Wool (Silo, #1) Wool question

Is this the same story as Philip K. Dick's The Penultimate Truth?
Adrien Adrien Mar 12, 2013 09:52AM
Seems like a very similar story.

The Penultimate Truth is a 1964 science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. The story is set in a future where the bulk of humanity is kept in large underground shelters. The people are told that World War III is being fought above them, when in reality the war ended years ago

The story of Wool takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Humanity clings to survival in the Silos, a subterranean city extending over one hundred stories beneath the surface. Citizens who break the law are sent outside to choke to death on the toxic air. Those who are sent to their deaths are forced to clean the grime off the digital sensors that transmit grainy images of the ruined landscape to a screen inside the silo. The images are meant to remind residents that the world beyond the silo is deadly, but some begin to suspect their leaders are lying to them about what's outside and how the world came to ruin.

In Wool, we don't learn the cause of the devastation on the outside, but it is clearly still in existence since people who go outside die from exposure to the toxic fumes.

I don't read much sci fi nowadays, although I did when I was younger. I read Wool because I was intrigued by the author's success story. I may have read The Penultimate Truth back in the 70s, but I have no recollection of it. So there may be some similarities between the two books, but perhaps no more than boy meets girl...

Cheryl (last edited Mar 22, 2013 10:23AM ) Mar 22, 2013 10:23AM   0 votes
I've only read Wool Omnibus so I can't compare the two. I really enjoyed the mixture of fantasy with reality and the future of what we were to expect back in the 70's from the book "1984". A hard look at future reality. Just a matter of when...

The truth is there are really no original stories left only variations of previously used themes. Still new stories can by enlightening.


There are similarities only in the fact that both sets of people are being lied to, but there are major differences also. The idea of life in an underground shelter to escape a holocaust is an old, much used theme in sci-fi. Level 7, The City of Ember, THX-1138, Immobility, and Romero's zombie flick Day of The Dead are just a few of the stories that used that concept. Wool breathed a little life into a tired theme, but it's hardly groundbreaking.

I remember thinking that too. There are definite similarities, but there appear to be some distinct differences. I've only just started the Shift series, but it looks like while citizens in both stories are being conned, the cons are quite different. The con job in The Penultimate Truth involves politicians living happily outside while trying to keep everyone else in the tanks below. In Wool, EVERYONE is in a Silo, even those who know what's going on. And based on the beginning of the Shift series, those who don't know what's going on might be in that position by choice.

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