Workshop Episode 52 (Guest Host: Hugh Howey)

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 52, with Hugh Howey and Holli Mintzer Hugh Howey – a storyteller who’s pen has scribed many marvelous tales, including the astonishing dystopian scifi tale “Wool” that continues to impact the literary world in the most delightful ways – returns to the big chair at the Roundtable to workshop a very cool mid-grade scifi story idea offered up by the inventive and inspired Holli Mintzer. Holli’s tale of deep space generational ships and alien first contact (and first abduction) is fraught with intriguements that set us to exploring all the nooks and crannies of Holli’s universe. Along the way, we scarf up a metric ton of Literary Gold! (and you’ll find there’s more Literary Gold to be had over at Hugh’s Showcase Episode!)

PROMO: A Minor Magic” by Justin Macumber

Workshop Episode 52 (Guest Host: Hugh Howey)

[caution: mature language and themes – listener discretion is advised]

Check out this and all our episodes on iTunes and on Stitcher Radio!

Here’s what’s on Hugh’s Day-timer…

  • Off to Germany for the release of “Wool” there
  • The off to the UK and Ireland to celebrate the booklaunch and making the Times list
  • Speaking on a Panel at SXSW (on indie publishing as an into to a publishing career)
  • Celebrating Hugh’s deal with Simon and Schuster allowing him to retain digital rights to “Wool”
  • The “Wool” comic book should be out by San Diego Comic-Con


Conventions on Hugh’s schedule:


And goodness from Holli…

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Comments (6)

Oh man, what a great episode. Really cool story idea, and hello – Hugh Howey?! Hugh has become my favorite author. A co-worker who’s a picky reader told me Wool was really good and man he wasn’t kidding. I loved how laid back this episode was, and at the same time it had so many great nuggets of literary gold. Another phenomenal podcast episode in the bank gentlemen. Well done.

Holli presented her story with one of the crispest pitches I’ve heard on this show. Aside from my envy (for my own pitching skills), I think this episode had a lot to love purely on the original idea. That said, the rest of you did a great job too. I listened to it yesterday so I’m a little spotty on specifics. I kept wanting this story to be YA, but that’s probably just because I’m not a Middlegrade writer myself. Very fun listen.

I don’t have much to add to this one, sounds great! Here’s what I do have:

You mentioned a concern with the aliens being too “black and white” and wanting to “gray them up.” Normally I’m all about that. However, I will caution that middle grade tends to like black and white better than gray. So when you’re fleshing them out a little, I wouldn’t worry too much about them being too B&W.

The other thought I had regards the way the coloney ships were staggered. Even if they don’t have FTL communication, I could easily see the first ships sending communications back towards Earth. Athena’s ship would then encounter those communications as they passed them. So they might start getting more information about the missing ships (if you go that route) at some point. There would be no way to reply back, it would be more like finding someone’s journal.

I was also thinking a bit about the FTL communication and have a “what if”

What if Earth sent out non manned communication nodes or something like that, in order to extend our boundries of communication and thus exploration, and Athena and her shipmates are out looking for a specific “node” in order to fix it. (this would remedy the issue of bringing kids on an exploration voyage, as the maintence contract allows for families to join the technicians) Upon finding it they could take a shuttle to go do maintence and find Birdie in a damaged escape pod or something like that. She was somehow separated from her own ship. (That way she would have a memory of her home and family??)
Also upon finding that node Athena could discover some messages or a log that was written by the humans that launched the node from their vessal on an exploritory mission years ago (their job was to fly out and launch those nodes to establish a grid to allow for further exploration) So you still have the new exploration feeling but also the feeling of looking for something and following a trail AND having the plot twist of “oh wow we stumbled upon an alien!”

Just some ideas! Anyway great Episode, book and Workshop!

Disappointed Canadian

“Henry Horton”? Really, Dave?

Hey now… you can’t expect me to be completely accurate on every nuance of Canadian culture. Besides, there’s a Henry Horton State Park here in Tennessee and my brain went all dyslexic with the names.

I haven’t even tasted the damned donuts yet… IT’S NOT MY FAULT!


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