Hugh Howey: Silo

Silo is a dystopian science fiction novel by Hugh Howey, originally published as a series of interconnected short stories. The first volume, Wool, was released in 2011, followed by the prequel Shift in 2013, and the sequel Dust later that same year. Collectively, these three volumes are known as the Silo series, and they take place in a post-apocalyptic world where the remnants of humanity survive in a vast underground bunker called the Silo.


number of pages: 1500
literary movement: CONTEMPORARY
literary genre: DYSTOPIAN FICTION
1st edition: 2011
years of writing: 2011-2013


The series begins with Wool, which introduces the reader to the Silo, a massive, self-contained underground structure housing thousands of people. The society within the Silo is strictly regulated, with each person assigned to specific tasks and roles based on their skills and aptitudes. Strict rules govern every aspect of life, including reproduction, and questioning the status quo is strictly forbidden. Those who break the rules or express dissent are sent outside to clean the external sensors, a task that is essentially a death sentence as the outside world is a toxic wasteland.

In Wool, the protagonist, Juliette Nichols, is a mechanic from the lower levels of the Silo. After the mysterious death of the Silo’s sheriff, Juliette is unexpectedly appointed to the position. As she investigates a series of secrets and cover-ups, she discovers the truth about the Silo’s origins and the reasons behind its oppressive regime. This knowledge puts her life and the lives of those around her in grave danger, as the people in power will stop at nothing to maintain control.

The second volume, Shift, serves as a prequel to Wool and delves into the events leading up to the construction of the Silo. It follows several characters, including Donald Keene, a young congressman who unwittingly becomes involved in the project. Shift provides a deeper understanding of the Silo’s creation, its purpose, and the motivations of those who built it, setting the stage for the final showdown in Dust.

Dust is the conclusion of the Silo series and follows Juliette as she leads a rebellion against the Silo’s oppressive regime. As the people of the Silo struggle for their freedom, they are forced to confront the brutal truth about their world and the sacrifices that must be made to save humanity.


1st book – Wool
2nd book – Shift
3rd book – Dust


Juliette Nichols

Juliette is a skilled mechanic working in the depths of the silo. She is resourceful, strong-willed, and intelligent. Throughout the series, she uncovers the dark secrets of the silo and becomes a key figure in the fight for freedom and truth.


Holston is the sheriff of the silo in Wool. He becomes obsessed with finding out the truth about the outside world and the silo’s origins, setting off a chain of events that eventually leads to Juliette’s involvement in the story.

Lukas Kyle

Lukas is an IT worker in the silo and becomes romantically involved with Juliette. He plays a crucial role in helping her uncover the truth about the silo and supports her in her fight for change.

Mayor Jahns

Jahns is the mayor of the silo and a wise and compassionate leader. She tries to maintain order and stability in the silo while also questioning the system and supporting Juliette.

Bernard Holland

Bernard is the head of IT, the department responsible for maintaining the silo’s computer systems and surveillance. He is a primary antagonist in the series, with a ruthless and manipulative nature.

Donald Keene

Donald is a U.S. Congressman introduced in Shift, the second book in the series, which delves into the backstory of the silo’s creation. He plays a significant role in the events leading up to the present-day situation in the silo.


Solo is a character introduced in Dust, the third book in the series. He has been living in isolation in a separate silo for decades and becomes an important ally for Juliette in her quest for truth and freedom.

These are just a few of the primary characters found in the Silo series. Throughout the books, readers are introduced to a diverse cast of characters that contribute to the rich world Hugh Howey has created.

Better to join a ghost than to be haunted by them. Better no life than an empty one.



  • Post-apocalyptic Setting: The series is set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world where the earth’s surface is uninhabitable, and the remaining human population lives in a vast underground silo.
  • Silo Structure: The silo is a massive, self-contained underground structure divided into 144 levels, with each level having its specific function, such as agriculture, IT, or living quarters.
  • Strict Society: The silo’s society is governed by strict rules and regulations to ensure its survival, including population control and the prohibition of discussing the outside world.
  • Main Character: The first book, Wool, primarily follows Juliette Nichols, a mechanic who becomes entangled in the silo’s secrets and power struggles.
  • Secrets and Conspiracies: The series explores the hidden truths behind the silo’s existence, and the characters must navigate a world filled with deceit and manipulation.
  • Rebellion: As the characters uncover the silo’s secrets, they begin to challenge the status quo and fight for freedom and a better future.
  • Worldbuilding: The Silo Series features intricate worldbuilding, with a detailed history of the silo’s construction, purpose, and the society that has developed within it.
  • Suspense and Pacing: The books are known for their suspenseful storytelling and a well-paced plot that keeps readers engaged.
  • Themes: The series explores themes such as power, control, truth, hope, and human nature in the face of adversity.
  • Adaptations and Spin-offs: The Silo Series has spawned several spin-off stories and a graphic novel adaptation. A TV series adaptation is currently in development.

The Silo series is a gripping exploration of human nature, power dynamics, and the lengths to which people will go to control and manipulate others. Howey skillfully weaves together a richly imagined world with intricate, character-driven narratives that keep the reader engaged and invested in the fates of the characters. Throughout the series, themes such as the importance of individual freedom, the dangers of blind obedience, and the power of hope in the face of overwhelming odds are expertly explored, making Silo a thought-provoking and captivating reading experience.


In September 2021, Apple TV+ was developing a series adaptation of Hugh Howey’s popular science fiction novel, Wool. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the remnants of humanity live in a giant underground silo. The story revolves around a society that has been forced to live within the confines of the silo due to the toxic environment outside.

The Apple TV+ adaptation of Wool has attracted notable talent both in front of and behind the camera. Rebecca Ferguson, known for her roles in films like Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Dune, is set to star as the lead character, Juliette, a mechanic who becomes a central figure in the silo’s struggle for change and truth.

The series is being written by Graham Yost, an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer known for his work on shows like Justified and The Americans. Morten Tyldum, an Academy Award-nominated director for The Imitation Game, is on board to direct the series.

Silo (2023)


Hugh Howey is an American author, best known for his popular science fiction series, Wool. A captivating storyteller, Howey has established a prominent position in the world of literature, with his works translated into several languages and enjoyed by readers worldwide.


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