Friday, October 20, 2017

Fiction Review: Machine Learning

If you read my blog this summer, you know that my husband and I are HUGE fans of Hugh Howey's Silo series: Wool, Shift, and Dust. That trilogy is a completely unique post-apocalyptic, dystopian story with suspense, an intriguing setting, and in-depth characters you come to care about. I finished it this summer for my Big Book Summer Challenge, and both my husband and I loved it. We first read book 1, Wool, because multiple friends of ours from all over the country kept telling us, "You HAVE to read this book!" They were right.

So, I was beyond thrilled to see a new collection of short stories by Hugh Howey among my choices to review for Shelf Awareness and even more thrilled when I was assigned it. I was right to get so excited. Machine Learning is an eclectic mix of compelling and thoughtful stories, from 3 to 40 pages long, in a wide array of genres.

I enjoyed every single story in the collection, but some were truly mind-blowing. Howey has a way of taking common tropes and turning them on their heads, looking at familiar storylines from a completely new perspective. He covers topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, alien invasions, Old West stories, and myths and folklore. He even includes 3 Silo stories for those who didn't get enough of the characters in the 3 long books (like me!) - but I recommend you read the Silo trilogy before the Silo short stories because there are some spoilers there, and they just make more sense if you are familiar with the world.

You can read my full review of Machine Learning at Shelf Awareness, which includes examples of some of the stories in the collection.

Have you read any Hugh Howey novels or short stories yet? Are you a mega fan like we are?

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.



You can buy the book through, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!


  1. I haven't read any Hugh Howey books! I kind of gave up on the Big Book Challenge this year- I couldn't handle it this summer- so I wasn't consciously looking for big books to read.

    Congratulations once again on your Shelf Awareness job!

    1. We enjoy his novels so much! Hope you have a chance to read them sometime.


  2. I still haven't read any of his stuff. My TBR list is just too long these days, especially since I feel I am still in a bit of a reading slump. Not fun.

    1. I hear you on the never-ending TBR!