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The Human Division

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Old Man's War (5), The Human Division (1-13 collected)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1395413,072 (3.89)68
B Team leader Lieutenant Harry Wilson counters hostile alien forces, angry humans and unpredictable elements from the universe in order to protect the interests of the Colonial Union.
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» See also 68 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Collection of short stories following some additional characters in the series, building to the final book. ( )
  jercox | Jun 2, 2021 |
A bloody lovely read, and a storytelling method I didn't expect to like but ended up loving. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
Not my favorite. While it attempted to maintain a cohesive story, the original material's episodic nature made for a read through that felt stilted at times. Much of that was due to slight rehashing (for new readers when it was on Tor.com no doubt) and the need to reintroduce key bits repeatedly. Understandable in the original format, but in a collected "novel" I don't think it worked as well. ( )
  kodermike | Jul 31, 2020 |
OK, let's keep score:
Old Man's War: John Perry (smart-arse)
The Ghost Brigades: John Perry's girl friend (mostly non-descript, mildly bad-ass)
The Last Colony: John Perry and now wife (smart arse and stereotypical loving Mum, (still mildly bad-ass))
Zoe's Tale: Zoe Perry (smart-arse)
The Human Division: Wilson (smart-arse, seems to have had a personality transplant from John Perry)
Fuzzy Nation: A smart-arse lawyer
Lock-in: Disabled (but is he really? That's the point) son of an over-privileged businessman-politician.

5/7 good score if you like smart-arse characters (which I do - I loves me some Bugs Bunny) but maybe Scalzi should try for greater diversity? Well, he does so with this one, to some extent, because in this episodic novel we are treated not just to Wilson, but a collection of other protagonists and characters who's stories overlap and complement each other as each stand-alone story builds up a picture of what's going on in the galaxy after John Perry radically alters the political dynamics by surprising Earth with a 400 strong trade delegation from the Conclave.

They're good, fun stories with an on-going central mystery that is unfortunately never resolved. The episodic structure reminds of the '60s era of SF where the pulp mags were the main revenue source and people would routinely write story sequences for serial magazine publication that would later be assembled with minimal to zero editing into a paperback novel for further income. The necessity for some kind of resolution in each component story made for slightly weird novels and this example (which was deliberately conceived of and released as a series of e-stories, initially) is no different. The component stories are all good and it does build to some kind of climactic denouement but there's no escaping that it's a bunch of shorts, really. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
I admit I stopped reading the series for years after I realized that this installment was a serialized novel. I just stopped. I wanted full novels and I got pissy.

Well, fortunately, I got over it. Mostly because I have friends in buddy reads who made me feel guilty as hell. But even more, I have a lot of fond memories for the series as a whole and I think I may have been plain WRONG.

Yeah. So. Eating crow now.

These are a bunch of great short stories here that don't feel all the connected at first but wind up being very connected, indeed. All the events take place after the Colonies and Earth part company, and while not all characters follow along within these thirteen stories, a few do. Wilson, for one, was someone I was always very happy to see. Even if he does like to electrocute dogs. :) That one was very funny.

And while a lot of these had the light Scalzi humor I've grown to love, not all were light. Some were very sad. All of them were very interesting.

Not all novelists can write short stories, but Scalzi is pretty fantastic at it... He's able to make tight tales that are perfectly standalone that also tie in perfectly to make a complete work that, read together, feels like a complete novel with thirteen chapters. Color me impressed.

I'm fully back on track to read the rest of this series and I'm hitting myself for taking so long.

This universe is fascinating.

( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Entertainingly exemplifying the maxim that "All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means," The Human Division is the type of intelligently crafted and inventive military-political science fiction that reminds us that though we might be able to pinpoint a genre's takeoff point, nobody can predict how far it it will fly.
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chong, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Yanni Kuznia and Brian Decker, for their love and friendship.
To John Harris, in admiration, and in appreciation for his art work for this novel and for all the Old Man's War books. Thank you for your visions.
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Ambassador Sara Blair knew that when the captain of the Polk had invited her to the bridge to view the skip to the Danavar system, protocol strongly suggested that she turn down the invitation.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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B Team leader Lieutenant Harry Wilson counters hostile alien forces, angry humans and unpredictable elements from the universe in order to protect the interests of the Colonial Union.

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Book description
Haiku summary
Diplomats in space
try to stop galactic war
in linked short stories.
(Archaism)

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