|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (March 2016)|
|Genre||Science fiction, Dystopian fiction, Apocalyptic fiction|
|Publisher||Booktrack (with soundtrack)
Kindle Direct Publishing
|No. of books||9 + omnibus|
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. Howey began soliciting international rights in 2012, and has since signed with Brazil. Film rights to the series were sold to 20th Century Fox; Lionsgate also expressed interest.
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.
The story of Wool takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Humanity clings to survival in the Silo, a subterranean city extending one hundred 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. The Silo's mystery is eventually revealed by the end of book five; books six through eight comprise a prequel to the series. Book nine 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 the manned areas and wild natural spaces.
- Book 1 - Holston
Wool initially follows the story of Holston, the Silo's sheriff. Holston spends the novel processing and investigating the circumstances surrounding his wife's (Allison) death. Holston's investigation of the Silo and the secrets it holds ultimately serves as a catalyst that begins to impact the lives of various characters and sets up the action for the rest of the series.
- Book 2 - Proper Gauge
Proper Gauge continues the saga, following the unique relationship of Jahns, the Silo's mayor, and Marnes, the deputy sheriff. Their relationship is explored as they pursue a quest that leads them deeper into the lower levels of the Silo, and ultimately brings them into conflict with the Silo's IT division, whose growing authority is revealed. Their journey ultimately introduces them to Juliette, who will play a central role in the following stories.
- Books 3-5
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.
- 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.
These are part of The Apocalypse Triptych collection of short stories.
- In the Air from The End is Nigh
- In the Mountains from The End is Now
- 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. Fans have been inspired to write their own scenes, chapters and novels.
Comic book adaptation
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. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray will adapt the story and Jimmy Broxton will create the artwork. On July 9, 2013, Howey released a preview of the comic book's cover on his blog.
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- Wool (July 30, 2011)
- Wool: Proper Gauge (November 30, 2011)
- Wool: Casting Off (December 11, 2011)
- Wool: The Unraveling (December 26, 2011)
- Wool: The Stranded (January 25, 2012)
- First Shift — Legacy (April 14, 2012)
- Second Shift — Order (November 12, 2012)
- Third Shift — Pact (January 24, 2013)
- 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
- "Self-published e-book author: 'Most of my months are six-figure months'". CNN. September 7, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- 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.
- Deahl, Rachel. "Self-Made Bestseller Weighs Traditional Deals". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Fleming, Mike. "20th Century Fox Spins ‘Wool’ For Scott Free And Film Rites". Deadline. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Alter, Alexandra. "Wool: Sci-Fi's Underground Hit — WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- O'Connell, Sean. "20th Century Fox Interested In Hugh Howey's E-Book Wool?". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- 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.
- Howey, Hugh (2012). Second Shift — Order.
- Wecks, Erik. "GeekDad Book Review: The Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey". Wired. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- Dredge, Stuart (10 July 2013). "Amazon bags Game of Thrones author for its Jet City Comics imprint". London: Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "Amazon launches comics imprint, featuring George R.R. Martin". Los Angeles Times. July 9, 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Howey, Hugh. "Jet City Comics!". Hugh Howey. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Deahl, Rachel. "Hugh Howey's 'Wool' Nabbed By 20th Century Fox". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Sutter, John. "E-book author Hugh Howey claims 'six figure months' from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing". ABC News. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Boog, Jason. "Hugh Howey’s Wool Series Gets Book Trailer Treatment". GalleyCat. Retrieved 30 September 2012.