Hugh Howey’s Beacon 23debuted on the streaming service MGM+ earlier last week. I really enjoyed the short book the TV series is based on, but it sounds like the reception of the new series has been mixed. You can watch the trailer on YouTube.
The cast looks great and stars Stephan James and Lena Heady. Sounds like they’ve already filmed two seasons. To be honest, I had never heard of MGM+, but I guess this is why you do a high-production series like this – to bring attention to your app/service.
Anyway, Beacon 23 follows the story of an outer space-based lighthouse keeper who takes on a ‘shipwrecked’ traveler. The book is a fast read and has all of Hugh Howey’s signature sci-fi goodness. The reviews have been mixed but trending up. From the few I’ve run across, it sounds like if science fiction is your jam, then you’re going to really enjoy this. I’m one of those that absolutely enjoyed the Silo series on Apple TV (but the books really were better), so I feel like I’ll enjoy Beacon 23 as well.
I know that none of this is breaking news, but a buddy just returned my copy of Beacon 23, and it reminded me to look for the show.
Howey became one of the first hugely successful self-published authors when he took his debut story Wool, which he wrote while working as a bookstore clerk and first published by a small press in 2011. He then independently published each chapter on Amazon’s Kindle platform. Things took off from there. After Wool grew into a novel, it became a trilogy that spawned Howey’s meteoric career.
Wool takes place during a post-apocalyptic period on Earth. What’s left of the human race is living in a Silo that stretches 144 levels underground. Eventually, the main characters discover the truth of their situation and unravel the hidden secrets proving just how far some people will go to stay in control.
I always look forward to Hugh Howey’s writing, and while the SILO trilogy gets all of the press, his other stories are also fun. His books and stories scratch the same itch as John Scazli’s books.
I read Sand a few years ago. While it was fast-paced and imaginative, it did not have the same depth as the Wool trilogy. So I am glad that Wool is the first of Howey’s series headed to the small screen. Though, I still have Across the Sand about halfway down my ‘to be read’ pile and look forward to reading it.
Rereading is something that I have never been very big on. There are just too many good books and fresh ideas to take in. I did enjoy my Asimov reread for the Foundation series, so I may have to go back and pick up the books and spend some more time with Holston, Juilette, and the world’s last human survivors as they try and make a life down in the silo.
They are going to feature one fiction author, on the first Sunday of each month, all year long. These segments will be conducted as all In Depth shows are, allowing viewers to watch live and call or send in questions via social media.
They haven’t shared the whole line up for the year, but there are some big fiction authors slated to be on the show:
January 7th: David Ignatius
February 4th: Colson Whitehead
March 4th: Jeff Shaara
April 1st: Walter Mosley
May 6th: TBD
June 3rd: Gish Jen
July 1st: Brad Thor
August 5th: Cory Doctorow
September 2nd: TBD
October 7th: Geraldine Brooks
November 4th: TBD
December 2nd: Brad Meltzer
What a great lineup! Those are some smart folks who are writing about big and small topics all over the place. BookTV has chatted with fiction authors before during their coverage of literary festivals or industry events like Book Expo of America. In fact they’re airing a conversation with George Saunders about his book Lincoln in the Bardo, which is a segment I plan on watching.
This year’s National Book Awards will be broadcast live over Facebook (as well as on their website) on Wednesday, November 15th, starting at 6:20pm CST. But then they’ll roll pre-recorded videos of the finalists reading, during the dinner portion of the gala, and then pick up the live broadcast when they’re done eating to begin handing out the actual awards.
Last year’s awards were fun to watch, with Colson Whitehead winning the 2016 fiction prize for The Underground Railroad, and this year’s evening looks to be brimming with more bookish greatness.
Hopefully it’ll work. It’d be fun if people outside of the industry started tuning in and looking forward to these awards.
There are four awards being handed out, one for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young adult literature. I’m anxious to see this year’s winners as out of all 20 books nominated – I have only read Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing. And if one of the other fiction finalists is deemed better than that one (which was a great read, though I appreciated her Men We Reaped more.) I certainly want to read it!
Hope you get to tune in next Wednesday night, starting at 6:20pm CST, for the 68th year of the National Book Awards. Here is the slate of finalists for this year’s awards: