I’m filling in today for our brother, Tymothy Longoria, who deserves his own spotlight and congratulations for his first published story appearing in the Seven Deadly Sins anthology. Saturday Spotlight is a weekly blog series I write for my website that spreads the word about 5 star fiction, mostly in short story form, to help you find up and coming talent. Tymothy is definitely one of them, and I’m enjoying his anthology so far, but this post is about Hugh Howey and his gripping contribution to the Science Fiction field.
I’ve been on the hunt for Science Fiction that plays the role of research for my novel, Kaimerus Deception (editor’s note: sent in for substantive edit July 1st to C.L. Dyck, editor extraordinaire). I play with virtual reality in my novel and I’m trying to find all I can to read that gives me a background on how other writers play with it. I recently found an author who created a fantastic portrayal of virtual reality in Hugh Howey, and his novelette, “The Plagiarist.” Before I get to that, here’s how I found out about Hugh: Lyn from ResAliens reflected an invite to be on my podcast by saying, “You should really interview @hughhowey – his new SF series is original, well written, and tearing up the Kindle charts.” He was referring to his Wool series, and boy wasn’t hhe kidding. Here’s a screenshot of Wool’s ranking:
Have you seen a ratio this dominated by 5 stars before? I haven’t. (editor’s note: The five stars are up to 1,128, and is #23 in the Kindle Paid store… #23! — Go Hugh!!!) It’s no wonder author and comic book artist, Cole Drewes, said in a recent interview with Hugh, “I’ve read the reviews for Wool and in a very short time you’ve managed to amass a very dedicated and loyal army..umm I mean fan base.” Cole has a great interview with Hugh, which I encourage you to go read. I also have two podcast interviews with Hugh. The first, AudioTim 32, gets Hugh to wax poetical about WOOL OMNIBUS’ setting, characters, and philosophical reflection of how classes work together and against each other in society. AudioTim 33 is like a panel you’d hear at a writer’s convention where he and Robin Sullivan discuss Indie Publishing and how to be successful in it. (Robin is the Head of Ridan Publishing, and marketing force behind her husband’s breakout indie Fantasy series, Riyria Revelations). I’ve also since posting this, reviewed WOOL OMNIBUS.
Here’s a brief description from Amazon about Wool:
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.
Hugh has gone on to sign a deal with Random House UK for the UK rights to WOOL OMNIBUS, as well as a movie option with 20th Century Fox. Random House UK is doing a great job so far, putting together ARCs in a beautiful package meant to be shared across networks of friends–how Hugh became an “overnight” sensation, through enthusiastic word of mouth. Random House UK also put together this movie trailer, potentially the best example of a movie trailer I’ve ever seen (again, Go Hugh, so happy for you!).
With all this buzz, I had to check this guy out. When I found a tweet linking to a free copy of his short story “The Plagiarist,” I checked that out first. The Amazon description of this novelette is:
Adam Griffey is living two lives. By day, he teaches literature. At night, he steals it. Adam is a plagiarist, an expert reader with an eye for great works. He prowls simulated worlds perusing virtual texts, looking for the next big thing. And when he finds it, he memorizes it page by page, line by line, word for word. And then he brings it back to his world.
But what happens when these virtual worlds begin to seem more real than his own? What happens when the people within them mean more to him than flesh and blood? What happens when a living thing falls in love with someone who does not actually exist?
Here is the spoiler free review I came up with:
5 Stars: I’m really impressed with this story both for its depth of ideas and philosophy, but also because of how much I cared for the main character. The emotional attachment to him finding happiness kept me reading. I love reading stories that give me joy to share in their world, even if it is bleak. This was that kind of story. (After you read the story you can check out the rest of my review on Goodreads to discuss). Even though this story isn’t free anymore it’s only $.99, which is a steal for 65 pages of awesome Science Fiction. If you’re a slow reader like me, that could be two hours of entertainment ;).