Hugh Howey

Review: The End Has Come

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Review: The End Has Come

People tossed around words like “collapse of civilization” and “post-apocalyptic,” but really everything was the same mess as always.

John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey wrap up their Apocalypse Triptych with 22 tales of the people who survive the destruction of civilization. And if you thought the lead-up to the end of the world was dark, this collection has some of the grimmest stories out of the entire trilogy.

The first book was about the match; the second was about the blaze. The End Has Come is supposed to be about what rises from the ashes, but for many of these stories all I could see was the ashes.

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Review: Scavenger – Evolution

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Review: Scavenger – Evolution

The Pixelated Geek crew is prepping for Comic-Con, so there’s just enough time for a quick book review before the festivities start. And since there may be an upcoming podcast on fan-fiction, the review this week will be for something that’s every fan-fic’s writer’s dream: fan-fiction that’s been published with permission from the author of the original work.

Hugh Howey’s novel Sand created a future Earth that’s been ravaged by environmental disaster, leaving plenty of unanswered questions. What turned the planet into an endless desert? Who runs the distant camps where the bombs fall all day, every day? Is there more technology like the thought-controlled dive suits buried in the lost city of Danver? And how exactly did someone manage to bomb the city wall and bury Springston in an avalanche of sand? In a spin-off authorized by Hugh Howey himself, Timothy attempts to answer some of these questions with his debut novel Scavenger: Evolution.

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Review: The End is Now

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Review: The End is Now

John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey’s The Apocalypse Triptych is a trilogy of short-story collections, each one set at a different stage of the end of the world. In the second book in the series, The End is Now, we take you to Doomsday already in progress. Twenty stories telling all the different ways that everything is coming to an end.

The quarantine measures have failed, the asteroids are leveling Earth’s cities as we speak, the zombie horde is just shambling into view, and the aliens have already started shooting. The apocalypse is in full swing. Let’s do this.

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The Best Books of 2014

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The Best Books of 2014

Happy New Year, book readers! As you probably already know, there’s not nearly enough time to read all the amazing books that came out last year. Between the two of us, though, we tried to get as big a sampling as we could. Here’s each of our picks for our three favorite science-fiction/fantasy books of 2014.

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Review: The End Is Nigh

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Review: The End Is Nigh

Post-apocalyptic fiction is about worlds that have already burned. Apocalyptic fiction is about worlds that are burning.

The End is Nigh is about the match.

I love short story collections – eat them up like candy, actually, so expect to see me review one every few weeks – but sometimes it’s hard to find one with really good stories. A lot of editors seem to have a talent for finding pretty mediocre work. John Joseph Adams consistently puts together the most amazing collection of talent, especially in his zombie-themed compilations, The Living Dead and The Living Dead 2. Keep in mind that I don’t even like the zombie genre; you can imagine how amazed I was to pick up one of those on a whim and enjoy every story inside. So when I found out that the editor who specializes in dark, off-beat science-fiction was releasing a trilogy of pre-Apocalypse stories, and the book was co-edited by Wool and Sand author Hugh Howey? Sold.

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Review: Sand – Omnibus edition

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Review: Sand – Omnibus edition

What had once been rafters holding up a roof were now floor joists in Palmer’s house. Someone else’s house stood below theirs, long abandoned and unclaimed. Soon, his own home would be someone’s basement and this a sand-filled cellar. And so it went, sand piling up to the heavens and homes sinking toward hell.

My Kindle copy of Sand by Hugh Howey had a series of footnotes linked to a glossary in the end of the book. I didn’t need to go back to the definitions more than once; the meanings were fairly self-evident, and it’s a short list: thirteen different words for “sand”. The book takes place in a city in a world-sized desert, surrounded by sand, on top of sand, and slowly being buried. The wind blows constantly from east to west, bringing more sand every day to the point where every part of the city-dweller’s lives is saturated with some kind of it or another: sand in clothing, sand that sifts through windows, sand that collects in the corners of the eyes, sand poured out of a boot. Wells have to be cleared of sand in an endless bucket-line, new homes continuously being built as the old ones are buried. And when sand inevitably gets in your mouth, instead of wasting precious water to spit it out, you swallow it. Constantly. Bleak stuff, but the author makes the details of the story endlessly fascinating.

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