The Plagiarist
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The Plagiarist

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,457 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Adam Griffey is living two lives. By day, he teaches literature. At night, he steals it. Adam is a plagiarist, an expert reader with an eye for great works. He prowls simulated worlds perusing virtual texts, looking for the next big thing. And when he finds it, he memorizes it page by page, line by line, word for word. And then he brings it back to his world, the real worl...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published February 24th 2011 by Createspace
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"Adam wondered if it counted as a lie if the untruth was as boring as reality."

It's easy to see the appeal of virtual reality. The chance to break from the monotony of real life, to be someone different, someone better, to experience something new and exciting and safe (since you can always log off when things are not to your liking). It can bring excitement and fulfillment, fill in the gaps and the void in your own life. And it can be done easily, without hard work, without sacrifice - new poss...more
Timothy Ward
I'm really impressed with this story both for its depth of ideas and philosophy, but also because of how much I cared for the main character. The emotional attachment to him finding happiness kept me reading. I love reading stories that give me joy to share in their world, even if it is bleak. This was that kind of story.

******** Spoiler Alert ***********

My only problem with this story was that I guessed the ending too far prior to the end. I thought what if he was also in a simulated world whe...more
I bought this story because I loved his Wool Omnibus Edition. I can tell you, honestly, that I would have happily read 1000 more pages of this story, but Hugh Howey is one of the new masters of the Short. You can read this during your lunch, or a train commute, or a short layover... and I do mean short. I was captured instantly, the setting is so absolutely feasible that there was no willing suspension of disbelief time needed to settle in... and the ending?? I'll just say: Well played, Mr. Howe...more
Daniel J. Weber
I had a hard time deciding whether to peg it at 4 or 5 stars. I usually reserve 5 stars for books that completely blew me away and 4 stars for excellent books that I really enjoyed, but they don't make my top of the list as favourite books of all time. To receive 5 stars from me you have to do something extraordinarily exceptional that I have not seen before / did not expect. With that point aside, let's get to the review!

I enjoyed this novella. Because of the length of the work description of t...more
This was a fun read, despite figuring out the plot twist fairly early on.

(Also: a bonus! Only discovered one typo, which is amazing these days. The poet was Percy Bysshe Shelley, not Shelly.)
I am starting this short story out at 3.5 stars, but it will probably be one of those books that plays on my mind enough that it will end up warranting 4 stars.

I am not really sure what I think about Hugh Howey. I loved his WOOL series, but I am confused by the length of his books, they range from a short-story to a novella in length. I am not used to paying money for a single short-story, though I am sure I will eventually. I should applaud him as I also always dislike short-stories. I find the...more
Shilpi Goel
I really enjoyed reading The Plagiarist. Hugh Howey has a wonderful way with words (and haiku!). I'm glad I found a modern SF author whose books I really look forward to reading.

The biggest appeal of Hugh Howey's books, for me, is that the story is so plausible. SF is generally incredible (I guess the point is that it is meant to be), but Hugh's way makes it so that one realizes after reading half-way through his books that a feeling of "meh-I-gotta-accept-the-crazy-stuff-'coz-that's-what-I've-c...more
I give this short story five stars for a few reasons. First and most importantly, the concept. The idea here is fantastic and new to me. As a participant in a virtual world, I can love to find books that take on that culture, and Hugh took it to a whole mother level in just 57 pages. The next reason is because by page 35 or so, I started to question why he was being so descriptive, especially toward the end. Then, I realized why and that it was not only necessary, but a masterful storytelling ta...more
This wasn't entirely what I was expecting. I got less of one thing and got a bit more of another. Not that that's a bad thing!! It was quite a mind bender of a story.

What surprised me most is that Adam is not entirely a likeable character, when you get down to it, but I found myself strongly empathizing with him. I felt really badly for him.

The ending was quite twisted. Nice!! Mr. Howey has done it again! The final image was... perfectly tragic.
Brian Berge
My main problem is that it's too short! This premise holds so much potential, so many possibilities. It is great for what it is though - a philosophical exercise in a sci-fi setting. At first I was upset that the main character couldn't see what was coming as well as I could, but then I realized that it only added another layer to the exercise. I found this novella much more thought provoking than other noted philosophical works. Well done!
Niels Pedersen
I'm seriously considering stalking Hugh Howey. When I find him it will be old school judo chop time.
Last night I read "The Plagiarist", by Hugh Howey, free on Kindle.
In my opinion this is at the very least as good as, if not more compelling, than Wool.
I thought I was a woolite, now I'm not wondering if I shouldn't be a server farm surfer.
Seriously Hugh, your killing me man.
Niels Pedersen
That guy outside your window
Mar 19, 2013 Ainsley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: e-readers looking for a short, satisfying read (maybe on a short plane ride like me)
Recommended to Ainsley by: Eric Wallace
Shelves: read-in-2013
"Is this real life? Or is this just fantasy?"

Last December I learned I love Hugh Howey. I loved his Wool series. I love good, fun, provocative writing. So, no surprise: I really liked The Plagiarist.

It is the slimmest of reads--less than 100 pages. And yet it's rich in character development and deep thoughts and has plenty of payoffs and "wait, WHAT?!?" moments.

21st Century Story for our Virtual World

THE PLAGIARIST is a short story (64 short pages) by WOOL-SHIFT-DUST author, Hugh Howey. It is a cute little tidbit that could easily have formed the basis for an outstanding one hour TWILIGHT ZONE or OUTER LIMITS episode. Adam is a teacher, but he really makes his living by "ghost-writing" stories that were written by the virtual inhabitants of a virtual world that exists in his university's mainframe. He is also in love with one of that world's virtual in...more
I loved this. Every single word of it. It felt like such a huge layered subject and it made my brain sweat just a little with the ramifications of it all but I would have gladly read a 1000 page novel of this story.
Amazing, but found
sim addiction far-fetched.
'Scuse me, Halo calls.
Well written, but sadly predictable.
(review also on Amazon)

I'm not even sure how to articulate my awe. I feel oddly unsure of what's real, or not. Howey's writing is the type to make me feel uncomfortable for being so horrifically possible. Not only possible, but sometimes even likely. This is not a feeling I want to dissipate anytime soon. My head spins with the concept of reality. isn't that all it is; our own brain's way of defining electrical signals? is reality even, well, real? I don't think so. Thanks, Hugh, for the utter m...more
Kat  Hooper
4.5 stars. Originally posted at Fantasy Literature:

The Plagiarist is a science fiction novella written by Hugh Howey, who recently became famous for his self-published WOOL series. The plagiarist of the title is Adam Griffey, a college professor who uses newly discovered technology at his university to visit virtual worlds where he seeks out brilliant authors, memorizes their works, and brings them back to our world. Everyone knows the works are plagiariz...more
A short (~57 pages) story/novella that describes a future where people can jack into simulated worlds (Second Life?) and live other existences in a more realistic way than we can do today. And in these sim worlds, their virtual inhabitants are creating and researching and just living, just like we do in this world. As a "Plagiarist", the main character is mining the worlds for creative works, looking for the next Shakespeare, and bringing those works back to his "real" world. But what happens wh...more
An enjoyable little short story by Howey about a university professor who "plagiarizes" the works of other famous authors--none of which are actually real. In the near future, the sophistication of virtual worlds has become so advanced that major educational instutions are able to "sim" entire worlds (some Earth-like, others not) and run all sorts of scientific experiments.

These simulated worlds are so advanced and populated that they produce art, literature, and culture of their own and Adam G...more
Well, I tried this on for size after hearing about the Wool series (which I plan on reading eventually). I just wanted to get a taste of Hugh Howey (that sounds wrong and I'm sorry).

This Adam Griffey dude is not a plagiarist in the way you would think. He doesn't just steal people's work and pass it off as his own. Adam goes into virtual worlds, memorizes stuff he thinks is awesome, then publishes it under his own name.


He does not claim to be the author. No no no. He just claims to h...more
Fantasy Literature
The Plagiarist is a science fiction novella written by Hugh Howey, who recently became famous for his self-published WOOL series. The plagiarist of the title is Adam Griffey, a college professor who uses newly discovered technology at his university to visit virtual worlds where he seeks out brilliant authors, memorizes their works, and brings them back to our world. Everyone knows the works are plagiarized, but since the author doesn’t live in our world, it doesn’t count, and our protagonist ge...more
Hugh lost me a little in the middle there with what I felt was a somewhat foggy plot line and not investing me in the characters. He picks up the interest near the end though with a smash finish and overall I liked the idea of the story. I have so much goodwill towards Mr. Howey for writing Wool and for his general awesomeness in leading the charge of the indie author that I pretty much can't fault him for taking a cool idea and writing this perfectly okay story. I liked it and if you enjoy a li...more
Andrew Huff
This story is just the perfect length--not too short that it doesn't do the job, but it still left me wanting a little more which isn't a bad thing.

I can see how Howey might be tempted to flesh this out more into a full-length novel, but as it is this is a very good read that explores creativity and technology. Like all good stories, The Plagiarist leaves you thinking a little bit differently about your world and actions.
Robin Amrine
Another mind bender from Hugh Howey

I love the was Hugh Howey's mind works! He creates the most innovative alternative worlds in his books. This is another great short story to get you thinking about the internet and its power over us as humans who need personal communication more than font-controlled language.
Kimberly Black
This is by far my all time favorite read of Hugh Howey's novels. I love how simple the story seems, but how complex it actually is when you reach the end. It's a short story, but Howey manages to flesh it out and get you attached to the main character quickly and the ending is sure to have you wanting more.
I wasn't expecting THAT!
I was confused at the beginning of this short story and wasn't sure i was going to like it. But it quickly got interesting and now the beginning makes more sense than it did before. Its like a episode of The Twilight Zone where you don't really know whats going on through half the episode and then, WHAM! This is a cool story that makes you think.
Ken Sodemann
Moments spill through hands
idling away at nothing
To puddle in years

This story takes an interesting look at what can happen in a world where our simulations have gotten so good that we no longer produce our own art or research. It is more cost effective to let the sims do the work and then plagiarize them. This is what research has become, all research, not just in the arts, but also in the sciences.

What happens, though, when the simulation becomes so real that you begin having love relationships...more
Outerspace Andrea
This novelette was a total win for me; Howey repeatedly proves he has a gift for writing brilliant completely developed short stories. It was another one of those reads where you simply can’t put it down; you get completely sucked into Adam Griffey’s virtual world. I loved the idea of this story, and was impressed by the quality of character development packed into a story of this length. If I had any complaint it would have be that I wish this story was longer!! It provides so many different ve...more
Hugh Howey is doing well for himself. Between his immensely popular Wool series and small nuggets of gold like The Plagiarist, avid readers looking for the next big writer but understandably wary of self-published hacks can rest easy; Hugh Howey knows what the fuck he's doing.

The Plagiarist is situated in that tricky genre valley between speculative fiction and mainstream fiction - the Hollywood-friendly kind that usually finds its way made into a successful film adaptation. At 58 pages, it's c...more
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I'm the author of WOOL, a top 5 science fiction book on Amazon. I also wrote the Molly Fyde saga, a tale of a teenager from the 25th century who is repeatedly told that girls can't do certain things -- and then does them anyway.

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More about Hugh Howey...
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“....faking his real life so he can live his fake one.” 2 likes
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