wool cover

Reading for Writing – Wool

Wool hugh howeyby Hugh Howey

One of the first major success stories of the self-publishing revolution, Wool is the tale of a post nuclear war dystopia where what remains of the human race is confined underground in a giant silo stretching deep into the earth. The silo lives under strict protocols which begin to unravel when a new Sheriff investigates a recent series of murders.

A large part of what made this book compelling was its surprising twists, so SPOILERS AHEAD:

What I learned, Part 1 – Bold choices early in a story can give a reader a sense of uneasiness which can carry through the whole book. The first two main viewpoint characters, the original Sheriff and the original Mayor are both killed within the first 1/3 of the novel. Because they are both quite likable and resourceful, as a reader we can never be quite sure that our newest main character is going to survive. It was a risky choice because it may have alienated readers, but I found it to be very successful.

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MadMax

Trailer of the Year Award – Mad Max: Fury Road

[Update: Headline was changed to reflect Trailer of the Year Award series]

Not to step on the toes of Patrick Lehe’s Trailer Tuesday, it is Wednesday after all, but when I went to theater this past weekend to contribute to the garagantuan January box office take of American Sniper, I was rewarded with what may have been the most exciting trailer I’ve seen in a decade, Mad Max: Fury Road.  I may be a tad late to this party as the trailer was unveiled a month ago, but I hadn’t seen it yet.

Not only is Mad Max back and with the original’s George Miller in the director’s chair, but our hero is portrayed by the great Tom Hardy and he’s brought along the equally talented Charlize Theron.  The trailer literally (and I mean literally) had me slack jawed throughout and sporting a childlike grin when I turned to my wife when it ended – as if begging her to allow us to go see it.  The visuals are stunning.  The editing, music and tone captures the spirit of the madness that permeates this post-apocalytic future.  Damn, I love bold filmmakers and this trailer is no exception. It remains to be seen how the plot unfolds and if Miller, who directed the animated Happy Feet movies, will set the stage of this future world as one that failed to enact a global cap & trade system, thus sentencing Earth to death by climate change.

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