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  1. #1
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Hugh Howey - Molly Fyde and WOOL

    Howdy Folks!

    This past week, I got a chance to interview one of our very own: Hugh Howey. He hangs out here a bit, mostly in the Writing Forum.

    You can check out the interview and reviews here, here, and here.

    Molly Fyde was good, but I was very impressed with WOOL, a futuristic dystopian tale. I found it very moving. Has anyone around here read them? What did you think of WOOL?

    Anybody read the rest of the Molly Fyde saga? I only read the first and am on the fence on whether I should continue the series or not. I like the story, but YA is not my cup of tea. Does it get less YA as the series goes on?

  2. #2
    I have only read "Wool". It is a well written short story, but almost entirely depends on a "reveal". While the reveal took me completely by surprise, I was immediately overwhelmed by a strong wave of second guessing whether it actually made sense. I'm a poke holes kind of person at times, but I *can* enjoy well crafted stories of this nature -- this one, however, seemed too inextricably linked with the reveal, so when that didnt entirely work for me, it marred my impression of the whole story.

    I forget how to hide spoiler text so I cant be more specific.

  3. #3
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtNJ View Post
    I forget how to hide spoiler text so I cant be more specific.
    Just use [ SPOILER] and then [ /SPOILER], but without that extra space. So, like this:

    Spoiler:
    Everyone farts.


    You know, I kind of felt an inkling of that, but I was so moved by what happened at the end that I had to understand what was going on so I kept reading. If it had stopped right then and there, I probably would have made up my own reasons as to why it made sense.

    I liked the style of writing and the whole tragic love thing really got to me. Though, do be fair, you are right that unless there is more revealed about the world, that ending was a bit of a WTF? ending.

  4. #4
    Thanks...here is my specific problem:

    Spoiler:
    I could not believe that on seeing the apparently unspoiled world, *EVERYONE* would clean, rather than write in the dirt, dance naked and point, ANYTHING to tell those inside. Even leave the lenses dirty so someone else would "have to" come out sooner and could be rescued. I did not remotely buy "pity" or "everyone else did, there must be good reasons" as expanations for why they cleaned. Ironically, a simple sign that said, "Please clean the lenses, then walk two miles along the path. We will explain everything but it is vital that you trust us now" that was hidden from view of the inside cameras would have solved literally all of my problems with the ending

  5. #5
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    That's exactly why I kept reading. I thought the exact same thing, but I wanted to know WHY, and hoped that it would be revealed later on.

    If there hadn't been a later on (meaning, no more short stories set in this world), it would have been something that nagged me forever. Why? Why did they do it?

    The author's wife is a physiologist, so I'm guessing he checked with her on this, but I'm thinking it has something to do with the conflicting sensory inputs the cleaners were getting (visual vs tactile).

    I wonder, are there real-world examples of folks doing something that doesn't benefit them, might even hinder them, but that they do anyway?
    Last edited by N. E. White; February 9th, 2012 at 11:15 AM.

  6. #6
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Wool seems very Bradbury-ish to me. I'll have to see what I think on that when I get a chance to read the series.

  7. #7
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    You all will shoot me for admitting this...but I haven't read Bradbury...

    So, I don't know. But I did enjoy the series. Obviously, not everyone's cup of tea.

    The first short is only 99c, and is truly short. The rest get progressively longer and the story fills out and expands.

  8. #8
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    LOL, no shooting required. What I meant was, that the structure and approach of the stories strikes me as similar to The Martian Chronicles in some ways. That's a bit different from the one solid block narrative thriller structure of many SF novels. It's using the locale as the jumping off point for ideas and emotions.

  9. #9
    I just read this. IMHO it's a good story, but not really a great story. Too gimmicky for my tastes. Good quick world-building though. And Art, I had the very same problem as you.
    Spoiler:
    Humans just aren't that consistent, no matter what sensory input they're getting. There would be a great deal of variation in what the "outed" people did. Also, the only body ever mentioned is the wife's. Where are the other bodies from previous cleaners?

  10. #10
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Yes, well, in the context of just the first WOOL, it is a problem.

    I'm not sure I would call it gimmicky though, but rather, maybe, a new author just writing a short story that he hadn't really thought much of or through and then just put it out there.

    The story, faults and all, seemed to touch enough folks that he continued the story.

    Here's what the author said about it when I interviewed him:
    The first WOOL story was also a chance to express my grief over the loss of a loved one. Maybe this was why I never promoted or talked about the story. It could also be the personal and intimate nature of its writing that makes it resonate so strongly with readers.
    The story did resonate with me in an emotional way. And the rest of the WOOL series delivered a good story drenched in emotion (for me). But, I don't think he was doing it to be gimmicky. That's just the way it came out.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tmso View Post
    The story did resonate with me in an emotional way. And the rest of the WOOL series delivered a good story drenched in emotion (for me). But, I don't think he was doing it to be gimmicky. That's just the way it came out.
    Yeah, I've got no complaint with the emotional part of the story.

  12. #12
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    The more I think about it, maybe it IS gimmicky. I'm not very widely read in the genre (though that's what I write and read - slow reader) so this type of story may indeed be something that you all have seen quite a bit.

    I do think KatG had the gist of it - it's more a setting or backdrop for ideas and the human drama that plays out.

    Interesting...puts I different perspective on the whole series...

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