Timothy C. Ward is the former Executive Producer of Adventures in SciFi Publishing. His newest story, Scavenger: Red Sands (Scavenger #1), is available on Kindle for $.99, and is the first in a serialized, five-part epic. Scavenger: Blue Dawn (Scavenger #2), will be released October 1. His novel in progress, Order After Dark, is a Post-apocalyptic Fantasy set in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up to his author newsletter for updates on new releases and to become a first 100 reviewer to get future stories for free.

The Problems with Writing Fan Fiction and How To Solve Them

by Timothy C. Ward

A few weeks ago I released Scavenger: Red Sands (Scavenger #1), an authorized fan fiction novelette set in the world of Hugh Howey’s novel, Sand. Hugh has opened up his world of Wool to fan fiction through Kindle Worlds, but Sand is not yet open and thus has only one other writer, Michael Bunker’s Dunes Over Danvar, writing in Sand‘s world. I’ve read all of the Silo Saga (WOOL, Shift, and Dust), but one scene in particular in Sand inspired me to create my own character in his story. Without that inspiration, I don’t know that I would have bothered. There are a lot of Wool fan fiction stories out there, and while the world is full of opportunity, I just never moved any into the top of my queue. Call that a case of running Adventures in SciFi Publishing and having a crazy reading schedule or maybe it’s a preconceived notion that I’ve already read the story of the Silo. The Last Prayer by Lyn Perry put a different spin on Silo life, focusing more on religious persecution, and while it was a good story, it felt very similar to Wool 1.
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Jet City Comics has revealed first three covers of Wool: The Graphic Novel by Eisner Award-Winning Artist Darwyn Cooke. (Larger version appear below.)

Cooke will be illustrating all the covers for the the six-issue adaptation of Hugh Howey’s Wool, which is being written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and illustrated by Jimmy Broxton.
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Hugh Howey is the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga and the New York Times and USA Today bestselling WOOL series.

His short story, PEACE IN AMBER, just came out, and I was thrilled to chat with Hugh about the new story, and more!

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Editor John Joseph Adams has launched the website companion for The Apocalypse Triptych, a trio of anthologies he’s co-editing with Hugh Howey being released in stages starting next year.

Here’s what the anthologies are about:

Edited by acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction, exploring three different facets of the form:
THE END IS NIGH: pre-apocalyptic stories—exploring the world on the brink of collapse. (Forthcoming June 2014)
THE END IS NOW: apocalyptic stories—exploring the end of the world as it happens. (Forthcoming December 2014)
THE END HAS COME: post-apocalyptic stories—exploring life after the end of the world. (Forthcoming June 2015)
THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH will include stories by authors such as Paolo Bacigalupi, Seanan McGuire, Ben H. Winters, Elizabeth Bear, Scott Sigler, Robin Wasserman, and many more. Additionally, each volume will include a brand new story by Hugh Howey set in the world of his bestselling novel Wool.
Don’t want to risk missing out on news about THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH? Sign up for John Joseph Adams’s free newsletter (sent out no more than once or twice a month) to receive updates about THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH, as well as news about his other editorial projects.

Like John’s other anthology websites, the site for The Apocalypse Triptych will be loaded with tons of great content, like:
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Amazon has announced that they are launching a new imprint called Jet City Comics to publish original comics. Their flagship titles include adaptations of works by George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey, and the authors of the bestselling Foreworld Saga (Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey and Cooper Moo).

Press Release follows…

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BOOK REVIEW: Shift Omnibus by Hugh Howey

REVIEW SUMMARY: The sequel trilogy to the best seller, Wool Omnibus, which takes a leap back in time to show how the chaos started.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A silo architect finds out too late what he’s been building, loses track of his wife and memories, and must uncover the secret behind the silo in order to make everything right.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW
PROS: Strong beginning; empathy for major characters; challenging philosophical themes about war and sacrifice to survive as a human race.
CONS: Third Shift (Book Three) slowed the story way down with minor revelations and sparse action.
BOTTOM LINE: While the first half gave hope that this sequel could surpass Wool Omnibus, the story went downhill from there. Shift is still recommended for Wool fans, and it will not kill interest in reading the concluding volume although but it did not meet expectations.

(Spoiler Warning: This review will have spoilers for people who have not read Wool, and only general spoilers for those who have yet to read Shift. Reviews for First Shift: Legacy and Second Shift: Order can be seen at the reviewer’s home page.)
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

We asked this week’s panelists…

Q: In the past few years there seems to have been a rise in popularity of post-apocalyptic stories, not only in fiction, but in film as well. For some reason, people are fascinated with society having to start over after some sort of devastation, whether it’s plague, floods, weapons of mass destruction, or of course, zombie apocalypse. Why do you think readers are so drawn to post-apocalyptic stories and settings?

Here’s what they said…

Susan Beth Pfeffer
Until Susan Beth Pfeffer‘s New York Times best-selling novel Life As We Knew It was nominated for an Andre Norton Award, she had no idea the book was science fiction. Even with three other books in the series, The Dead And The Gone, This World We Live In, and the upcoming, The Shade Of The Moon, she still can’t spell apocalyptic.

In some ways, post-apocalyptic stories are Cinderella/Horatio Alger variants. It’s always fun to identify with the person who has nothing and ends up triumphant over those who have more.

Of course Cinderella had her fairy godmother and Alger’s heroes were generally befriended by wealthy older men, and neither had to deal with zombies. But they still struggled against great odds and ended in a much better place.

Cinderella and the Alger hero started out in poverty and their problems arose from that. But the popularity of post-apocalyptic stories has grown while the United States has been in recession. I’m willing to believe those floods and plagues and even the zombies are in some ways stand-ins for unemployment, a weak housing market, credit card debt, outstanding college loans, and shrunken retirement plans.

In better times, you’re more likely to have romantic vampires!
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Hugh Howey is as kind as he is a talented writer, and this live reading of The Walk Up Nameless Ridge will prove that I mean that as a compliment. Recorded from his reading at ChiCon7, this story is a Science Fiction adventure inspired by his ride to the top of publishing. Instead of Kindle charts, his unnamed narrator is striving to be the first to summit a 60,000 foot mountain on a distant planet. “The Walk…” has made it to #7 on the Kindle Singles chart. Now, let’s see how far our narrator makes it.
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Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal is the omnibus edition of Hugh Howey’s Wool!

This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.

The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.