Through the Pages: Wool 39-43

Welcome to week 11 of Through the Pages: Wool, a weekly discussion on various chapters in Wool as we reread the book in anticipation of the upcoming adaptation and log in our predictions on what will stay, what will go, what might be added, and what lines we want to see make it in. Will beloved small characters be cut? Merged? Will seemingly small characters gain a bigger role?

This week’s piece covers chapters 39 through 43, as we continue with “The Unraveling.” Join us as we make our way through the pages and comment with your own predictions!

Through the Pages: Wool will be published each week, covering a group of chapters in Wool. The six Through the Pages: Wool contributors will include five Wool veterans and one Wool newbie.

Please note that due to personal reasons, regular contributor Eamon Ambrose will be on hiatus for this installment. Look for his contributions again in the coming weeks!

Samuel Peralta

Momentum is taking me through the next chapters like a steam locomotive. I’ve read this all before, and yet the details escape me, like a dream I’m trying to remember. Will Juliette find clean air in the new silo before suffocating in her suit? What happened to this silo that caused such devastation? What will Bernard reveal to Lukas, his new shadow and appointed successor as head of IT? Will the folks at Supply join the rebels of Mechanical, or will they stand for maintaining the status quo?


I can’t help thinking of McLain being played by Nichelle Nichols—older, frail, but with a sense of dignity and power. If not, I’d love to see utterly Wakanda’s regal Queen Ramonda in the role—Angela Bassett.

Oh… Let’s have some fun and cast Boston Dynamics’ Spot as Jackson.

Lines that should make the show:

Walker’s entire speech to Supply, to win them over to the cause, has the urgent eloquence of President Whitmore’s call to arms in Independence Day, or Aragorn’s rallying his forces at the gates of Mordor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I’d keep it all!

Samuel Peralta, bestselling author and editor

Samuel Peralta is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, series editor of the acclaimed Future Chronicles anthologies, editorial director for Gravity City digital magazine, and producer of the Emmy® award winning film Real Artists. He is the principal on the Lunar Codex mission launching time capsules carrying the work of over 3000 creative artists—including a story from Hugh Howey!—to the Moon.

Follow him on: Twitter | Facebook

Crystal Watanabe

The content of this block of chapters could probably span a few of episodes at least, and I think there’s a good chance we’ll see an expanded storyline with Supply and McLain, simply because while the focus of the book is on Mechanical and IT, a show would have a lot more room to touch on other important aspects of the silo, and Supply would be right up there in order of importance. Plus, McLain just screams expanded character. With Lukas, he’s getting in deeper and deeper with Bernard, learning more than most other people in the silo know, and yet he’s also in the dark about so many other things going on that he’ll make a great source for tension and anticipation.

Juliette’s journey to the other silo will be macabre and terrifying, especially given how sensitive we all are now about germs and air and whatnot. In addition… she’s alone. Is there anything more universal than the fear of being somewhere terrifying all by yourself and yet motivated by the fact that people back home need you? I can’t wait to see what they do with her in this situation. Loads of big storylines, all coming to a head. I also hope to see them expand on the societal dynamics of the silo, which McLain touches on a bit while planning with Knox. It reminded me of Wilford’s train in Snowpiercer, both the movie and the TV show, though the TV show had a lot more room to explore the classes within their miniature society than the movie did. I look forward to a similar exploration of these very human complications.


I can’t really picture anyone in my mind for Jenkins or Jackson, but for McLain, I wouldn’t mind seeing someone like Julianne Moore. I really liked her tough lady demeanor in Children of Men, and I can see her bringing that same gruff-but-caring vibe here.

Lines that should make the show:

“God built more than one.”

Crystal Watanabe, freelance fiction editor

Crystal Watanabe is the owner and lead editor of Pikko’s House, writer of the weekly editors webcomic SimpleMarkup, creator of the Book Lovers Box®, and co-author of the Yum-Yum Bento Box cookbooks. A longtime fan of Wool, Crystal originally founded in 2012. She lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, with her husband, three kids, and three dogs.

Follow her on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Peter Cawdron

At this point in the novel, there’s a disconnect in the story. Those in the original silo assume Juliette’s dead (and with good reason, given their toxic world), while Juliette descends into a dead silo that mimics her own in every respect. Juliette has no way of knowing what’s happening in her silo, and those in her silo have no way of knowing she’s alive. Despite this, the two stories are entwined. We see Juliette physically descending into a hellhole as her original silo slips further toward upheaval. The imagery and implications are unmistakable, and I suspect this will play well in the series. There’s a sense of hopelessness and frustration with both journeys, and yet it’s clear this is not the end for either silo. To my mind, this sense of dread drives the story on.

Lines that should make the show:

“No one has ever been sent to cleaning for listening.”

“Don’t you see? We’ve been living the uprising. Our parents were the children of it, and now we feed our own children to the same machine. This will not be the start of something new, but the end of something old.”

“God built more than one.” (Although this is a thought, I suspect Juliette will utter this, as it’s blasphemous in her world and marks a turning point in her understanding.)

Peter Cawdron, bestselling science fiction author

Peter is the Australian science fiction author of the First Contact series of novels exploring the concept of humanity’s first interaction with extraterrestrial life. He specializes in making hard science fiction easy to understand and thoroughly enjoyable. Peter is a fan of classic science fiction writers such as Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Crichton, and their influence on his style and storylines is readily apparent.

Follow him on: Amazon

Angela Traficante

I love these sections where we get multiple perspectives all handling tense situations. In this set, we have Juliette trying to figure out if the new silo is safe, Knox really starting to understand the depth of the corruption in their silo, and Lukas getting drawn deeper and deeper into the conspiracy.

It’s interesting that the new silo Juliette finds herself in is basically a preview of what could happen to her old home. I could imagine some flashbacks of her life to connect the idea of a living silo with what it could become: a dead silo. As she explores, I expect we’ll have lots of lingering shots on details, especially those that connect the two silos and show that this was likely all part of some plan and that these two silos are mirrors of one another.

I can’t wait to watch the uncertainty come through in the TV series. Juliette not knowing her new situation, not knowing if she’s safe, not knowing what to do next, not even knowing if the people back home saw her clear the hill and move on. Knox and his people teetering on the edge of a fall into true rebellion, not knowing what actually happened to Juliette yet wondering if they could follow in her path and live. Lukas caught in the middle, unsure of where his loyalties may lie. This last one is interesting for the viewer, too, as I think there could be a definite will-he-won’t-he arc set up for Lukas that is just as engaging as Juliette (will she or won’t she survive?) and the people of Mechanical (will they or won’t they rebel?).

Lines that should make the show:

“Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.” (Epigraph)

“She laughed madly and stumbled toward the stairwell, drawn to the green glow of light, breathing deeply and too exhausted to appreciate this, the impossible life still in her.”

Angela Traficante, freelance editor and author

Angela Traficante is a freelance fiction editor, urban fantasy author, and general lover of all things fantasy and sci-fi. When she’s not fiddling around with words, she’s making time to travel, figure skate, and bake sweet treats. This is Angela’s first time reading Wool.

Follow her on: Twitter | Lambda Editing

Will Swardstrom

This is a major point in the books… the dam is breaking, and we’re seeing the early stages for both Juliette and Knox in their new lives. For Juliette… what is life like in a different silo, a silo where something went wrong? The visceral language Hugh uses when she’s tripping over bodies and discovering what’s inside is brutal and wonderful. Then the issue of her suit and getting it off before the suit ends up killing her after all. As for Knox… man, that scene with him in Supply, passionately drumming up support and just flat out putting his life on the line as a revolutionary—I would love to see that on the scene. Give the right actor those lines in that situation, and you’ll find a fan favorite in no time. We do also get a brief bit with Lukas and Bernard where Bernard finally starts to admit the truth to someone, and Lukas will have to make a lot of choices from this moment on. Just some great setup for the rest of the story to come.

Lines that should make the show:

“We have cause for more hope than they’ll dare give us. There’s more at our disposal to broaden our horizons than they’ll allow. We have been raised on a pack of lies, made to fear by the sight of our kinsmen rotting on the hills, but now one of us has crossed over that! They have seen new horizons!” -part of Knox’s speech to Supply. Just… wow.

Will Swardstrom, speculative fiction author

Will Swardstrom is a speculative fiction author of multiple novels and many short stories on an indefinite hiatus from publishing due to teaching, family life, and an international pandemic. He read Wool in the summer of 2012 and has written multiple short stories in Hugh Howey’s Silo Universe.

Follow him on: Amazon

And that’s it! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our show predictions for chapters 39–43. Join us next week for our analysis of Chapters 44–48. Reread along with us and comment below with your own predictions!

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