Silo (series)

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Hugh C Howey Wool Omnibus.jpg
Wool Omnibus

AuthorHugh Howey
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction, Dystopian fiction, Apocalyptic fiction
PublisherBooktrack (with soundtrack)
Kindle Direct Publishing
Media typee-book
No. of books9 + omnibus

Silo is a series of post-apocalyptic science fiction books by American writer Hugh Howey. The series started in 2011 with the short story "Wool", which was later published together with four sequel novellas as a novel with the same name. Along with Wool, the series consists of Shift, Dust, three short stories and Wool: The Graphic Novel.[1]


Howey first began the series in 2011, initially writing Wool as a stand-alone short story. He published the work through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing system, choosing to do so due to the freedom of self-publishing. After the series grew in popularity, he began to write more entries for it.[2] Howey began soliciting international rights in 2012, and has since signed a deal for dramatic rights in Brazil.[3] Film rights to the series were sold to 20th Century Fox; Lionsgate also expressed interest.[4]

Howey signed a print-only deal for around $500,000 with Simon & Schuster to distribute Wool to book retailers across the US and Canada.[when?] Howey retains full rights to continue distributing Wool online himself.[5]


The story of Wool takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth.[6] Humanity clings to survival in the Silo, a subterranean city extending one hundred and forty-four stories beneath the surface. The series initially follows the character of Holston, the sheriff of the Silo, with subsequent volumes focusing on the characters of Juliette, Jahns, and Marnes. An ongoing storyline of the series is the focus on the mystery behind the Silo and the secrets it holds. Shift, which encompasses books six through eight, comprise a prequel to the series. Book nine, Dust, pulls the storylines together.

Several studies frame the story within the dystopian genre, since Howey includes several of the main features of that type of literature, i.e. a totalitarian rule, rebellion of the main characters or a planned separation between human areas and wild natural spaces.[7]


The intro teaser for the book is: "If the lies don't kill you, the truth will."

Book 1 - Holston[edit]

Wool initially follows the story of Holston, the Silo's sheriff. All residents of the Silo have been taught that the outside world is toxic and deadly, and anyone who expresses any desire to go outside is sent to clean the external sensors. Those who are sent outdoors this way inevitably clean the sensors as instructed, but they also inevitably die a few minutes later. Three years prior to the events of the story, Holston's wife became convinced that the outside world was actually livable and that the IT department (which runs the external sensors) had deceived the rest of the silo. She went to clean willingly, but apparently perished.

Three years later, still grieving the loss of his wife, Holston also asks to go outside. He is given a protective suit and sent outside, but when he exits the silo he sees a healthy, vibrant world. Encouraged by this sight, he happily cleans the silo's external sensors and then starts to explore the environment. However, he is forced to remove his helmet when he runs out of air, and at that point he discovers that the world actually is toxic and his wife is dead. The suit's visor had been masking reality with a computer-generated image. Holston dies near his wife's abandoned body.

These events serve as a catalyst for the remaining books.

Book 2 - Proper Gauge[edit]

A new sheriff is needed to replace the recently-deceased Holston. Mayor Jahns and Deputy Marnes embark on a trip to the silo's lowest region in order to interview Juliette, their top candidate for sheriff. Along the way they encounter various areas of the silo, including the mysterious IT department. Bernard, the head of IT, demands his own preferred candidate for sheriff but Jahns dismisses his concerns. Privately, Jahns also contemplates a relationship with Marnes.

Jahns and Marnes meet Juliette in the Machinery zone, the lowest level of the silo. Juliette quickly proves herself to be responsible, stubborn and independent, which impresses Jahns. After expressing some hesitation, Juliette agrees to take the job. On the return trip, Jahns and Marnes privately begin a romantic relationship.

Bernard is incensed to learn that Jahns has formally appointed Juliette to be the new sheriff, and is likewise angry with Marnes for supporting this decision. Soon afterward, Jahns falls ill. In her final moments, she realizes that she had consumed a fatal poison from Marnes's canteen. Marnes's canteen and hers were poisoned by Bernard.

Meanwhile, Juliette completes an important maintenance project on the silo's primary generator, but soon receives the news of the mayor's sudden death.

Books 3-5[edit]

The saga is continued in Casting Off and runs through The Stranded, as Juliette continues to explore the mysteries of the Silos, bringing her into contact with the head of IT and Lukas, a young astronomer and member of IT. The growing relationship between Lukas and Juliette serves as a backdrop for the remaining three novellas, as the mystery of the Silos is gradually revealed.


Book 6 - Legacy

First Shift is a prequel to the story in the first five Wool novels, where the actions that led to the status quo of the world are explained through the eyes of Donald Keene, a young congressman, and Troy, a silo chief.

Book 7 - Order

Second Shift follows a few of the characters of Book 6 when they are woken from cold-sleep 100 years later to be consulted on some unresolved problems, as well as a young new character in silo 18 named Mission, where they are experiencing internal fighting which threatens their survival.

Book 8 - Pact

Third Shift brings a close to the prequel trilogy. It tells the story of the fall of Silo 17, and the transformation of Jimmy into Solo, as well as the continued story of Donald Keene in Silo 1.[8]


Book 9 - Dust

Dust is the third and final act in the Silo stories. It brings together the lives of Donald, Juliette and the other people in Silo 18, and the survivors from Silo 17.

Unnamed future book[edit]

On August 15th, 2021, Hugh Howey announced starting writing the next book in the Wool series,[9] taking place in Silo 40.[10]

Short stories[edit]

These are part of The Apocalypse Triptych collection of short stories.

  1. In the Air from The End is Nigh
  2. In the Mountains from The End is Now
  3. In the Woods from The End Has Come


A reviewer for Wired praised the omnibus, stating that it "clears away the grime of the past and reveals the new truth" about change in publishing.[11] Fans have been inspired to write their own scenes, chapters and novels.[12]

Comic book adaptation[edit]

In July 2013, it was announced that Amazon's new comic book imprint Jet City Comics would be releasing a comic book adaptation of the series.[13] Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray will adapt the story and Jimmy Broxton will create the artwork.[14] On July 9, 2013, Howey released a preview of the comic book's cover on his blog.[15] The graphic novel was published in August 2014.

Film rights[edit]

On May 11, 2012, the film rights to the story were sold to 20th Century Fox;[16] director Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian are producing the film adaptation.[17][18] In July 2018, AMC announced LaToya Morgan would be adapting Wool for the network as a series.[19]

Television series adaptation[edit]

In May 2021, it was announced that Apple TV+ had given the production a series order to a television series adaptation of Wool. Graham Yost will write the series and Morten Tyldum will direct and produced by AMC Studios and Rebecca Ferguson will star and serve as executive producer. Howey, Remi Aubuchon, Nina Jack and Ingrid Escajeda also serve as executive producers.[20] In August 2021, Tim Robbins joined the cast.[21]


  1. Wool (July 30, 2011)
  2. Wool: Proper Gauge (November 30, 2011)
  3. Wool: Casting Off (December 11, 2011)
  4. Wool: The Unraveling (December 26, 2011)
  5. Wool: The Stranded (January 25, 2012)
  6. First Shift — Legacy (April 14, 2012)
  7. Second Shift — Order (November 12, 2012)
  8. Third Shift — Pact (January 24, 2013)
  9. Dust (August 17, 2013) ISBN 978-1596066755
  • Wool Omnibus (2012, contains books 1-5) ISBN 978-1476735115
  • Shift Omnibus (2013, contains books 6-8)
  • Galdón Rodríguez, Ángel (2014). "Urban and Natural Spaces in Dystopian Literature Depicted as Opposed Scenarios". Ángulo Recto. Revista de estudios sobre la ciudad como espacio plural. Vol 6. no. 2. ISSN 1989-4015


  1. ^ "Self-published e-book author: 'Most of my months are six-figure months'". CNN. September 7, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  2. ^ Wecks, Erik. "Hugh Howey Interview Part 1: Science Fiction, Indie Writing, and Success". Wired. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  3. ^ Deahl, Rachel. "Self-Made Bestseller Weighs Traditional Deals". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  4. ^ Fleming, Mike. "20th Century Fox Spins 'Wool' For Scott Free And Film Rites". Deadline. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  5. ^ Alter, Alexandra. "Wool: Sci-Fi's Underground Hit —". Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  6. ^ O'Connell, Sean. "20th Century Fox Interested In Hugh Howey's E-Book Wool?". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  7. ^ Galdon Rodriguez, Angel (2014). "Urban and Natural Spaces in Dystopian Literature Depicted as Opposed Scenarios". Ángulo Recto. Revista de estudios sobre la ciudad como espacio plural. 6 (2). doi:10.5209/rev_ANRE.2014.v6.n2.47585.
  8. ^ Howey, Hugh (2012). Second Shift — Order.
  9. ^ @hughhowey (15 August 2021). "I wrote the first chapter of the next book in the WOOL series this morning. So that happened" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ @hughhowey (15 August 2021). "@MissNikkiSwan Silo 40" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Wecks, Erik. "GeekDad Book Review: The Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey". Wired. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2013-12-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Dredge, Stuart (10 July 2013). "Amazon bags Game of Thrones author for its Jet City Comics imprint". London: Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Amazon launches comics imprint, featuring George R.R. Martin". Los Angeles Times. July 9, 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  15. ^ Howey, Hugh. "Jet City Comics!". Hugh Howey. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  16. ^ Deahl, Rachel. "Hugh Howey's 'Wool' Nabbed By 20th Century Fox". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  17. ^ Sutter, John. "E-book author Hugh Howey claims 'six figure months' from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing". ABC News. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  18. ^ Boog, Jason. "Hugh Howey's Wool Series Gets Book Trailer Treatment". GalleyCat. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  19. ^ Otterson, Joe (2018-07-30). "Hugh Howey's 'Wool' in Development as AMC Series From LaToya Morgan (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  20. ^ White, Peter (May 20, 2021). "Rebecca Ferguson To Star In Series Adaptation Of Hugh Howey's Dystopian Novels 'Wool' For Apple From Graham Yost & Morten Tyldum". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  21. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (August 18, 2021). "'Wool': Tim Robbins Joins Rebecca Ferguson In Apple TV+ Series". Deadline Hollywood.

External links[edit]