BOOK: John Scalzi’s new ‘episodic’ novel

What: The Human Division

Who: John Scalzi
When: 2013 (#1 published Jan 15 – #13 published April 9)

Following the events of The Last Colony, John Scalzi tells the story of the fight to maintain the unity of the human race.

The people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has kept them ignorant of the dangerous universe around them. For generations the CU had defended humanity against hostile aliens, deliberately keeping Earth an ignorant backwater and a source of military recruits. Now the CU’s secrets are known to all. Other alien races have come on the scene and formed a new alliance—an alliance against the Colonial Union. And they’ve invited the people of Earth to join them. For a shaken and betrayed Earth, the choice isn’t obvious or easy.

Against such possibilities, managing the survival of the Colonial Union won’t be easy, either. It will take diplomatic finesse, political cunning…and a brilliant “B Team,” centered on the resourceful Lieutenant Harry Wilson, that can be deployed to deal with the unpredictable and unexpected things the universe throws at you when you’re struggling to preserve the unity of the human race.

Being published online from January to April 2013 as a three-month digital serial, The Human Division will appear as a full-length novel of the Old Man’s War universe, plus—for the first time in print—the first tale of Lieutenant Harry Wilson, and a coda that wasn’t part of the digital serialization.

I’ve just completed Episode #1 – The B Team of this new ‘episodically’ released novel set in Scalzi’s familiar and excellent Old Man’s War (OMW) universe. Essentially I buy and download a new weekly episode from Amazon for my Kindle for the grand total of 99 cents each time. Couldn’t be simpler!

This was a good introduction to this new story. Apparently each one will be readable in it’s own right but still form part of the larger story that will be published in it’s entirety after the episodes are finished. I did find that my previous knowledge of the OMW universe books (which are some of the most fun sci-fi books I’ve read) did help a little with the background to this story, but shouldn’t be a stumbling block for anyone reading these without first having read the previous books.

Typical Scalzi humour (he does sarcasm SO well) and intelligent dialogue make for a fun read.  Gonna be an epic story throughout the full 13 episodes. Excellent.


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