he hated books devoured one in a single sitting. We just need to get the right books to the right people. And we need to do it earlier.

Continue Reading →

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Some would call it cheating. My dad would call it “just a joke.” Either way, the crowds grew incredulous as my dad and I backed another long pace away from one another. Most of the contestants had fallen out. There was egg everywhere: yolk and splintered shells in the grass, remnants on the fronts of t-shirts, even in people’s hair.

A few of us were still in it. For many, the annual egg toss at our week-long Campmeeting retreat is the climax of Big Saturday’s games. Two lines of contestants and dozens and dozens of eggs. More than a hundred people participating and even more gawking. My dad had just caught our egg. With another two paces between us, he reared back and let fly with an underhand zing. Our white egg soared through the air, tumbling end over end, as I made ready to catch it over a hundred and fifty feet away.

The trick is to extend that catch as long as you can, to meet it high over your head and zip your hands back as quickly as you can, so that you slow the egg rather than catch it. A proper snag occurs over a very long distance. These are techniques honed over decades of Campmeetings.

Another solution, of course, is to simply hard-boil your egg. Some call this cheating. My dad found it funny. If the goal is to keep the egg intact, many might call it prudent.

Speaking of prudent, I’ve seen authors caution against putting all of our eggs in a single basket. This can refer to Amazon, where some authors opt for KDP Select and Amazon exclusivity. It can also refer to self-publishing, which people warn of doing exclusively; many think authors should go hybrid and diversify their publications. I see a huge problem with both of these eggs-in-the-same-basket arguments: Our eggs don’t break. Continue Reading →

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A reader came up to me at the Savannah Book Festival and asked when the next Molly book would be out. I honestly don’t know. I have two versions of this book in draft, one of which is long and complex; the other dives right into her next adventure. It might be a month of playing around with these before I decide which direction to take it. I can tell that I was writing the first of these for myself and the other draft for the reader. After the break, you can read the opening bits of the former.

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