Beacon 23 – Hugh Howey

A reluctant war hero sought out a posting running a remote asteroid beacon, but it turns out not to be quite as lonely as he’d hoped. Hugh Howey got his start writing episodic novels, and Beacon 23 clearly shows that heritage. That’s not necessarily an issue; I very much like Roger Zelazny’s Dilvish, the Damned, for example. Howey doesn’t pull the trick off quite so well. There’s a certain amount of repetition at the start…

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Wool 3: Casting Off – Hugh Howey

Wool #3 The newly-appointed sheriff of a long-term nuclear shelter tries to learn her job while the number of suspicious events mounts around her. I enjoyed the first two stories in this trilogy, but wasn’t really bowled over. Here, Howey kicks the plot into higher gear, and left me interested in reading more, despite my earlier scepticism. None of the plotting (and there is plotting, with a side of conspiracy) is really surprising, but Howey…

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Wool 2: Proper Gauge – Hugh Howey

Wool #2 The aged mayor of a silo-based post-apocalyptic shelter travels down-level with an equally aged deputy sheriff to meet a new candidate for sheriff. While a standalone story, “Proper Gauge” makes clear that Wool is really an episodic novel in the model of Zelazny’s Dilvish, the Damned, rather than simply a shared universe of stories. The story continues from immediately after the events in “Wool 1”, and is enhanced by an awareness of that…

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Wool – Hugh Howey

Wool #1 The sheriff of a post-apocalyptic shelter deals with the expulsion of his wife. I’d been hearing about Wool for months, and when I saw that this story was available for free, I downloaded with great expectations. Largely, they were met. I was expecting a longer story, but that’s not Howey’s fault. I confess to some trepidation early on – there are some infelicitous turns of phrase, some pretty clumsy language in general. But…

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