Hugh Howey: Destroyer of Sleep

Mentioned a few times now, I do quite a bit of travel. Being a road warrior is a lonely way to spend your week. Following the 80 / 20 rule, 80% of road warriors can be described as either total fitness junkies or connoisseurs of fine wines & alternative spirited beverages. Honestly, I’m almost too old for either of those so I try to form some resemblance of balance.

Regardless, travelers are left with a mind numbing about of free time. For a variety of reasons, recently, I began reading (again) as a way to pass the time. If memory is correct I began my renaissance after purchasing a Kindle and loading The Hunger Games. Through some recommendation or searching I stumbled upon this unassuming eBook, WOOL. The reviews were good and I noted there were a number of books in the series so I dove in with the Omnibus edition, the complete WOOL series.

Initially I was a little taken back by the length of the Omnibus edition. At that time I was attempting to tackle Neil Stephenson’s ANATHEM and things were not going well. I believe I completed WOOL series in just under a week. Upon completion of the series there is a little Q&A session with Hugh with his email address and shockingly he actually reads & responds.

To be fair, I am not attempting to review his books, there are plenty of Amazon reviews that do a better job than I will within this little blog. Now, WOOL, and it’s recent accolades and recognition would be one thing – but there is a pattern here – and it’s starting to affect my sleeping habits.

Hugh released iZombie – an amazing, thought provoking Zombie apocalypse book that would be all too easy to discount as capitalizing on this (apparently) never ending zombie craze. Ah, but that would be too easy and doing yourself a disservice. iZombie turns the genre on its blood soaked, grey skinned head. One afternoon after work i purchased iZombie upon returning to the hotel, started reading during dinner and finished around 3 AM.

The latest series I am reading, and predates most of WOOL, is Molly Fyde. Molly is a series of scifi books, of which I just completed the second book about 4:30 this morning.

I am not a personal friend of Hugh’s but I do admire his work so consider this a Public Service Announcement. I have been an avid reader for over 40 years of all genres and top authors. It is rare I find a page-turner, let alone a series, and certainly not a consistent body of work like this man has created. From an outline & plot flow perspective I really have to admire how he ties the stories together, the small details referenced in passing further into the story – not the major plot points but just letting you know this indie author is paying attention to his work. And detail, iZombie, yowzers, and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Speaking of indie authors – big debate right now on self publishing, quality of work, etc. I come from the early video game era, and explosion in early 90s of small software developers who revolutionized the industry. Lot of love for the indie crowd and look forward to watching this unfold. Just be forewarned, set aside plenty of time for sleep or avoid heavy machinery.

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