John Scalzi asked for feedback on the serialized run of The Human Division. As long as I was providing it on his site, I’ll post it here as well. It serves as a good final review of The Human Division.
I consider The Human Division a huge success. I want to collect your novels, and the novels in the Old Man’s War series in particular, so I definitely thought about whether I wanted to buy a physical release. However, there was no way I could pass up purchasing the episodes. Tuesdays became my favorite day of the week. I couldn’t wait to download my new episode and give it a read. Every Tuesday I would eat lunch alone so I could sit while reading or walk around the block while reading.
The episode lengths were perfect. I enjoyed being able to read each episode during a lunch break. The first and final episodes worked well as double-length episodes. If you choose to continue with a similar format in the future, I’d be fine with the occasional longer episode, but I’m also just fine with the current length. I don’t care about the quantity of words; I care about the quality. If a particular episode is shorter than normal, that’s fine too.
The pacing of The Human Division was excellent, and the order of the episodes worked well. We didn’t stay far away from the central story very long, and the auxiliary episodes were always interesting and related. I particularly liked seeing settings with which I was familiar but hadn’t seen – Earth, Phoenix, and the Conclave. I’d love to see more of all three. I also enjoyed seeing the points of view of different characters.
Walk the Plank was the perfect second episode. After the long introduction episode, Walk the Plank set the expectations. It showed that not every episode would be about the same characters and that some episodes might not even seem related at the time. It also made a point that episode length could vary as well. Walk the Plank always stood out as particularly odd to me. How was it related to the story? In the final episode you bring us back to the Eerie Morningstar. Not only does this give Walk the Plank context, but it also reminds us that we do in fact know a little about the Colonial Union’s enemy.
After finishing Earth Below, Sky Above, it was evident that you were at least hoping to continue. I’m very pleased to learn that you already have something planned. You might not have answered all my questions, but this is just the first season of The Human Division. Even if not everyone fully grokked that The Human Division was modeled similarly to a television series, it still worked well. I hope to see a similarly structured second season that answers some of my questions and leaves others open (for a third season of course).
Thank you for continuing to explore the Old Man’s War universe. The delivery and format of The Human Division worked exceptionally well. It’s nice to see some experimentation. In fact, I also really enjoyed the format of Redshirts. I’m sad to hear that the hardcover will have a time-exclusive extra story, but the trade-off allowing me to read the episodes weekly (along with the fact that I will eventually be able to read the story) is worth it to me. While I’ll continue to purchase your books (and any other creations) in any formats, I hope that you continue releasing episodically.
Thanks again, John!
As you can see, I was a big fan of the way it was presented. I wish more books were released using this method, and I look forward to The Human Division season 2!