Tag Archive for novel

Shift: Hugh Howey’s worthy continuation to Wool

shift hugh howey

Title: Shift
Author:Hugh Howey
Year published: 2013
Genre: Post-apocalyptic, near and far, sci-fi.
Threat: Nano-technology.
Two words: Bleak centuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sequel to the incredible Wool omnibus, Shift had a lot to live up to. Hugh Howey has changed the landscape of publishing with his ongoing silo series, and with all eyes on the regularly released shorter component stories, this has been something akin to the Dickensian serials of centuries ago. Consumed eagerly by readers in small chunks before being combined in this collection of three stories, like Wool before it, Shift is a compendium of tales designed to keep bringing readers back to the bleak world it explores. It piles on the claustrophobic underground confinement, destructive apocalyptic conspiracies and a general overwhelming sense of misery. And you still can’t get enough of it.

What Hugh Howey’s Shift is all about

Where Wool revelled in the desperately narrow vision of Silo 18’s isolated existence, Shift flips the story around to show us the people in charge of the project. Split over three parts, divided by centuries, we are given an insight into the other silos in the time leading up to Jules’ escape in the first novel. There’s Silo 1, where the overseers keep an eye on the ongoing project, Silo 17, where a chaotic uprising leads to decades of isolation for a sole survivor, and Silo 18 itself (much earlier), where a lowly porter finds himself at the heart of a civil war. These tales all share one through-line, as the characters managing the whole affair take centuries long naps in cryogenic pods.

Alongside all this action, we get an insight into the ugly truths of where the silos came from, why they were built and what drove people into them.

Why you should read this book

If you’ve read Wool, you’ll already be familiar with this unique world of Hugh Howey’s, and his ability to capture its brutally lonely atmosphere in an eminently readable way. Like the first book, Shift is so engaging it’s difficult to put down. By expanding the scope of the tale, it loses a little of the claustrophobic grimness of Wool, but it’s a worthy continuation of the tale, and is sure to leave you wanting for more. And you’re in luck there, as the final book in the trilogy, Dust is already available.

If you haven’t read Wool…it’s best to go here and correct that now.

 

 

The Road: brilliantly bleak literary fiction

the road bleak novel

Title: The Road
Author:Cormac McCarthy
Year published: 2006
Genre: Post-apocalyptic (near), literary.
Threat: Unknown, but it’s very cloudy.
Two words: Brilliantly bleak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has been made especially well known and popular thanks to the superbly ported movie of the same name, but it was doing well long before that. Its won multiple awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2007), and brought the post-apocalypse to attention of serious literary critics. Unlike many of the books in our listsThe Road isn’t exactly sci-fi or horror. It’s a harrowing emotional journey, and though it’s set amongst dangers of the apocalypse and the savage survivors, it’s really the story of a father and son. Read more

Wixon’s Day: accepting responsibility in a leaderless world

wixon's day post apocalyptic canal journey

Title: Wixon’s Day
Author: Phil Williams
Year published: 2012
Genre: Post-apocalypse (far) / Dystopia, action/steampunk.
Threat: Unknown; lack of heat and sunlight cause lasting problems.
Two words: Canal warrior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wixon’s Day is a slow-paced saga rife with philosophical musing, in a grimly realised bleak setting. Far in the future, the cause of the world’s current state is unknown; in fact, very little about the world’s history is known. This makes for a brooding drama where survival is the first order of business, and questions of morality, power and progress are very much ignored. By removing the sense of history and purpose from characters who are drawn into vast wars, it raises questions about exactly what everyone is fighting for, and what it takes to motivate someone to make a difference. Read more