If the only new author I'd been introduced to in 2012 was Hugh Howey, then 2012 would have been a fantastic year. His series Wool is the best set of kindle shorts I've read, bar none.
To avoid spoilers, Wool is a tale of discovery that shines through the open holes in its backstory. Howey takes advantage of the short form to create an amazing and full world, skillfully letting you imagine huge swaths of history. Parts 6 & 7 represent a prequel trilogy, First Shift and Second Shift tell part of the story, the beginning.