Silo Trilogy (Wool, Shift, Dust): A claustrophobic nightmare future


Several years ago, I had downloaded a Kindle copy of the first Wool installment, but just never found time for it.

When I finally returned to it, I was overjoyed to be thrust into the masterful universe of the Silo trilogy, already completely written. While a series of books is nice because of the extended plot and time in a fleshed out world, I also commonly find myself losing interest as an author takes the time to produce follow-ups and release new stories.

Hugh Howie - Silo Series

Wool
528 pages
Simon & Schuster
ISBN-10: 1476733953
ISBN-13: 978-147673395
1

Shift
576 pages
John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
ISBN-10: 0544839641
ISBN-13: 978-0544839649

Dust
480 pages
John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
ISBN-10: 0544838262
ISBN-13: 978-0544838260

 I wanted to horde the story as it unfolded, but relinquished self-control to the book demon of addiction. When I completed book one, I was able to immediately move to the second, then the third. With minimal pauses, I could loosely control my consumption. I was a book glutton, gorging myself and fattening on the succulent verbose descriptions.

In the silo series, several hundred years, and generations after the uprising, a man is put out to clean. Cleaning is the action of leaving the safety of the Silo to die. Folding oneself into an environmental suit and step outside onto the skin of planet earth's corpse. With you, you take scrubbing wool and spend precious moments of your remaining life cleaning the camera lenses that allow insiders to see the external world. You scrape off the grime and grit, leaving a clear image of the Apocalypse, a visual reminder to others that the outside is uninhabitable.

Everyone cleans, but no one understands why. Even the most desperate, depressed, and suicidal spend precious moments before death scrubbing the external camera lenses. After completion, they are dead and littering the view-screens with their still suited body. The world is so poisoned, even a human in a can will only last minutes.

Two years after his wife was sent to clean, Sheriff Holston follows her. His body lay next to hers on the hillside. Juliette from Mechanical has a knack for making complex machines function. She has been, questionably, promoted to fill Holston's shoes. She moves from the lower 144th-floor range, where mechanical, water treatment and mining occur, to the upper five. She is an outsider digging into the lives of outsiders.

The Silo trilogy is about these people, living, breathing and creating within the confines of a 144-floor reality. New life is restricted to a lottery, food/air/water/electricity require the expertise of others, and one dangerous thought can kill everyone. Existence within a snow globe, buried within a landfill.

The risk of spoilers is high on this novel, so let's leave it here:

This is the best sci-fi I have read since Dan Simmon's Hyperion Cantos. Get it. Read it. Thank me later. 

The flow of the story was a bit off kilter since each character in the book is strictly rationed. Paper is scarce, and books are relatively inaccessible, air water and food. In the world of the Silo, Howey is careful to portion out characters (both loved and hated) in a well-defined balance. Much like a generator out of alignment, Howey was able to take all the parts, mishmash, refurbished elements, and turn it into an engine that purrs like a satisfied kitten. It warms your lap and lowers your heart rate until the little bastard pulls it's claws out as cats will do at a whim.

The series was released via ebook in a serialized format, so ebookers make sure that you purchase the Omnibus formats rather than the individual serial issues.

Howey was picked up for print distribution so dead tree copies are also available.

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Sourced: Amazon, purveyor of addictive content. Someday I will arrive in your bedroom with a whip. I will show you who is really in charge of my pile of books. I will make sure to bring a red ball gag, as I am painfully aware you will probably make me your bitch before I even finish my opening argument of 'HEY YOU!'.

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