Wool Books in Order, Hugh Howey’s Silo Series

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Silo is a post-apocalyptic science fiction book series written by American author Hugh Howey.

How to read Hugh Howey’s Silo series?

The Wool Universe started in 2011 with a self-published stand-alone short story by Hugh Howey. As it grew in popularity, Howey released more stories in what would become “Wool”, the first novel in the series. It was followed by two other books, forming the Wool trilogy:

Wool (2012)
Shift (2013)
Dust (2013)

Howey also wrote three short stories set in the Wool Universe, to read after the trilogy, originally released in The Apocalypse Triptych anthologies and now available in the following collection:

Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories (2017)

In 2021, Hugh Howey announced on twitter that he started writing a new book in The Silo Series.

More About The World of Wool

The Story of Wool

In a devastated and hostile world, humanity settled underground in a massive silo. The few men and women living there must follow strict regulations and laws and are surrounded by lies and secrets.

But some of them have still hope. Some of them still have dreams. And some of them are ready to break the rules. The punishment for those people is simple: they’re free to go outside, in what is considered a lethal environment.

Working as a mechanic in the silo, Juliette finds herself promoted to a position of power, where the rules she is used to follow are not so well respected. When she uncovers traces of a conspiracy, things become complicated with the survival of humanity at stake.

How many books are there in The Silo Series?

This question should be simple to answer, but the fact that Hugh Howey self-published before can create confusion. There are three novels and three short stories at the time of writing.

Before being released in that format, however, Howey released online the story in more books/chapters. Following are informations about the original publication:

  • Wool consists of the following stories:
    • Holston
    • Proper Gauge (November 30, 2011)
    • Casting Off (December 11, 2011)
    • The Unraveling (December 26, 2011)
    • The Stranded (January 25, 2012)
  • Shift is the second arc and prequel consisting of:
    • First Shift – Legacy (April 14, 2012)
    • Second Shift – Order (November 12, 2012)
    • Third Shift – Pact (January 24, 2013)
  • Dust (August 17, 2013) has not been released in several stories. It’s one whole book!

As said above, the three short stories were originally released in The Apocalypse Triptych. To be more specific:

  • In the Air was previously published in The End is Nigh.
  • In the Mountains was previously published in The End is Now.
  • In the Woods was previously published in The End Has Come.

Does The Silo Series need to be read in order?

Since Dust, the final book in the Silo trilogy, connects all of the storylines, it is necessary to read the books in order. Even though Shift is presented as a prequel to Wool, many events in that second novel happen before and after Wool.

Silo, an Apple TV+ Series

Beyond the Trilogy: The World of Wool

Silo: The Comic Book Adaptation

The first book was adapted as a graphic novel by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Jimmy Broxton. Some changes to the story have been made, including the ending.

Wool: The Graphic Novel (2014)

Silo: The Apple TV+ Series

Based on the novels, Silo is a dystopian series created by Graham Yost for Apple TV+ with it stars Rebecca Ferguson an engineer who works on the generators in the lowest levels of the Silo until being promoted and found herself embroiled in the mysteries of the place. Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Common, Tim Robbins, Harriet Walter, Avi Nash, Rick Gomez, and Chinaza Uche also star in the show.

Fan Fiction from the Wooliverse

In 2013, Amazon launched Kindle Worlds, his imprint dedicated to publishing fan fiction – which lasted until 2018. Among the licensed properties acquired was Silo who became the third most active licensed with 122 novels, novellas, and short stories set in the Silo universe published via the platform.

I don’t have an exhaustive list of all the fanfiction, but the following are a short list of some of those stories:

Silo Submerged (2013), by WJ Davies
Silo Stories by David Adams
Shadows (2013), by Peter Cawdron
The Pawn (2013), by Thomas Robins
Fang (2013), by Ernie Lindsey
Silo 42: Deception (2013), by Zev Paiss
Karma of the Silo (2014) by Patrice Fitzgerald
WOOL Gathering (2014) (short story collection)
Recoil: A Silo Story (2018) by Paul B. Kohler

What to read after Silo?

After Silo, you could be interested in reading more books written by Hugh Howley such as The Sand Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic thriller duology, or Beacon 23, a science fiction psychological thriller.

For more sci-fi dystopia, check out the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown or Seveneves by Neal Stephenson.