Does Apple TV+’s Silo Adapt the Book Wool?

If you're enjoying the Apple TV+ series Silo and want to explore this world further, here's what you need to know before diving into the books the show is based on.

Rebecca Ferguson and David Oyelowo in Silo
Photo: Apple TV+

This article contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Silo.

The Apple TV+ series Silo is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has been forced into an underground silo because the outside world has become toxic.

The silo’s inhabitants don’t know how the world became toxic or who built the silo that became their salvation, nor are they allowed to ask questions about it. People are permitted to explore the outside if they demand it, but there are no take-backs once the request has been made. The sensors that show the barren wasteland on the other side of the airlock do a pretty good job of deterring even the more curious citizens of the silo, but there are still those who question whether what they see outside is reality.

If you’re already intrigued by the premise of this series from the first two episodes and can’t wait to learn more about his world, then you’re in luck – Silo is based on a series of books by Hugh Howey that already has three novels released, and a fourth on the way.

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The Silo series began as a short story titled “Wool” that was self-published by Howey in 2011. This story follows the silo’s sheriff, Holston, as he struggles with his wife’s decision to go outside and ultimately decides to follow her. As the story grew in popularity, Howey added four novellas that each deal with the aftermath of Holston’s choice in the silo, and together these now form the novel Wool. The original short story was renamed “Holston” after the sheriff, and the other four are named “Proper Gauge,” “Casting Off,” “The Unraveling,” and “Stranded,” respectively.

Wool seems to be the primary source material for the first season of Silo, as the first two episodes of the series show us Holston’s story and introduce us to silo mechanic Juliette, who becomes a major character in the other four novellas. At the end of episode two, it’s revealed that Holston (David Oyelowo) named Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) to be his successor as sheriff, despite the fact that the two barely know each other. This shocks Deputy Marnes (Will Patton) and Mayor Jahns (Geraldine James), but nevertheless sets them off on a journey to the depths of the silo that Juliette resides – the same journey that “Proper Gauge” tells the story of.

The next book in Howey’s series, Shift, is comprised of three novellas, “Legacy,” “Order,” and “Pact,” that are prequels to the story of Wool, so it’s unclear whether or not a second season of Silo would be a straight adaptation. It would make sense to adapt Shift next as the third novel Dust, connects the stories of Wool and Shift together, but it also would mean that viewers would have to wait to see the conclusion of Juliette’s story since she doesn’t reappear until the third book.

The official Apple press release for Silo says that the series is based on the “trilogy” by Howey, so the fourth book may or may not be adapted if the series lasts beyond its first season. The fourth book was announced in 2021, but depending on how long it takes to be released, it might be better for the series to end with the source material rather than make Game of Thrones final season mistakes. But regardless of the show’s future, there is plenty to catch up on in this dystopian world through Howey’s books.

The first two episodes of Silo are available to stream on Apple TV+ now. New episodes premiere weekly, culminating with a finale on June 30.