United Indies

There’s an author out there by the name of Hugh Howey who has managed to blast his way to celebrity status, and I am a big fan of his for several reasons. Far from the least of these reasons is that I rather enjoy much of what I have read that he has written. His humble and kind demeanor and willingness, even eagerness, to engage with anyone online and in person gives him a special, approachable quality that seems to contradict his status. Beyond that, there’s a certain measure of feeling like if he could do it, maybe I (or more likely my far more talented and focused wife) can also do it. Neither of these things are what I like most about Hugh Howey.

What I most admire about the author of Wool, Shift, Dust, Sand and other titles (some of which are comprised of more than one syllable) is his generosity in taking his celebrity powers and using them to point out other great artists for his fans to enjoy. I am very happy that I found Hugh Howey and have read and (mostly) enjoyed his writing, but I am so much more happy that in finding Hugh Howey I have also been introduced to others. Two, in particular, are Michael Bunker, another great author who has been seen to put in action anything Hugh Howey does that works and skip the things that didn’t and Ben J Adams, a graphic artist who has done limited prints (that I just had to have) based on each of the aforementioned author’s novels.

In some ways, this trio of united indies give me the same feeling as a comic hero group like Justice League. Each one of them is a superhero in his own right, but together they are that much more. What’s even more cool is how everyone is invited to join right in. Whether it’s writing within the confines they’ve set for their own fiction series via Kindle Worlds, or just chatting with them on Facebook, these guys are happy to connect and even help out.

I’m not going to go into much more depth about either of these today. I’m just going to make some recommendations. First, go to www.benjadams.com and (if there are any left) buy limited edition prints for Hugh Howey’s Silo series and Michael Bunker’s novel Pennsylvania. I say do this first, because you will be kicking yourself later if you waited and missed out on picking these up. Next, go get yourself a copy of Pennsylvania and The Last Pilgrims by Michael Bunker. You might also consider Wick, but I didn’t care for it, so I’m not recommending it. Did I mention that Pennsylvania is Amish Sci-Fi? Yep. Seriously.

Great, now all you need to do is pick up those four titles I mentioned up above by Hugh Howey – Wool, Shift, Dust and Sand. I recommend you start with Wool. If you don’t really, really like it just keep going. I wasn’t absolutely enthused about it when I started and I was even uncertain when I got through, but Shift and Dust was worth the effort. Sand, while it certainly sounds like it might be the next in sequence is not a part of that series, and it is by far my favorite. I say read it last, because the others just don’t compare.

There’s plenty more that I could recommend, but the last thing I’ll toss out there is that you should engage with each of these guys via social networks and, if you’re lucky enough, in person.

Tell them Jay Drake sent you!

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