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Hugh Howey was a boat captain living aboard a seventy four foot yacht in the shadow of the Twin Towers on the morning of September 11 2001Imprisoned and put on display in a glass domed zoo on the planet Tralfamadore adult film actress Montana Wildhack is left alone with her thoughts and her occasional lover Billy PilgrimInspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece Slaughterhouse Five Howey uses this short story to weave his own personal Dresden experience with Wildhack’s private hell In Peace in Amber he examines the struggle to determine what to control when to surrender and how to discern those things we cannot change


10 thoughts on “Peace in Amber

  1. says:

    I'm twenty one years old With no home to call my own I'm currently sleeping on my sister's couch I've recently returned from a trip to California to see my father because he lied and said he was dying so that I would sit on a Greyhound bus for 1800 miles and come visit him I spent the last money I had in this world to do so I cannot afford rent so when I return to Alabama I'm evicted I'm not in a chipper mood The front door flies open and my sister comes barreling into the living room I come awake instantly at the discordant symphany that is her entrance She shoves my legs off the couch and flops down beside me The remote is in her hand and she's frantically flipping channels Doesn't matter though because every station is playing the same disaster movie Or is it a war movie? Some kind of alternate history thing like RED DAWN where some country's military has breached America's borders has dared step a foot down on our soil with violent intent But these aren't movie networks my sister's scrolling through These are news outlets CNN FOX MSNBC Local stations We all know where we were the day those planes flew into the towers and most of us do not want to be reminded of that day other than to remember the slain and author Hugh Howey seems to get that He doesn't dwell on the carnage and when he must broach the topic he does so tactfully In this short piece Howey channels Vonnegut to perfection If Vonnegut weren't gone from this world I'd have thought he wrote this So it goes Slaughterhouse Five is one of my all time favorite works of fiction based on war Vonnegut's novel moved me and molded me into the individual I am today a peaceful soul that respects life This is not to say that I am anti war or anti military or any other such nonsense It's only to say that I don't like death and destruction whether it be large scale or intimate and think that any loss of life is a tragedy Funny thing for a horror writer to say but it's the truth This is the first thing from Hugh Howey that I've read all the way through I couldn't get into the WOOL books or Silo Saga or whatever they're called and I believe my enjoyment of this novelette stemmed from my love of Vonnegut style and not Howey's Howey does a spot on impersonation and for that reason alone I tip my nonexistent hat to him


  2. says:

    First off let me be upfront When I first got my kindle I bought this by accident Otherwise I probably wouldn't have read it but whatever its Hugh Howey so I'll give it a shot This is a Kindle Worlds tale based in the world of Kurt Vonnegut Specifically Slaughterhouse Five I haven't read Slaughterhouse Five but knew a little about the premise as far as the man becoming stuck in time or unstuck in time or something along those lines This was still pretty interesting even without prior knowledge It deals mostly with the 911 attacks and that in itself made it pretty powerful I will admit the story lost me at times as the premise was hard to follow Overall I did enjoy itI would say if you're a Vonnegut fan check this one out as you would probably get out of I than I did


  3. says:

    This was probably as powerful a book as I'm likely to read this year Maybe that's why I avoided it for so long putting it off for various reasons waiting for an epub version that Howey himself confirmed would not be comingI imagine it wouldn't have the same impact for someone who'd never read Slaughterhouse Five or anything else by Kurt Vonnegut Nor would it I suppose for those who didn't experience the stomach churning terror the morning of 911 of trying frantically to account for loved onesBut perhaps the survivors of the fire bombing of Dresden felt the same about Slaughterhouse Five And perhaps there's hope in all that horror but not right away So coming unstuck in time helps So might seeing things in four dimensions or keeping the mental images and memories of strangers holding on to each other and making room in boats and cars I remember those things mostAnd I know that others all through the world have their own horrors far worse than ours And so books like Howey's and Vonnegut's by mixing time scenarios and moods make it eually bearable and horrorifying As it should


  4. says:

    I am a huge Kurt Vonnegut fan and a huge Hugh Howey fan so I was prepared to like this But it just blew me away It's a very raw emotional take on the events of 911 by someone who was right there in the shadows of the twin towers But it's done ala Vonnegut so it goes This couldn't have been easy to write and it wasn't always easy to read Thank you Hugh Howey for sharing this very personal story Even though I was a couple of hundred miles away I felt like I was there I think all of us who watched it unfold live feel that way And the title just perfect This is a very short read I'd recommend it to anyone


  5. says:

    sometimes they answered before a uestion was asked and sometimes they waited until years later to answer and so you had to listen carefullyThis story helped put together years of my own uestions and answersI needed to read thisBeautiful Thank you


  6. says:

    There's an immediate connecting to this a presence of urgency loss despair and of deep felt acuteness as Howey recaptures the 911 attacks The account of how he spent the previous evening also helps in regards to gaining both perspective and a sense of immediacy As does the use of first person narrative I also appreciate the personal setting in regards to imaginative thinking At one point the narrative mergers time making singular events exist as one memory and as thus it erases the continuum in favor of an omnipresent sense of experiencing everything eually and at the same time This makes the narrative feel rather omniscient even to the extent that Howey is writing a story in the style of Vonnegut in which he as narrator is reading Vonnegut's book Then there is the story of Montana Wildhack Billy Pilgrim and the Tralfamadorians Told from a third person narrative this story seems to serve as a way to look for the larger perspective on life as a whole rather than singular events In a way it feels like we're been elevated to a level above our subjective reality to a place in a vast universe where we may experience the role of detached observers I really liked those parts too and I might add that shifting narratives served the story well and were easy to adapt to The writing is just as stunningly beautiful as I would expect from Howey and although I've never actually read anything by Kurt Vonnegut I get the feeling that the story is also very much true to the spirit of his authorship In fact this story has peaked my interest so much so that I'm thinking that Vonnegut isn't just the type of author I might love but an author that I shouldn't possibly have been able to overlook As in WHY haven't anyone or I thought to acuaint me with his authorship At the very least I now have to read Slaughterhouse five


  7. says:

    Beautifully written short story that combines fiction and truth Hugh Howey's most personal book to date and in my opinion his best work As if Hugh's story about his own experience during 911 isn't enough there is plenty of philosophy for individual reader's to pull things from the book that strike a personal chord


  8. says:

    Howey and Vonnegut two of my favourite authors mashed together As good as I'd hoped and very moving And funny


  9. says:

    Weeks after reading this story I can't think of a better way to review it than the one I wrote for just minutes after I finished it I do love the story even now11414A Story in the Past Present and FutureI just read a short story that doesn't exist yet at least not in normal time here on this planet For some reason sent out Hugh Howey's Peace in Amber early and yes I read it as soon as it showed up I can't review it on yet because it hasn't been published yet Interesting especially in context of this story If I could review it I would give Peace in Amber five stars That's only because I can't give a higher rating than thatI will say if you're old enough to remember September 11 2001 this is not an easy one to read What strikes me about reading a story before it exists especially this one is I'm reading a story that has always existed Right now it IS September 11 2001 and I'm at work in Atlanta hearing reports of what happened before anyone understood what was happening The hard part about reading Peace in Amber is you are right back there I'm driving home under highway signs that say National Emergency Jason is walking back in at 7 am on 912 after working the emergency overnight shift and when he opens the door I remember it all in one horrifying second I knew that would happen when I finally fell asleep the night before and I couldn't do anything to stop it It's all happening right now That's one of the most devastating mind shifts humans are capable ofAll of us who were aware then remember those minutes and hours and days and weeks that followed seared into our minds sharp and never fading We also have the ability to put memories like those away so we can go on about our lives as if that could never happen again Really as if it never did happen I think this is a good thing a survival thing It can be hard when those memories float back up to the surface all these years later As long as we've been humans we've been able to do that Probably before we were humans That's how we get through our lives that ability to convince ourselves that our deepest fears can never happen That's a kinder human mind shiftWith this short story Hugh Howey has beautifully woven together multiple worlds in a way that hurts as much as the memories do but it helps our world make a little sense We can keep going keep moving hopefully learning what we need to along the way We can find the good and the beauty and the freedom in the most hopeless circumstances and maybe even the wisdom and courage to change things One of the ways we do that is by telling stories by sharing them Through story we experience the life of another We can reach out to each other to people we've never met and we never will Despite that distance of miles or years all of our lives are better for it Empathy and compassion understanding the mind and heart of another are the most important human abilities of all That's the truest path toward peace


  10. says:

    In 1969 Kurt Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse 5 as a means of making sense of the terrible ordeal he had endured during the firebombing of Dresden The book was utter nonsense and brilliant beyond the standards if the time It is perhaps the greatest work of satirical fiction Ever In 2014 Hugh Howey wrote Peace in Amber as a means of making sense of the ordeal he had endured on September 11 2001 This story is utter nonsense and brilliant just like its inspiration Slaughterhouse 5 Hugh borrows elements from Vonnegut and interweaves them with truth Truth The result brings back the horror and confusion of that terrible day and reminds us of that brief moment in American history when we were one nation mourning together and so afraid of the future I read this in one sitting my heart aching as I relived that day Hugh Howey is an inspiration to many indie authors myself included I'm glad he lived to write this Do yourself a favor and read this story it's brilliant