Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beacon 23” as Want to Read:
Beacon 23
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beacon 23

(Beacon 23 #1-5)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  15,987 ratings  ·  1,296 reviews
For centuries, men and women have manned lighthouses to ensure the safe passage of ships. It is a lonely job, and a thankless one for the most part. Until something goes wrong. Until a ship is in distress.

In the 23rd century, this job has moved into outer space. A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at many times the speed of light. These beaco
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 6th 2015 by Broad Reach Publishing (first published August 12th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,987 ratings  ·  1,296 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Beacon 23
Kevin Kelsey
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
A fun little sort-of novel about PTSD and genocide.
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This story blew me away. I chose to pick up this book based on the fact that I highly enjoyed Wool Omnibus, and wanted to read another work by Howey. In such a short work, Howey has really given readers a complete science fiction masterpiece. When I first began reading, I was reminded of The Martian; but as I read on, I discovered that Beacon 23 is so much more than a sometimes humorous story of a man alone in space.
Beacon 23 really speaks to the politics of our world today. Much like the visio
'Look at all that nothingness. Can you feel it looking back?'

A man by the name of Digger is the solitary watchman of Beacon 23, stationed in space. Beat with him as he copes with the isolation. We know he suffers from PTSD as a result of his time as a soldier in the war against a race of aliens known as the Ryph. Is he slowly losing his sanity as well? (view spoiler)
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, war
A lighthouse keeper in space does some deep soul-searching.

The unnamed protagonist is a veteran of intergalactic war that has suffered a lot and now just wants to be left alone. NASA stationed him at a beacon that is supposed to take care of passing spaceships. To make sure they don’t crash into some piece of junk or an asteroid at twenty times the speed of light. Honestly, the beacon does all of this by itself. He just has to make sure that the thing keeps running. However, the beacon is just a
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
There's a lot of good things I can say about this collection of 5 stories that happen to make up one complete novel and one fairly heavy personal annoyance.

First, the good, and even a bit of the great.

It's emotional. Being a spaceways lighthouse keeper may seem like a thankless job, but strong characterization carries it off seamlessly. The poor guy starts off being the wounded war hero, but he fairly quickly descends into some rather crazy shit. It has a bit of The Martian feel without any le
Jun 12, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Go quietly, and you`re a number. Go in spectacular fashion, and you`re a name."

Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, romance
I am speechless. When I picked up this book, I was expecting a usual good old sci-fi. You know, deep space, fixing things, flying starships, well, the usual stuff. Even the first part of five did nothing to change my mind. On the contrary, I read it, and my thoughts were Oh wow, it's like "The Martian" meets "Gravity". How cool is that?!. Indeed that would be very cool. But it has nothing to do with "Beacon 23".

You see, this book is sort of a diary of an anti-hero. It is a confession of a war he
Every morning is an afterlife. Every evening, I die anew in the trenches amid nightmares of artillery finding their target. To wake each morning is a surprise. To rise a miracle. To breath another breath some gift foisted upon me and beyond my control."
The narrator (whose name we never learn) of this fine collection of short stories is seriously damaged. A decorated war hero from a seemingly endless intergalactic conflict, he has been reassigned to be the sole custodian of one of the many be
While I enjoy Hugh Howey’s writing, it seems like he's stuck in a rut with his novel-length books and serials. Here’s what I mean:

Wool Omnibus: main character is stuck in a silo all alone, struggling against various external factors and his/her own mental breakdowns
Sand Omnibus: main character is stuck on/in miles of sand, struggling against various external factors and his own mental breakdowns
Beacon 23: main character is stationed in a space beacon all alone, struggling against various externa
James Joyce
So now I'm a fan of Hugh Howey.

War, peace, politics, and questioning your own mental stability.

Are you crazy if you talk to a rock? If you name it? Sure, you might think of Tom Hanks and Wilson... but Wilson didn't talk back. Wilson didn't insult Tom. And Tom never suspected that Wilson was smarter than him. Then again, maybe the rock really isn't a rock. Maybe people and events are(n't) happening?

A galactic war that spans into the past and threatens to end the future, for more than one space-f
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
More psychological thriller than space opera, Hugh Howey goes meta. I'm a big fan of Howey after the Silo series. Howey writes about emotions and is also quite philosophical. I'm almost always more interested in people than in gadgets. My favorite type of sci fi novel deals with how people respond/cope/ adjust/feel about the changes in technology, biology, geography, physics, civilization, ecology, astronomy etc. But mostly, I'm interested in how characters deal with their emotional baggage in s ...more
Oct 07, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
After reading the Wool Omnibus and the two others of the series (prequel and sequel) and liking them a lot, I was looking forward to more by Howey; unfortunately, Beacon 23 was a massive let down. The story is set in the somewhat distant future, with humanity warring with several alien species. Our main protagonist is a war vet, terribly wounded physically and mentally, and now stationed on Beacon 23-- a 'gravity wave' station in a remote part of space that warns hyperspace ships of the massive ...more
It’s the little tangents and connections that make Howey’s writing special to me. For instance, here in Beacon 23 our protagonist, who mans a “lighthouse in space”, studies his favorite picture pasted on wall above a porthole. This picture depicts a keeper standing before a lighthouse (the kind we are all familiar with here on earth), and behind him, a massive wave looms that will certainly wipe the building and the man right out existence. I couldn’t help but wonder if this picture hinted at wh ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Another nice book by the author of Wool Omnibus.
Interesting character development with peculiar and original elements, a wicked sense of humor, an overall nice read. Recommended. 3.5 stars.
Mal Warwick
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I finally figured it out. Earlier in life, when I devoured science fiction by the carload, I paid little attention to details such as references to contemporary culture, products, or figures of speech. I’d suspended disbelief, of course. Now these things jump out at me. They grate. And I found myself on edge at a number of points in Hugh Howey’s Beacon 23 because it was too much of a stretch to believe that characters in the late twenty-third century would talk like people in 2015 or that produc ...more
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I would've enjoyed this a tad more without the epilogue.

Think of it like a combination of The Martian and Ender's Game. I appreciated the examination of isolation and what it does to a person's mental state, and I liked the big questions the book tried to answer.

It wasn't, though, my favorite of Howey's work, and it wrapped up too neatly for my taste.
Timothy Ward
4.5/5 Stars

Beacon 23 was a treat I didn't expect. The character engagement and surprises were on par with what I've loved about Hugh's work, even if I'd still rate this below Sand and Wool in terms of favorites. The story centers on a soldier suffering from PTSD. After being given a hero's honor, he chose a new post on the edge of his galaxy, isolated from people and humanity he isn't sure he knows how to interact with anymore. Hugh did a great job keeping me unaware of the story's final destina
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Howey is a great writer but this is far from par. Beacon 23 is too much like the worst of George Lucas's Star Wars serial. Short disconnected stories featuring a whiny hero, a strong female who "saves" him from being a complete wimp, a few interesting side characters, ultimately leading to a unfulfilling end. The Robinson Crusoe pet rock homage was especially weak, bring to mind the tragedy that is Jar Jar Binks. Skip this one and read Howey's Wool instead. ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lol forgot to add my review here from 2016:

I was drawn to this book by the cover and my love for Howey’s Wool series, and after only six months I finally picked it up! Hey, if you know me at all, six months is really nothing in comparison to how long some books have sat, unread (but not unloved!), upon my crowded shelves. I’m glad I picked this up because while fairly short, Beacon 23 provides an interesting look at the isolation or space and the mental and physical aftereffects of serving in a
Ok, the last book from my 'need-to-rate-review' shelf from last summer! And this book I actually remember pretty well, which is stunning.

I won't bore you with lots of words. Here's my take away from this book. It was originally written and released as a serial, so think of it that way still, regardless of what form you have it in.

As I read each and every one of the five 'episodes' (or whatever he calls them), I thought to myself "What is this I am reading? Why is it dragging on? What is the da
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

Superior space opera, about a scarred war hero manning a backwater beacon while wrestling with his demons. The plotting of this short novel is well above average, with clever self references, double backs and other riffs that give it a literate, intelligent feel well above the usual cut of military sci-fi/ space adventure.

The level of suspension of disbelief required is modest, about the same for your average episode of Star Trek. Howey had me buying into talking rocks and space pirates wit
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love this as much as I loved Wool and Shift, but unfortnately something was slightly missing. Maybe it just didn't have the depth of Wool that I loved. But nevertheless, Howey writes so deeply that it's hard to put down. Thrust into the lonely world of Beacon 23, Howey writes a convincing tale of a soldier turned beacon-keeper in a futuristic time.

I think what's most different about Beacon 23 is it's pace. We have a man alone in what is essentially a lighthouse in the middle o
Sonja Arlow
Like Wool, this book was released in the form of a series of short novellas. And to be honest I probably would have dropped the story after the 2nd novella if I didn’t read this as the complete novel.

You may need to exercise a little patience with this book. The first 30% felt quite gloomy and a mix between Gravity and The Martian (the bits I did not like)

The protagonist is a veteran army soldier and suffers from extreme PTSD. After being released from military duty he tried to get a post as fa
Paperback Mo
Really didn't enjoy this. Disappointed.
The blurb had me hooked, but I feel so let down.
April Sarah
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, ebooks, to-buy
Howey does this to me every single time I pick up one of his stories. I get attached. I get confused. I become broken. This story is no different. The journey of this story hurts.
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cheeky, parody of a space war, space opera.

My audio edition was 6 hours long. A dead tree copy would be about 250 pages. The original US copyright was 2015.

This is the first book I have read by the author. He’s better known for his Silo Series, which starts with the popular book Wool .

Firstly, I listened to the omnibus edition. The five (5) parts of this book were separately published in a serialized form.

Using the paradigm of a PTSD afflicted, war hero, ‘space’ lighthouse keeper; a lonely
Overbooked  ✎
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites
Humans are engaged in a lengthy war with an alien race. While stationed at one of the space beacons (that ensure safe spaceships traffic), a veteran encounters some unlikely hardware malfunctions and bizarre visitors to his lonely outpost. Could these incidents be the results of PTSD or is the beacon messing up with his mind?
Before long, he will need to make decision with far reaching consequences, would he choose treason to end the war? or is he insane?

I like sci-fi but it is difficult for me
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, library
Apparently this is actually a series of short stories. I think. It could have used editing, though, because it starts to feel repetitious because some of the stories summarize what I just read twenty pages earlier.

This is a weird book. I liked the first story, Little Noises, but didn't care for the rest. The first story is a decent action adventure sort of thing, the second is just weird (because the main character (view spoiler)
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
When Hugh Howey isn't sailing the sea in his boat he's writing really good science fiction. Beacon 23 was his latest work. It is actually a collection of five related short stories. The stories are set in a deep-space beacon, kind of light house in space, and the main character is an ex-military fellow who is the beacon operator and happy to be living like a hermit far from humanity. The beacons are part of a network which help spacecraft travel through space at the speed of light. It is not lon ...more
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beacon 23 had a great start. The hero with his mishaps in space and self-depreciating humor reminded me of The Martian.
But as the story progressed the focus changed from is-this-guy-normal-or-going-insane to PTSD and the-chosen-one scenario. I mean he's stuck on a lighthouse and manages to score two girlfriends by the end. Too unbelievable.
So, the first two stories are pure 5 stars and the others are 3 (just OK).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How reliable is the narrator? 1 24 Jan 05, 2016 09:49AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Going Dark (Silo 49, #1)
  • Flying Season for the Mis-Recorded (Silo 49, #4)
  • Dark Till Dawn (Silo 49, #3)
  • The End is Nigh (The Apocalypse Triptych, #1)
  • Rebel State: Hidden: A Wool Universe Story
  • Deep Dark (Silo 49, #2)
  • The End is Now (The Apocalypse Triptych, #2)
  • Wool Gathering
  • Shadows (Silo Saga)
  • Generation of Vipers
  • Silo in Blue: A Silo Story
  • The Broken Room
  • Rebel State: The Year One Trilogy: A Wool Universe Story
  • Silo Submerged
  • Cold Eyes
  • The Kaiju Preservation Society
  • Rebel State: Silo Dwellers: A Wool Universe Story
  • The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych, #3)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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.

A theme in my books is the celebration of overcoming odds and of not allowing the cruelty of the universe to change who you are in the process. Most of them are classified

Other books in the series

Beacon 23 (5 books)
  • Little Noises (Beacon 23, #1)
  • Pet Rocks (Beacon 23, #2)
  • Bounty (Beacon 23, #3)
  • Company (Beacon 23, #4)
  • Visitor (Beacon 23, #5)

Related Articles

When you work at Goodreads, you get a really good peek at the books that are about to hit bookstores. And, well, we get Very Excited about...
107 likes · 30 comments
“It's because fear sells. It's because war is sport. And it's also very good business.” 13 likes
“I call this the Relativistic Weekend Effect. We live in the present, but our happiness relies heavily on the future. Our mood is as much expectation as experience.” 12 likes
More quotes…