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Hugh Howey is Getting a Bum Rap April 18, 2013

Posted by Al Philipson in Industry News and Views.
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Hugh Howey, author of "Wool"It happens to many people who achieve success. The Lilliputians who don’t have enough talent or work ethic to make the grade start picking on the giant to make themselves look bigger than they are (at least in their own minds).

For a while after his short eBook story, Wool, went viral and sold a ton of copies, Hugh enjoyed the admiration of most of the literary community and certainly that of his fans. And why not? He seems to be a nice guy and his rags to riches story rings a bell with many who like to see the “underdog” triumph.

Then he scored a paper deal with Random House and a movie deal to boot. After that, it didn’t take long for the snipers to come out of the woodwork, looking for a chink in his armor — even if they had to make one up.

When Hugh posted a story about an abusive woman he met at an event, and labeled her “a bitch” (a better term than she deserved if the details of the story are true), the little people thought they had a good target. After all, if they stretched this out far enough, they could make him look like a woman-hater (and the had to stretch pretty far for that one). Then the snarkey articles started appearing on blogs no one had ever heard of before (I won’t dignify any of them with a mention, nor a link) and the hounds started baying at his heels (perhaps I should say, “the ankle biters started yapping at his heels?”).

Mr. Nice Guy (Hugh) probably hadn’t encountered this level of made-up vitriol before and made the mistake of posting an apology, thus adding fuel to a fire that would have gone out on its own if left alone. Emboldened by his reaction, the ankle biters started criticizing him for the apology (“you can’t win” department).

Now, more of the trolls are coming out of the woodwork and bombarding their 2 or 3 readers with their own versions of “bash Howey” blatherings.

Hopefully, 98% of Howey’s fans and the rest of us will recognize these attacks for what they are: a pathetic attempt to get attention where none is deserved. And Hugh can get back to what he does best, which is write interesting stories that other people want to read.

Comments»

1. admjoshar85 - July 16, 2013

I met Hugh Howey not long ago in Melbourne, Australia at Supernova. He was holding a talk on his series Wool and his career in general. Even though there was only a dozen people watching, Hugh gave a great presentation, answered a lot of questions and had a chat with me afterwards to sign my book. I myself am an aspiring writer and Hugh gave me some great, realistic tips.

I found him to be a very genuine guy with an interesting career. I was fascinated with the fact that despite his success, he is very grounded and is all about storey telling.

It’s a shame about all of this and I can honestly say that he is the last person I could picture as a women hater.

I’m looking forward to Dust and the upcoming movie adaptation.

Josh

Al Philipson - November 22, 2013

Thanks for the feedback. That’s my impression of him as well. I’ve met several “name” authors in my over 6 decades of life and haven’t found a snob in the lot. Most memorable was Harry Turtledove; memorable because he towers over everyone else in a crowd and because he’s another one of the “good guys” who writes great “alternative history” stories.

2. admjoshar85 - July 16, 2013

Reblogged this on The Bastion and commented:
An interesting read on Hugh Howey. Hugh is one of my favourite authors. I recently met him at Supernova and he was one of the nicest guys.

3. swiveltam - September 21, 2013

This is very interesting and eye opening. I’m certainly learning there is a narrow edge for an author to walk these days. Enjoying your blog :)

Al Philipson - November 22, 2013

Thanks for visiting. I’m glad you enjoying my blathering. I don’t post stuff often enough, but I try not to just post for the sake of “doing something”. That gets boring.

My creator, the Geek, has even made me give up on politics and to mind my manners when he lets me out of the house. He gets away with murder while I have to behave. It’s soooo unfair.

This is the era of “hit piece” “news” and even non-politicians (including writers) aren’t immune to the attacks of the Lilliputians. The problem is, that in today’s world, you can’t pretend forever, so you’d better be “real” at all times or hide in a closet if the real you isn’t socially acceptable.

I’m glad that Hugh is one of the “real” people.


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