Tuesday, February 14, 2017


I don't often promote the work of others, done for profit, because of an ingrained suspicion of the profit motive. You will not find advertisements here, though the opportunity for profit exists. Exceptions do appear from time to time, when I feel the people involved have a mission above and beyond making money, or feeding their ego.

Thus, I find myself in the compromising position of promoting the work of a best-selling author. In this case, it is with the greatest pleasure. Apparently late to the game, I've recently digested the Wool series by Hugh Howey. In a previous post, I concurred with the opinion that writers, painters, musicians, sculptors, poets, designers, creators, makers of things, dreamers of dreams, have a responsibility to begin the process of imagining a compassionate future, in the face of economic and ecological unraveling. Hugh Howey has offered such a polemic for our consideration.

In the novel, Wool, it's prequel Shift and the sequel, Dust, we find a science fiction world all too believable. It's been many years of compulsive reading since I've found myself in a fictional world where I actually sympathized with and cared about the characters. Hugh has this to say about this trilogy:
"...one of the ideas I wanted to capture is the insanity of walling ourselves off from each other, and all the trillions we spend defending from and attacking one another, when we’re all in the same green-and-blue space-boat. Viewed from afar, it’s absolutely bonkers. Yet we persist."
If you're interested, he has a lot more to say about this topic in a recent blog post, which can be found on his website, The Wayfinder. Hugh has obviously thought a lot about the human condition in reference to the rock we all share and finds hope in the most desperate situations.

Another quote from Howey, borrowed from the missive cited above:
"Science fiction is full of laments over the wastefulness of war. Many such books look to the cosmos as a place we should be building bridges. I think we’ve got a perfectly good home right here to concentrate on first. It’s a strange dichotomy of optimism and pessimism to think that we can settle on and terraform Mars, but that we can’t possibly figure out a few degree rise in temperature here. It’s the optimism of science coupled with the pessimism of our relationship with nature. But really, if the science were so easy, we could settle by the millions in Antarctica. And if nature were such a pushover, we’d have toppled her by now."
The argument here is for dissolving the artificial barriers we've built for keeping us separate and in conflict, favoring bridges uniting us in common cause. I strongly suggest you check out the essay linked to above and let me know what you think. To repeat the travesties of the past is folly.

If you can imagine it, anything is possible. Please be very careful what you wish for.


robert.ditterich said...

It's great (and not common) to read the thoughts of other readers. Thanks, I will look this thought-provoking one up.

doryman said...

Perhaps not your cuppa tea, but if you're a reader like me, good writing wins out, regardless. Our little local library carries all three, so they should be easy to find.